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7 February 2019
THE Wiltshire Police Federation has slammed "the blatantly unfair burden on the taxpayer" after the police precept was increased today.
An extra £6.3million will be provided and 41 additional police officers will be recruited following an increase in the policing precept of £2 per month for the average Band D.
This means the current contribution of £15.19 per month will increase to £17.19 per month.
Inspector Mark Andrews, chairman of the federation, said: “It’s positive the PCC [Police Crime Commission] have chosen to increase the precept to support local policing and we welcome extra cash however it's blatantly unfair that the government are placing the burden on the local taxpayer.
"Forces are having to make really difficult decisions in order to meet rising demand, through prioritising what they attend, and what areas of recourse they cut back to make ends meet."
Inspector Andrews added: "The government needs to invest significantly in policing urgently so that police can continue to effectively police their communities."
The police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, says the increase will help to protect community policing and prevent further cuts.
He said: “I am pleased that we have had a positive response from the public throughout the consultation; at area board and local locality meetings, through social media and the website.
“The consultation clearly showed that the public are in favour of the increase with 68 per cent of respondents supporting the rise.
“Demand continues to increase, yet our allocation of the funding available nationally disadvantages us.
"The police are responding to more incidents whilst working with less.
“In fact we receive the fourth lowest funding per head of population in England and Wales.”
The extra money will also secure two cyber-crime teams which focus on online fraud and child sexual exploitation, as well as a £500,000 funding boost to crime prevention with a particular focus on early intervention targeting those at risk of committing crime in future.
Mr Macpherson added: “In the feedback I received the public were very clear that they wanted more visibility.
“A number of these additional officers will be aligned to community policing teams focusing on 999 calls in the hope that this will enable others to focus on proactive policing in the community which will enable the public to see more of the police.
“I will continue to fight for fairer funding for Wiltshire so that we get a reasonable share of the national funding pot.
“I am pleased today that the Police and Crime Panel have recognised the result of the consultation, the strength of the case, and have endorsed the precept.”