North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has put forward her proposals on the amount residents will pay for policing and fire and rescue services in the year from April 2019 – known as the precept.
The increase, which Julia Mulligan calls a ‘difficult decision’, will mean extra money for North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
It will now go to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel for their approval on Tuesday.
If agreed by the Panel, the additional money for the police will be used by the Chief Constable to boost local, visible policing – increasing the number of police officers by at least 50, plus approximately 20 PCSOs and new Public Safety Officers.
These new recruits would be in addition to the already announced plans to increase officer numbers by 81, taking the total number of officers across North Yorkshire and York to 1,450 with 220 PCSOs.
For the fire and rescue service, Interim Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie will work with the Commissioner to use the money to support the serious financial challenges faced with the focus, again, on the frontline.
The proposal would see:
An increase of an average of 46p per week (£23.95 per year or 10.3 per cent) to the police precept.
An increase of an average of 4p per week (£2.07 per year or 2.99%) for the fire and rescue service precept.
The decision follows a consultation with over 2,500 residents across York and North Yorkshire.
While there was no clear majority for any proposal, two-thirds said they were prepared to pay more for local policing and fire and rescue services.
The feedback from this survey, combined with the results of recent consultations on neighbourhood policing and looked at alongside detailed assessment of the financial and budgetary information, has led to the Commissioner’s proposal.
Julia Mulligan said: “This has been the most difficult precept decision yet.
“I know that no-one likes paying more money and many families and individuals are facing financial challenges, but it is clear that the majority of the public want to support their local police and fire services.
“I was elected on a commitment to ensuring everyone is as safe as possible, and feels as safe as possible, and I believe that is only possible with these increases.
“From talking to people, listening to their views and analysing the results of the precept survey, the overwhelming view is that if people are to pay more, they expect more.
“I completely agree.
“That is why I have worked closely with the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police to ensure that the money raised would be ring-fenced for improvements in local, visible community policing.
“North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service will continue to face significant financial challenges despite the fire precept increase and I call on the government, once more, to recognise the need for investment in our critical emergency services.
“Everyone who works for North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to delivering the best service they can for members of the public.
“They deserve our support and, with government still not fairly recognising the challenges we face here, this is the only way of achieving that.”