£8.5m extra for Police?

Devon and Cornwall Police are to receive "£8.5m extra funding" next year, but the Government isn't actually providing an extra penny!

The Government has finally acknowledged that the Police need more money, but Council Tax payers will foot the bill

PCSO Jamie Ward.jpg

Our neighbourhood police team has been cut from 12 officers to just 2!

But the government is not providing any extra money.

£8.5m extra funding?:

The annual Home Office grant to D&C Police was £179m in 2017. The government had previously announced that this would be cut to £177m in 2018. This cut has now been cancelled, so D&C will get exactly the same amount from the Home Office as it did this year. This has been announced as a “£2m funding increase”!

£1.5m extra will be raised through council tax simply because there are more houses in Devon and Cornwall than there were last year. This has been announced as a “£1.5m funding increase”.

The Police and Crime Commissioner can usually increase the Council Tax Precept by 2% per year, but for 2018 will be allowed to charge a 6.81% increase. This will cost Council Tax payers an average of £12 per household, but has been announced as a “£5m funding increase”.

The Government recently announced that it would be awarding a pay rise, which is good news for our hard-working Police officers. Unfortunately, the Home Office haven’t provided any extra funding to cover this extra cost. This will cost Devon and Cornwall Police £2.5m

Putting the burden of these costs onto Council Tax rather than paying from central government is unfair in three ways:

1)      Council tax is not based on ability to pay. A household with two working adults will pay the same amount as the single pensioner who lives next door. Central Government funding comes from more progressive sources such as income tax, corporation tax and inheritance tax.

2)      Increasing funding for the Police by an average of £12 per household across the country means that urban Police Forces (with lots of houses) get a much bigger funding boost, whilst Devon and Cornwall (which covers a bigger area than most Police Forces) gets far less.

3)      Adding extra charges onto Council Tax bills whilst freezing or cutting the contribution from Central Government means that taxpayers see their bills increasing whilst the council actually has less money to spend. Paying more and getting less undermines public confidence in local councils at a time when we all need to be pulling together.