Council tax rise to accommodate highest police force numbers since 2010
PUBLISHED: 14:54 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:25 11 February 2020
The average council tax bill in Hertfordshire will rise £10 this year, in order to pay for Herts police force numbers reaching their highest level since 2010.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd's plans to raise the council tax police precept were unanimously agreed by the Police and Crime panel in Broxbourne last week.
This means residents in Hertfordshire will be charged, on average, an extra £10 in their council tax bill in a move the PCC says will support the county's "largest ever police force".
Herts police is on course to have 2,100 officers by the end of this financial year, the highest level since 2010 when officer numbers were 2,130. The aim is to have 2,314 officers by the end of March 2023, which will be the force's highest numbers ever.
Mr Lloyd said: "This is a transformational budget for policing - in simple terms there will be more officers on the streets of Hertfordshire.
"It is a collective investment from tax payers and central government towards giving Hertfordshire the largest constabulary we have ever had.
"Now we are going to have a substantially larger force and it is vital that it is properly resourced. It is appropriate that local tax payers make a contribution to this investment.
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"I represent the people of Hertfordshire, and when the people were asked if they supported an increase in the precept for this aim, they overwhelmingly gave their support."
Mr Lloyd's decision follows a public consultation in which 65 per cent of residents indicated their interest in paying more to support extra policing in the county.
In 2000, there were 1,961 Herts police officers. By 2010, this number had risen to 2,130.
By 2015, their numbers had fallen to 1,911, their lowest since 2002.
An extra £16 million will be invested in Herts Police this year, with the precept increase generating £5.8m, and uplifted core government grants providing an extra £10.7m.
The precept pays for 42% of Hertfordshire Constabulary's 20/21 budget, generating £90.5.m. The other 58%, £126.8m, comes from central government grants.
Band D property owners will now pay £198 a year, which equates to 83p per month more than the last year.
Mr Lloyd added: "The increase of the precept by £10-a-year for the average Council Tax payer, will support the hundreds of extra officers for years to come; at £198 per annum this still represents excellent value.
"They need to be provided with the very best equipment, training and facilities to enable them to protect the public and keep crime low."