Would you be willing to pay a higher council tax bill in return for better policing?
That’s the question the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner is putting to households in a survey which opened this week.
The Commissioner, David Munro, is promising to take your views into account when he recommends the level of increase in the police precept from April.
He’s proposing either a 2% rise, which he says will maintain service levels as they are, or a 5% rise to deliver improvements, which would include more officers and staff.
Mr Munro says the 2% rise will cost Band D council tax payers an extra £5 a year, and the 5% rise will add £13. The police precept forms a part of every household’s council tax bill.
In a similar consultation last year, around three quarters of respondents supported a 10% rise in the precept. To have your say on the matter and find out more, visit the website for the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner. Responses must be received by February 6th.
The choices were laid out at a Surrey Police open evening in Dorking on Thursday. The Police and Crime Commissioner said that whatever the size of the budget increase, Surrey would be getting 78 extra officers in the coming year.
That represents the force’s initial share of the 20,000 extra officers the government has promised nationally over the next 3 years.
Surrey’s Chief Constable Gavin Stephens told the meeting that for the first time in 10 years his force was recruiting heavily.
“I’m very confident that in the course of next year you will notice that in your communities,” he said.