Commissioner prepares for more officers with budget consultation
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has welcomed another boost in officer numbers as he looks to keep the council tax precept rise as low as possible.

Frontline officer numbers in the county are already at their highest since 2011 and set to increase further next year.

The recruitment of the extra 75 officers Mr Lloyd promised is on course and is set to be boosted by an additional 91 officers from the first part of the government’s uplift of 20,000 nationally.

Now Mr Lloyd wants to hear the public views on his proposal to raise council tax for the forthcoming financial year to help pay for the larger force.

Mr Lloyd said: “One of my most important responsibilities as your Police and Crime Commissioner is setting the police budget for the year ahead. My priority is maintaining an effective force that keeps people safe, while ensuring an efficient use of tax-payers money.
“It is paramount to continue to protect frontline police officer numbers, and that the Chief Constable has sufficient resources to tackle crime and prevent people becoming victims.

“A delay caused by the General Election means that at this stage I am not able to give you the usual full information on my proposed budget, but I am giving you as much as I can.

“My plan is to raise the precept by enough to avoid cuts when we are working to expand the force. I expect I will be able to do this whilst remaining within the referendum limits set by the government.

“Hertfordshire is getting a significantly larger police force and the costs of running it will go up proportionately. There are also the standstill pressures, including inflation and statutory pay rises that need to be budgeted for.

“When we get the final figures from the Government I will give more details on my proposals. In the meantime I want to hear your views and comments to help me determine whether this is the right strategy for Hertfordshire.”

Every year the Commissioner has a duty to consult with the public about his budget plans for the Constabulary. But due to the General Election the amount of money being given to the Constabulary from central funding and the rules over how much the precept can be increased, have not yet been announced.

Full details can be viewed in his open letter to Hertfordshire at www.hertscommissioner.org

If you would like to give comments, please send them to your.views@herts.pcc.pnn.gov.uk or by completing this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PCCprecept2020. You can also send a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ by midnight on Thursday 9th January 2020.


BACKGROUND:
Running Hertfordshire Constabulary costs just over £200m a year, with almost 60 per cent of this coming from Central Government funding, and the remainder being raised by the Policing Precept part of your Council Tax bill.
Earlier this year Mr Lloyd increased the precept by £2-a-month for the average (Band D) property, to pay for an extra 75 frontline police officers. In the summer officer numbers went over 2,000 for the first time since 2011.
Hertfordshire residents pay the fourth lowest Council Tax Precept out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (2019) 83.9 per cent of residents think Hertfordshire police are doing “a good or excellent job” and the recent formal inspection rated the force as “good” in all areas.