Chief constable makes operational case for council tax increase
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Chief constable joins two-thirds of the public in supporting a £15 increase
Anything other than a £15 increase flies in the face of the operational evidence
Six out of ten households will pay less than £15 as they are in lower tax bands
Following the completion of extensive public consultation involving more than 8,000 residents, chief constable Olivia Pinkney will outline the operational case for continued local investment into policing. For the first time, this will be included in papers submitted by the Police and Crime Commissioner to Hampshire’s Police and Crime Panel.
Chief constable Olivia Pinkney said:
“I do not make this operational case lightly and I am fully conscious that many people and businesses face economic difficulties. The simple truth is despite Hampshire’s officers being rated as some of the most productive in the whole country I am not currently in a positon to be able to investigate as many crimes as I would want to as your chief constable.
“This will help to move us to a position where we have the opportunity to take the fight more and more to those criminals who blight our community. Anything other than a £15 per year increase flies in the face of the operational evidence of what we need to deliver safer communities.”
On news that support from the public extends to every district of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, chief constable Olivia Pinkney added:
“I am delighted that the operational policing view chimes with the public, whose collective voice has been heard loud and clear. I cannot thank people enough for their continued support at time when my officers and staff are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe.”
Benefits in the chief constable’s operational plans include:
An additional 146 police officers. These are all new officers in 2021/22 rather than replacements for those who have left (note: as well as the 146 new officers in Hampshire there are also seven new officers for the Regional Organised Crime Unit taking the total in the budget report to 153). Local council tax investment allows us to properly train and equip all of them as well as fast tracking 50 additional officers that would otherwise arrive in the following year.
The capability to arrest an extra 300 of the most dangerous organised criminals who run county lines drug crime in our towns and cities. Sixteen additional officers (on top of national increases) will disrupt more than 150 county lines (drug networks), and to protect 140 more young people.
Potential to investigate 26,000 more crimes. We have to be very careful of projections, as COVID-19 has created new dynamics and it depends which kind of crimes are being investigated (for example the painstaking investigation of crimes such as 2,500 rapes reported per year) but this budget unlocks the potential to investigate 26,000 more crimes per year.
Reducing 1,000 crimes a year, through new prevention work. The work we are already doing diverts young people from crime and protects vulnerable people. This budget enables us to prevent 1,000 crimes a year in this way. That is 1,000 fewer victims of crime. It will also free us up to investigate other crimes that we know are important to our communities.
Safeguarding an additional 12,000 vulnerable people. The first COVID-19 national lockdown led to a 50% increase in referrals including children at risk in Hampshire, a pattern that, sadly, shows every sign of continuing. This budget enables us to rise to that, safeguard vulnerable people, and protect 240 more high-risk children through our work with partner organisations.
A further focus on reducing sickness to keeping staff and officers at work serving the public. Our wellbeing programme cut sickness by 6,000 days across police officers and staff last year. That is the equivalent of 30 extra full time officers and staff serving our communities every day. At a time when health has never been more in the spotlight, we need to do more of this vital work.
Better justice for victims and holding more criminals to account. Policing relies on the whole criminal justice system, and COVID-19 has had a huge impact in terms of delays and pressure on that system. This budget will enable us to meet required standards on an additional backlog of 200 Crown Court trials and 2,500 Magistrate Court cases that are in the system.
In the summary to her operational case, chief constable Olivia Pinkney concludes: “Above all, we have an opportunity to invest in safer communities. By doing this we will create new opportunities for the people who live in those communities. That is why I have asked, for the first time, that my operational support for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s position is included in this budget paper and sits as a matter of public record.”
Overview of public consultation carried out by the Police and Crime Commissioner
1% of participants support a £15 increase.
Support ranges from 73.26% in Hart, to 62.07% in Rushmoor. Support from residents in Portsmouth was 71.48%, with the Isle of Wight 63.96%, and Southampton 67.09%. A full breakdown by district is included below:
Participant support/oppose an increase of £15 per year (29p per week) by district