Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove has announced that the policing precept for 2014/15 will increase by 1.99% - equating to £3.45 per annum for a Band D property.
At the meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on Tuesday, Mr presented detailed financial plans in a 52-page report, proposing an increase of 1.99% which would generate £850k, allowing up to 20 more police officers to continue to be employed, and investments made in mobile technology to keep officers out on patrol in their communities.
The proposal followed a public consultation survey with more than 1,200 residents in which 75% of respondents agreed with Mr Grove’s plans.
The panel had recommend a freeze in the precept by a vote of 5 to 4, which was not the two-thirds majority needed to veto the Commissioner’s proposal. In their written comments, the panel felt existing reserves should be utilized, and further savings in back office costs should be made to maintain frontline policing.
Mr Grove said: “I consulted with local people face to face at my Street Surgeries and commissioned an independent survey, the overwhelming view of the public was that a small increase in the precept would be acceptable to lessen reductions in police officers and PCSO’s, and to invest in new technology to keep them on patrol in our communities where the public want to see them. I work for the public, and it is their views that have influenced my decision.”
In his response to the panel, Mr Grove said: “I have to say that I am disappointed at the brevity of the response when compared with the detailed report, documentation and evidence that supported my proposal. I had expected that if some of the Panel were not intending to support my proposal then they would have provided me with sound and reasoned arguments to seek to persuade me to adopt a different option to the one presented to them. Sadly this was not the case.”
“In the meeting, no evidence was provided of what research, if any, had been undertaken by those members of the Panel rejecting my proposal. There was no comment about whether they had explained the consequences of a freeze or whether they had sought feedback from the public on the matter. Had those voting against had the same level of contact that I have had with local people and had a balanced dialogue with them then I believe that they would have had similar responses to the ones that I have had and so they may well have come to a different view.”