Plans to hike up policing element of Band D council tax in Hertfordshire by £13

Plans to increase policing element of Band D council tax by £13 v.1
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has drawn-up plans to hike up the policing portion of the council tax by the maximum allowed.

That means Hertfordshire residents living in a Band D property would see an increase of £13 – from £238 this financial year to £251 in 24/25.

The £13 increase – equivalent to 5.5 per cent – is the maximum allowed without the PCC having to hold a referendum.

Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd.Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd.
Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd.

And, for those living in the most expensive Band H properties, it would mean an increase of £26 a year – taking the policing element of the council tax to £502.

The plans have been published in a report to be considered by a meeting of the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel next week.

In the report, PCC David Lloyd says it is thanks to investment in previous years that Hertfordshire ‘remains one of the safest places to live and work in England and Wales’ – with the fifth lowest level of recorded crime.

And he points to record numbers of police officers – suggesting that the 2,395 ‘latest headcount’ is over 400 more than 10 years ago.

In making the case for the increase, he highlights community safety projects – including road safety programmes, re-offending reduction services, youth diversion schemes and drug and alcohol services – funded by the office of the PCC.

And he points to the Beacon Fraud Hub, he says has ‘been instrumental in recovering over £4million of stolen money for victims’.

He acknowledges the financial pressures being faced by residents – but says the same pressures are impacting on the cost of policing too.

He said: “My commitment has always been that I won’t ask residents of Hertfordshire to pay any more for policing than is necessary and currently the county has the fifth lowest policing precept in England and Wales.

“I am aware that many residents are facing difficult financial situations, due to the increases in the cost of living, and policing is not immune from these pressures either – with wage and energy increases meaning that total standstill costs for the next financial year are estimated to rise by more than £21million.”

In his introduction to the report, Mr Lloyd also suggests he and the chief constable have achieved ‘significant savings’ by collaborating with neighbouring forces.

And he says an efficiency and effectiveness review has identified further savings to ‘contribute towards bridging the budget gap’ – without reducing the number of front-line officers.

Overall, just over half of the Hertfordshire’s policing funding – 56 per cent – comes from central government.

And the remaining 44 per cent comes from the policing precept part of the council tax.

The £13 increase is equivalent to an extra 25p a week – and, according to the report, will boost constabulary funding in Hertfordshire by £6.1million.

As part of the budget-setting process, Mr Lloyd conducted an online survey between December 20 and January 14.

Of those who expressed a view on the proposed increase, 64 per cent agreed, 30 per cent disagreed and six per cent remained neutral.

The Police and Crime Panel will review the PCC’s proposals at a meeting on February 8, where they will be asked to endorse the plan.