Extra £26m for Hampshire police - if council taxpayers agree to £10-a-year rise

TAXPAYERS could foot the bill for a hike in police funding in their council tax of up to £10 a year.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 26th January 2020, 4:50 pm

Home secretary Priti Patel revealed Hampshire police will receive a £26.1m increase in funding overall.

But this is not all government cash – around £12m of that increase would be raised directly from taxpayers in Hampshire through a possible £10-a-year increase in the policing precept on the council tax bill, which would raise £155m from residents in total.

Police funding is broadly split into two sources, grants from the Home Office and through council tax.

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Michael Lane, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire. Picture: Sarah Standing (050319-2248)

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Now crime commissioner Michael Lane is asking residents if they would be willing to see the police precept of council tax increased by £10 a year for a band D property.

He said: ‘It is really good news to have the government’s announcement of the 2020/21 police settlement figures approved.

‘These are essential to the planning to keep our communities safer for the coming year and to ensure I can set an appropriate council tax in time and after consulting the public.’

The 2019/20 funding settlement for Hampshire was £197.32m. For 2020/21 it will be £211.12m - an increase of £13.79m. Around £155m would be raised through the precept.

Crime commissioners can raise the police precept by £10. If it was set higher, then a county-wide referendum would need to be held.

Separate cash has been allocated for the violent crime hubs in Hampshire, and one in Portsmouth.

Mr Lane said: ‘I am also delighted that the settlement includes the anticipated continuance of the extra funding in our area to address serious and violent crime.’

Police bosses are now scrambling to work out what money they might have if the £10 extra is levied, if it is not, or if a different amount is charged.

Hampshire police has been given permission to recruit 156 officers as part of the first allocation of a 20,000 uplift in England and Wales.

Between 2011/12 and 2018/19, Hampshire police saw a £55.6m reduction in its police grant. Inspectors at HMICFRS have said Hampshire is underfunded by £41.6m.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘I am delighted that police funding in Hampshire Constabulary could increase by up to £26.1m next year.

‘It’s vitally important that my constituents feel safe on our streets.’

Take the crime commissioner’s survey on hampshire-pcc.gov.uk