Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has today confirmed a 6.99% rise in Gwent’s precept, after it was agreed by the Gwent Police and Crime Panel.
This means that, from April 2019, the average Gwent household will now pay £1.39 extra per month for its policing service (based on a typical band D property).
Commenting on the increase, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert said “I want to reassure residents that the decision to increase the precept this year is not one I have taken lightly.
“I acknowledge that any increase in expenditure could be challenging for some of our residents; however, this is the right decision to ensure the safety of our communities.
“This decision follows not just a robust financial case, but also a nine week public engagement exercise, ensuring that everyone in Gwent had an opportunity to express their opinions.
“The amount of respondents endorsing an increase demonstrates to me that the public of Gwent understand the increased demand being placed on their police service, a demand which is only intensified by continued cuts from UK Government.
“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views, along with the Gwent Police and Crime Panel for their continued scrutiny and support. I would like to acknowledge the difficult decision that the panel members had to make in balancing the needs of policing with affordability for residents.
“I will now discuss in depth with the Chief Constable future plans to improve performance, effectiveness and look at the financial implications of significant future challenges such as the potential M4 relief road.”
The increase in precept will increase the amount of neighbourhood police officers and those in the public protection teams, which will serve all parts of Gwent.
The setting of the police budget and determining of the precept is a key statutory duty for PCCs. Ensuring effective service delivery is also one of the five policing priorities set out within Mr Cuthbert’s Police and Crime Plan for Gwent.
Welcoming today’s decision, Chief Constable Julian Williams said: “The Police Service is facing increasing demand and complexity. We understand an increase in council tax is a challenge for local people but please be reassured that during this time we will use the money efficiently and effectively to protect and reassure our communities.
“During this time we will continue to invest in dealing with complex crimes and this funding will allow us to continue to increase our levels of police officers which has increased by 235 over the last 18 months.”
The full precept report is available to view on the Gwent Police and Crime Panel website www.gwentpcp.org.uk
For further information about the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent visit www.gwent.pcc.police.uk