An precept rise that amounts to people paying 1p a day more for police has been agreed, so long as the extra cash is used to pay for more officers.
The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel has supported the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposal to increase the policing precept by 3.8 per cent on the guarantee that the extra funds will be used to put more police officers on the streets.
Chair of the Police and Crime Panel, Peter Box said: “As a panel, our priority was ensuring that the people of West Yorkshire would directly benefit from the extra £5 Band D taxpayers will be paying a year for policing.
“After a lengthy discussion with the Commissioner we felt confident that the public will benefit from their investment and that front line policing will be strengthened in each of the districts.”
He added the panel agreed the Commissioner’s proposed precept on the grounds that over the next 12 months he will look to reduce the overall cost of his office so it faces the same level of reductions as the force and identify further efficiency savings through joint service provision with local authorities, criminal justice agencies and other police forces in the region.
He must also guarantee savings will be sought wherever possible through the re-organisation of back office functions and not through cuts to front line policing and initiate the recruitment of the additional 44 police officers immediately.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I am really pleased the panel supported my proposal to increase the police precept to recruit 44 police officers.
“My priority is frontline policing across West Yorkshire to ensure communities feel safer and, although a difficult decision, the panel has given their support for this.
“Although I had the option of accepting a grant from the Government to freeze the precept for a year I chose not to do that as I would have had to make up the shortfall next year.
“The increase of 3.8 per cent means that most householders in West Yorkshire will pay a penny a day more for policing in their council tax.
“My decision was informed by feedback from my ‘Listening to You First survey’ where a majority told me that visible policing was important and they would be prepared to pay more for frontline policing.
“I have assured the panel that the money raised will be spent on frontline policing and spread as evenly as possible across West Yorkshire.”