A budget which will allow Cheshire Police to continue to deliver a truly local community police service has been approved by police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Keane. It follows a public consultation on policing priorities and funding in which 68 per cent of the 2,282 respondents said they would be willing to support a rise in the policing precept to help Cheshire Police invest in community policing and tackle serious and complex crime. The commissioner has given his approval to the 2021/22 budget which will see increased investment in areas that Cheshire residents said were a priority for them in the consultation. It is proposed that the policing precept – the element of council tax that pays for policing – will rise by £1.25 per month for the average Band D property (over 12 months) to help fund this year’s budget. As well as allowing Cheshire Constabulary to enhance its community policing model, which sees a dedicated PC and PCSO for every area in Cheshire, the budget for 2021/22 will also allow: The recruitment of an additional 88 police officers
Investment to bolster the recording and investigation of crimes, including serious and organized crime
Significant investment to tackle death and serious injuries on our roads, to support plans for further average-speed schemes on Cheshire’s most dangerous roads
Further investment in the Force Control Centre to bolster the service for callers to 999 and 101
Funding for the recently-developed Stalking and domestic Abuse Multi-Agency Team
PCC David Keane said: “I’m confident that this budget will allow us to continue to deliver a truly local police service which protects Cheshire residents and builds on the foundations that we have laid so far. “I thank all those residents who responded to the survey or attended our online events to share their views. “When the government announced its provisional funding settlement for Cheshire late last year, the chief constable advised me that, without a precept increase, Cheshire Police would be unable to maintain its existing level of service and would be unable to meet the additional operational demands and pressures that we face. “In reaching my decision regarding the precept, I have carefully considered the views of the public, any government announcements, and the recommendations made to me by the chief constable. “It is important to note that policing is still recovering from years of cuts and the demands we face continue to grow, both in volume and complexity. With the support of the public, however, we have been able to invest in our front line and I believe this budget will provide the chief constable with the resources needed to make our communities safer.”
The policing priorities consultation also provided Cheshire residents with the opportunity to state their policing priorities. Increased police visibility was the top priority, followed by dealing with serious and organised crime and then dealing with anti-social behaviour. The consultation also asked respondents how safe they feel in their area, using a sliding scale from 1-10 with 10 being very safe and 1 very unsafe. 78 per cent of respondents rated how safe they feel in their area as ‘7’ or above. Chief constable Darren Martland added: “I welcome the budget, which is necessary to develop and enhance our community policing model. “It enables dedicated PCSOs and police officers to continue to work with communities to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and make our roads safer. “The increase will also ensure that Cheshire Constabulary has the resources that are critical to tackle some of the complex challenges of serious and organised crime and provide the necessary technology to investigate online crime and abuse. “We will prioritise the protection of vulnerable people and put victims and witnesses at the heart of everything we do and working with our partners and communities, will make Cheshire even safer.” The Commissioner has written to the Police and Crime Panel to set out the precept increase and his budget ahead of its meeting next week where it will be discussed.
Message Sent By Peter Caldwell (Police, Digital Media Manager, Corporate Communications)