A message from your Police and Crime Commissioner
As your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) I must provide Norfolk Constabulary with the resources needed to investigate crime, support victims and keep Norfolk safe.
To do this, I must each year consider the requirements and demands on the police’s spending plans, and how much I ask you, the residents of Norfolk, to contribute through the policing element of your council tax.
The total policing budget for the current financial year (2023/24) is £199.8 million of which over half (55%) is provided by the Government and the remainder (45%) is raised through council tax.
The budget is divided into two parts: revenue and capital. The revenue part is used for day-to-day running costs, such as police officer salaries and maintaining vehicles; and the capital part is spent on key assets such as police buildings and information technology.
This financial year (2023/24), £171.6 million (85.9%) is being spent on people - £113.5 million of which is spent on officers and £58.1 million on staff. The remaining £28.2 million (14.1%) is spent on everything else, including police buildings, vehicles, fuel costs, equipment, and training.
Looking forward to the next financial year (2024/25), the forecast budget is expected to increase to £205.2 million for several reasons, these include:
- An increase in police officer pay of 7 per cent set nationally, with police staff pay increases yet to be agreed.
- The impact of inflation on the costs of supplies and services purchased.
- The volume of high harm crimes such as domestic abuse and sexual offences, which require a highly skilled, high-tech responses to successfully investigate crimes and provide support to victims.
Every pound the constabulary spends is precious, and His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) agree that Norfolk Constabulary is ‘Outstanding’ at delivering value for money.
Sometimes, however, achieving value for money alone, does not mean the constabulary can meet all the growing demands placed on it or make the necessary investments required to ensure services meet expectations, such as call times for 101 calls.
To meet increased demands and costs, the law currently allows me to raise the policing element of council tax by just short of £10 a year (£9.99) for a Band D property. However, an increase of £10 would still leave the constabulary with a shortfall of £3.9 million for 2024/25 against current spending plans.
As in previous years, I am aware and concerned about the pressures on household budgets and the impact an increase in council tax could have for many. However, I am also conscious of the need to maintain the service Norfolk Constabulary currently provides to you, your loved ones, and local communities.
The decision I must make is not straightforward or easy and involves balancing several complex factors, including your views.
To do this, I have decided that during this year’s consultation, we must have an open and frank conversation about the funding challenges that policing faces.
I would specifically like to hear which areas of policing and services you think should be priorities in my spending plans, and if you are prepared to pay more to ensure these are protected in the future.
I will be touring the county for twelve weeks - starting Monday 4 September, and finishing Friday 24 November – to speak to as many of you as possible about what matters most to you about policing and crime in Norfolk.
When I became your Police and Crime Commissioner, I produced my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan, setting out the strategic direction for policing in our county. This was based upon feedback I received from stakeholders and residents of Norfolk – you spoke, and I listened.
Based upon the six pillars highlighted as priorities in my plan, I would now like to ask you to answer the two key questions posed in this consultation.
Before you complete the survey, please take the time to consider the words from Norfolk’s Chief Constable, Paul Sanford.