Sussex Police’s share of council tax could rise again

Sussex Police officers
Sussex Police officers

Sussex Police’s element of council tax bills could be set to rise again.

The force’s precept rose by 14.5 per cent last year, the equivalent of an extra £24 a year for an average Band D property.

This year Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, is asking for residents’ views on adding an extra £10 a year on to the average council tax bill by launching a snap online survey.

This would be on top of any increases agreed by other precepting authorities such as the county, district, borough councils and fire authorities.

According to the Government, this year policing nationally will receive the biggest funding boost in a decade.

Mrs Bourne said: “We need to focus on bringing crime down so this settlement means that PCCs can invest more into policing to tackle crime and keeping our communities safe.

“The Government quite clearly remains committed to its pledge to recruit an additional 20,000 officers - with funding for 6,000 officers by March next year included in this year’s grant.”

Due to previous increases in its council tax precept, Sussex Police will have an extra 100 Police Community Support Officers by March and 50 more specialist staff.

It is also on target to recruit 250 extra police officers by 2023.

Mrs Bourne also welcomed extra funds to combat organised crime and address serious violence and the ‘scourge’ of county lines.

Feedback she has received from the public suggests residents support paying more to strengthen local policing, tougher enforcement against criminals and also back a programme to divert young people from violence and anti-social behaviour.

Giles York, Sussex Police’s chief constable, also welcomed the funding settlement.

He said: “Thanks to ongoing local precept investment and the Government’s commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers nationwide, Sussex Police is already in a period of growth. People in Sussex are starting to see and feel the difference of more visible and proactive policing.

“We must be able to meet modern crime demands and that means building our teams of specialist officers and staff who work largely unseen to prevent, disrupt and investigate serious and complex crime.

“With further investment we can strengthen our position and this can only lead to positive outcomes for our communities – preventing more crimes, catching more criminals, protecting more victims, solving more crimes and keeping Sussex even safer.”

Yesterday Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This government is delivering on the people’s priorities by giving policing the biggest funding increase in a decade.

“It will mean more officers tackling the crime blighting our streets, so people can feel safe in their communities.

“The police must now make full use of this significant investment to deliver for the public.”