Views sought on a proposed precept hike

Rye and Battle residents are being asked whether they would be prepared to pay more to fund policing in Sussex.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has launched a consultation to find out if the public would be willing to support a precept increase in 2015/16.

The proposed increase of 1.98 percent would mean that a family living in a Band D property would pay an extra £2.79 per year for policing.

Ms Bourne said: “In my first year in office I fulfilled my election pledge to freeze the precept, meaning residents paid the same amount for policing in Sussex for four years.

“Last year local taxpayers told me they would support a precept increase of 3.6 percent, which equates to an additional £4.95 per year per household for a Band D property.

“67 percent of those who responded to the consultation supported an increase in the precept.

“The Police and Crime Panel – who hold the important role of scrutinising my decisions – also endorsed the proposed rise.

“However, due to a limit, set nationally, on the amount that the precept could rise before triggering a costly referendum, I was only able to increase the precept in Sussex by 1.95 percent (£2.70 per household per year).

“Despite this, good progress has been achieved in those areas of operational policing that required additional investment.

“However, the Chief Constable has set out a business case for additional funds in 2015/16 to meet the shortfall from last year.”

Ms Bourne said an increase would help police deliver operational investments, in particular, investigating serious sexual offences.

The consultation will close on January 9. Results will help inform a decision in January 2015, which will be reviewed by the Police & Crime Panel. Visit http://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/public-consultations/