At the end of last year, the Home Office announced the funding settlement for police across the country for the next financial year. In Thames Valley, this means an additional £12.6m in Government grant to pay for an additional 179 police officers. The increase in officers is the second part of the national uplift programme that will see 20,000 additional officers across the country by March 2023. In the Thames Valley, we have already recruited the extra 183 officers funded from the 2020/21 budget.
Alongside the funding from the Home Office, the Government has also allowed Police & Crime Commissioners to increase council tax by up to £15 (for a Band D property) in order to make additional investments in policing. In Thames Valley that means that for less than 29p a week for the average household (Band D property) more than £13m could be invested in frontline policing.
In previous years, the support of local tax payers through their council tax has meant that we have managed to reduce the time it takes for the police to answer non-urgent 101 calls and to significantly increase detection rates, meaning that more victims of crime receive justice and more criminals are held to account.
It is important that any increase in council tax now, at a time when many families are struggling, is focussed on frontline policing to tackle the concerns of the public. I am proud of the work done by Thames Valley Police Officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers every single day, but there is always more that can be done.
By contributing your views now you can help play your part in shaping how Thames Valley Police continues to improve and tackle crime across our community.
The survey can be completed at https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90305410/Council-Tax-Survey-2021-22.
The survey is open until 5pm on Wednesday 20th January 2021.