As your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) I want to make sure our communities are safe and feel safe. I know that a properly resourced and visible police service is key to that. This next year I have set a budget to help strengthen neighbourhood policing, protect PCSO numbers and recruit 264 additional Police Officers and specialist staff to help protect frontline policing and tackle key priority areas.
The new budget sees a £24 increase on the police element of council tax, known as the police precept, for a Band D property. However approximately 61% of households in West Yorkshire are in Bands A and B, which means around 31p extra per week for Band 'A' and 36p per week for Band 'B' with the overall precept still remaining the 3rd lowest in England and Wales.
There were clear expectations from Government that PCCs should raise their precept levels to the maximum amount allowed. This has not been an easy decision, but it was a necessary one in order to help rebuild frontline policing resources, against a backdrop of years of austerity Government funding reductions, still accounting for over 70% of our overall budget in core grant.
The public broadly supported the increase with 72% of respondents to my recent budget consultation survey stating that they would be prepared to increase their contribution.
Although it is with some reluctance that I have had to call upon local taxpayers to achieve it with Government transferring more of the burden locally, the budget I have set caters for the issues of greatest threat to our communities such as cyber crime, violent crime and safeguarding and puts us in a place of more stability and sustainability for the future. However I will of course continue to lobby and speak directly with the Home Secretary, Treasury, Government and MPs about a better deal for Policing in West Yorkshire as I have done every year since first being elected in 2012. .
Mark Burns-Williamson OBE
West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Council Tax Information
A draft precept for 2019/20 went before the Police and Crime Panel, please click here to view it.
Previous Police Council Tax Information
Click the links below to view the Police Council Tax Information for previous years.