Derbyshire's Chief Constable urges commissioner to increase council precept

Derbyshire Police’s chief constable Peter Goodman has written to Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, urging him to increase the council precept by £10.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 10:04 am
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 9:21 am

In an open letter to Mr Dhindsa, Mr Goodman thanks him for increasing the precept last year by £24, and as a result, the number of police officers and staff increased by 120 people, comprising of 58 police officers, 15 police staff, 11 neighbourhood enquiry officers, 14 PCSOs and 22 detective staff investigators.

The "police precept" is the portion of your council tax that goes to the local police force.

Previously, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were only allowed to raise this by a maximum of £12.

Chief Constable Peter Goodman with PCC Hardyal Dhindsa

However, in December 2018, the government increased the limit and almost every force opted for the new maximum.

In his open letter, Mr Goodman states that last year’s increase allowed him to provide specialist speeding and road crime officers, leading to a reduction in the number of people killed or injured on the county’s roads.

In the letter, Mr Goodman adds: “The cost of policing does not remain static, and over recent years we have seen some very real and significant financial challenges facing the Constabulary. Some of these challenges are completely out of our control, such as the recent decision to increase Police Officer and Police Staff salaries by 0.5 per cent above the expected level of 2 per cent, yielding a requirement to find an additional £0.6m annually.

“In the absence of contrary information, we forecast that this 2.5 per cent increase will continue for several years to come.

“We have also seen a recent change to the way in which the contribution to Police Officer pensions is calculated, yielding an additional, and significant, annual pressure of £1.8m which is currently being met by a grant contribution from the Home Office; although there are no guarantees on that funding going forward.

“Whilst a two per cent precept increase would present significant challenges if substantial savings cannot be identified, a 0 per cent increase in the precept amount has the potential to be catastrophic to policing in the County, with an expected end of year deficit of approximately £3.7m in 2020/21.