18 January 2024 PRECEPT SURVEY: PCC proposes increase in precept to fund Constabulary in 2024/25 Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has launched his annual survey to gauge public views on his draft proposal for the policing element for the council tax precept for the next financial year. THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED The Policing Minister has given Police and Crime Commissioners the ability to raise the policing element of the precept by up to £13 per annum for a Band D property for 2024/25. Suffolk’s PCC is proposing to use this maximum increase and is asking Suffolk taxpayers their thoughts. The survey closes at 9am on Thursday 25th January 2024. Tim Passmore said, “As your Police and Crime Commissioner, setting the budget is one of my most important responsibilities. I must ensure that the Constabulary has the resources needed to provide an efficient and effective service, whilst ensuring that I use Suffolk taxpayers’ money for the maximum benefit. I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account on all financial matters accordingly. “As has been the case for several years, our funding from Government is just not enough, so I really do need to consider an increase the precept to maintain the level of police service in the county. “Suffolk is one of the lowest-funded forces in the country and faces significant challenges. The full £13 increase (for a band D property) would increase the policing budget by £3.4m and give the Constabulary the resources it needs to keep pace with demand. “Setting the budget, and the level of council tax we all pay for policing in the county, is not a decision I take lightly. It is always a difficult balance and this year, the financial situation we find ourselves in nationally has presented additional challenges. We face economic uncertainty but we must deliver an efficient and effective police force, which is sustainable, in the face of this uncertainty. “The economic backdrop of 2023 has been challenging, we have seen significant price increases from existing providers and continue to face cost pressures in 2024. “In addition to this, demands on policing are ever growing. We have taken significant steps towards managing these demands in 2023 and will continue to do so in 2024. “I can absolutely assure everyone the Constabulary has undertaken an extensive savings and budget setting exercise aimed at delivering the right levels of service in the right areas, and this will continue to ensure we are providing the best possible value to the Suffolk taxpayer. “I have a duty to maintain an efficient and effective police force for Suffolk and in order to meet the costs of inflation, pay awards and other cost pressures. Regretfully I feel I have no option other than to propose increasing the precept by 4.9%. This will enable us to maintain a standard of service that the public expect. “I hope everyone will take the opportunity to consider my proposal and let me know their thoughts via the survey. As PCC I represent the people of Suffolk so it is important I hear their views.” Chief Constable, Rachel Kearton said, “At a time when demands on policing are growing ever more rapidly it is essential that the Constabulary is properly resourced and equipped to deliver a high-quality service and ensure Suffolk continues to be a safe place in which to live, work, travel and invest. “As the population of Suffolk grows, develops and diversifies this proposed additional funding will go a long way in enabling us to ensure the Constabulary continues to provide a good policing service to all Suffolk’s communities.” The PCC will present his final proposal to the Police and Crime Panel on Friday 26th January 2024 for approval. The papers for this meeting will be published five clear working days before on Suffolk County Council’s website, www.suffolk.gov.uk. Anyone not able to take part in the electronic survey can write to the PCC at The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Suffolk Police HQ, Portal Avenue, Martlesham Heath IP5 3QS. Please answer the question: Do you agree with my proposal to increase the policing element of the council tax for 2024/25 by 25p a week (based on a Band D property)? with a clear YES or NO and include any comment you wish to make. The written response needs to be in the office by 5pm on Wednesday 24th January 2024. What this would mean to households across all of the Council Tax Rate Bands in 2024-25. More financial information is available in the recently published Medium Term Financial Plan 2024-25 to 2027-28.