Region 'supports' 4% council tax rise to help fight crime, says police boss' survey

A police boss is proposing a council tax rise of nearly 4% to recruit 125 more bobbies and commit £1 million to tackle crime in Shropshire and the wider region.

Police and crime commissioner John Campion
Police and crime commissioner John Campion

Salopians and people in other West Mercia areas support the proposed tax rise, according to a survey ordered by the region's police and crime commissioner John Campion.

In his budget proposals, Mr Campion is proposing the rise so further investment can be made in additional police officers to combat the concerns around accessibility and visibility of policing in local communities. He said 15 officers will join existing safer neighbourhood teams.

It comes after Mr Campion sought views from residents last month on his budget for 2022/23. Over 1,400 people responded to the consultation that highlighted anti-social behaviour, accessibility and visibility of West Mercia Police and road safety as the top concerns.

According to the PCC's office, respondents of the consultation also supported an increase in council tax, if it was used to deliver a better service for communities. The survey found 69% supported an increase, with 52% supporting an increase of £8-10 per year. The PCC is proposing an increase of 3.94%, which equates to £9.47 per year or 79p per month (based on Band D household).

Mr Campion said: “I am dedicated to delivering the best service and have heard loud and clear from the communities of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Herefordshire and Worcestershire about where their concerns lie. I have, as I promised, taken these views to shape this budget proposal. I understand people want a police force they can access and rely on, which is why 125 additional police officers will ensure the benefit is felt in communities across West Mercia.

“In my commitment to making the most of the investment, I am allocating £1 million into preventing crime, and I will ensure that every pound that goes into policing counts. I will work hard to guarantee the force delivers a service that keeps you safe, tackles and works to prevent crime and understands the community’s priorities.”

The draft 2022/23 budget report is available to view at westmercia-pcc.gov.uk/key-information/publications/ as part of the second public consultation. To have your say on the consultation before 9am on Monday, January 24, visit survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90418037/Precept-consultation-22-23

There is also the opportunity to submit questions regarding local policing and the budget through a Q&A session with the PCC and Chief Constable on Wednesday, January 12 at 6pm via Facebook.

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