‘Proposed freeze in council tax won’t affect Hertfordshire police recruitment’ – crime commissioner

Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd has said a proposed council tax freeze won't

Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd has said a proposed council tax freeze won't affect recruitment. - Credit: Archant

Herts’ police and crime commissioner has said a proposed freeze in the force’s council tax precept won’t affect a recruitment drive – despite his counterpart in Bedfordshire saying an increase is needed to put extra bobbies on the beat.

Commissioner David Lloyd is calling for people living in Herts not to pay more for policing – with those in Band D properties set to pay £147.82 for the fifth year running.

The plans were backed by the county’s police and crime panel yesterday.

The news comes after Beds’ commissioner Olly Martins announced a proposed increase to the county’s police precept of 15.8 per cent. The rise would work out as an extra £24.96 annually for those in Band D, who would pay £181.35 for 2015/16.

Mr Lloyd said: “The proposals for setting the policing precept in Bedfordshire are a matter for residents there to decide on however this shows that strength of having police and crime commissioners who can respond to local circumstances but who are also directly accountable to the electorate.

“Here in Hertfordshire I believe we can invest in the recruitment of more police officers while also freezing the policing part of the council tax bill this year – so it will have been the same since 2010.

“This has been made possible by prudent and responsible budget management which means that Hertfordshire Constabulary is in a strong position to meet the financial challenges ahead.”

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Mr Martins said: “This increase would equate to as little as 32p a week for a council tax Band A property and still only 48p a week extra for a Band D property. But it will raise £4.5 million a year, which will be invested in 100 additional police officers alongside extra resources to manage the most prolific offenders and safeguard vulnerable people.

“I appreciate that many people have suffered financially over the past few years and understand that they may not welcome an increase in the council tax, however modest when considered on a weekly or monthly basis.

“But on the other hand, everywhere I go people tell me that they think we should have more police officers and the evidence from the crime per officer figures shows that in Bedfordshire they are right.

“And it really is the public’s decision. A referendum will provide a safety mechanism to ensure that I am not setting a precept increase that the majority of people oppose.”

For more on each proposal visit www.hertscommissioner.org and www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk.

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