There is to be no increase in the policing share of the council tax bill for the fourth year running, Herts’ police and crime commissioner has announced.
An open letter by crime czar David Lloyd in November indicated the then three-year freeze on the police precept would be coming to an end, with a potential increase of 3.4 per cent on the cards.
But he has now revealed his intention to keep the precept at the same level for 2014. He said: “I was reluctantly considering an increase in the policing element of council tax this year and potentially next, but was ever mindful of the need to minimise the burden on hardworking families and residents.
“Now, due to careful financial planning and a better than expected overall settlement from central government, I am pleased to confirm my intention to freeze policing taxes for the fourth year running. In doing so, I am confident that the future of Hertfordshire’s local policing model can be safeguarded.”
Mr Lloyd also explained his commitment to funding vital partnership work with local authorities across the county, as well as his “relentless” search for savings which can be made to best protect front line policing in Herts.
He added: “As I said in my open letter, some tough decisions need to be made which will impact on the back office. Efficiency will be found by collaborating with neighbouring forces.
“I will also boost work with councils and other local services as well as looking at outsourcing, where this makes business sense. In parallel, I will invest in mobile technology which helps frontline officers stay out on patrol and ‘virtual’ courts and case-tracking tools to improve speed and accessibility.”
The commissioner’s budget proposals are to be considered by the police and crime panel at a meeting next Thursday, January 23.