Hitchin & Harpenden MP welcomes better police funding, most of which will come from taxpayers

Bim Afolami shadowing a police officer and a police community support officer.

Bim Afolami shadowing a police officer and a police community support officer. - Credit: Archant

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has welcomed £14.9m extra funding for Herts police - most of which will come from increasing taxes.

The Government is increasing the grant it gives to police and is also allowing police and crime commissioners, who control their force’s budget, to increase council tax by £24 a month for Band D households.

Mr Afolami said: “I am delighted police funding in Hertfordshire could increase by up to £14.9 million next year.

“The new funding will mean the police budget will increase in real terms next year, and will be vital in tackling rural crime and ensuring we can protect police numbers.

“This funding meets the goal of the campaign I have been involved in to boost police funding.

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“I will continue to push for further increases to police funding in Hertfordshire going forward.”

The Government grant to the police will increase by £2.2 million and an additional £2 million will go towards police pensions; however, the remaining £10.7m is likely to be raised by increasing the police precept in Hertfordshire’s council tax.

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A precept is a section of council tax given to organisations such as the police, district councils and parish councils, which can decide to increase their precept by raising council tax.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “I welcome this increase in new funding for the Hertfordshire police force. It provides reassurance going forward and will allow us to tackle pressing issues such as rural crime and policing numbers.

“I will be making full use of the precept increase granted to us by the Government this year which will raise the majority of the new funding in Hertfordshire next year.

“This will mean I can continue to invest heavily in preserving and strengthening local policing. It will help to create a police force that is embedded in, and supported by, a community working together to cut crime.”

Despite saying he would make use of the allowed precept rise, Mr Lloyd had previously asked in an open letter for the views of the Hertfordshire public to help him determine whether going ahead with the precept rise was the ‘right decision or not’.

To have your say on the precept rise, email your.views@herts.pcc.pnn.gov.uk or write to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ by January 7 2019.

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