West Mercia Police will charge council taxpayers in Shropshire more than £24million next year – a £2.6million rise on last year’s precept – if plans are approved.
Commissioner John Campion says his force are dealing with increased demand and more complex crime types, but has also promised “tight budgetary control” throughout the next financial year.
Residents who live in Band D homes will see their monthly police precept rise by £1.63 to £19.59.
Conservative Mr Campion, who was elected to the role in 2016, is inviting residents of the West Mercia Police force area to give their feedback on the increase.
The police precept is charged along with the council tax bill, and homes are charged different rates according to which value band they belong in.
The proposed rates for 2019-2020 and the increase on the current year are:
– Band A, £144.44, an increase of £13.01 a year or £1.08 a month.
– Band B, £168.51, up £15.24 a year or £1.27 a month.
– Band C, £192.59, up £17.41 a year or £1.45 a month.
– Band D, £216.66, up £19.59 a year or £1.63 a month.
– Band E, £264.81, up £23.94 a year or £2.00 a month.
– Band F, £312.95, up £28.29 a year or £2.36 a month.
– Band G, £316.10, up £32.65 a year or £2.72 a month.
– Band H, £433.32, up £39.18 a year or £3.26 a month.
In a draft budget report, which is due to go before his Police and Crime Panel next month, Mr Campion says demand for police services has “increased consistently” nationwide in recent years.
“Volumes of recorded crimes have increased,” he writes.
“This has not always been driven by actual increases in crime, but also by improved recording practices, and a greater willingness of victims to come forward.
“Police are also increasingly dealing with more complex types of crime.”
Mr Campion points out that the West Mercia force handled 58,464 crime calls between April and November last year, compared to 40,584 in the same period in 2014.
Mr Campion is proposing to recruit 115 extra officers – bringing total numbers in the force, which covers Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire – to around 2,150.
He adds that officers will be told to “exercise tight budgetary control”.
“No over-spending of any 2018-19 departmental budget will be authorised and caution will be exercised in entering into expenditure which creates additional commitments in future years,” he says.