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With his consultation on the police budget for 2020/21 ongoing, Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will be continuing a series of visits to gather public views.
PCC Lorne Green launched his month-long consultation on 16 December to find out whether Norfolk residents would be prepared to pay more council tax to help build a safer and more resilient county.
As well as running an online survey, the PCC has been out meeting with Norfolk residents and asking if they would support a council tax increase or prefer no increase at all.
This week will see Lorne visit Aylsham on Wednesday and Cromer on Thursday, before he heads to King’s Lynn next Monday (13 January).
The PCC will also be holding a public Q&A with the Chief Constable in Thetford next Thursday (16 January), giving Norfolk residents a final opportunity to share their police budget views before the consultation closes on 17 January.
“It is imperative to me I hear the views of as many Norfolk residents as I can to ensure I make a fully informed decision,” said Lorne.
“Every year, a majority of the Norfolk public has supported an increase in the police precept to ensure Norfolk Constabulary can continue to provide a high-quality service.
“With that support, I have been able to invest in areas such as police officer numbers and visibility, the 21st century technology which helps our officers detect and deter crime, and projects aimed at preventing harm and supporting victims.
“Looking ahead, the risks in our communities and the pressures on policing will continue to be challenging for Norfolk Constabulary and the Office of the PCC.
“The increase in some of the most abhorrent and harmful crimes – including domestic abuse, sex offences, child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation – means officers are undertaking complex investigations on a frequent basis. This fundamentally changes how the police need to do their business, and long-term steps to keep our communities safe and build more resilience are necessary.
“Raising taxation – even if it’s only a modest increase – is a decision no-one wants to take, particularly at a time when, for so many, incomes are stretched. However, we are faced with some stark choices and I need to fully understand how supportive the Norfolk public is of the options available.”
Norfolk residents are being asked whether they would prefer;
- No increase in the policing element of Council Tax (the precept) which would lead to reductions in policing services
- An increase of around 2% to meet inflation-related cost pressures, meaning at best ‘standing still with no investment’
- An increase in precept above 2% to enable investment in crime prevention activity, support to build community resilience and policing services.