Have your say on police funding in Gwent
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, is asking residents for their views on police funding for the next financial year.
Almost 50 per cent of Gwent Police’s overall budget now comes from local council taxpayers and the Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for setting the amount that residents pay towards policing each month.
To make this decision, he must take into account the amount of money that the Chief Constable says Gwent Police needs to operate an efficient and effective service, and balance it with affordability for local council tax payers.
Jeff Cuthbert said: “I know that times are hard for many people, especially those whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this pandemic has also shown just how incredibly important policing is to protect and reassure our communities.
“The future financial position for policing remains challenging. Gwent Police has had significant cuts in government funding since 2010. It has had to make almost £50million in savings and must save a further £5million by 2024. During this time, the demands on policing have continued, and will continue, to grow.
“Our medium term financial planning tells us that a rise in the council tax precept of up to £2 a month for the average band D property would allow Gwent Police to maintain services at current levels for the next year.
“This is an incredibly difficult decision to have to make, especially in the middle of a pandemic, but it is one that I cannot shy away from. Listening to the people of Gwent is incredibly important to me and, before I make any decision on the police budget for 2021/22, I want to hear your views. Please take the time to complete the survey and have your say.”
An increase of up to £2 a month (based on a band D property) would allow Gwent Police to maintain current police officer levels of 1,323, and also maintain previous investment in priority areas such as neighbourhood policing, child protection, hate crime, domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, and serious and organised crime.
It will also support the UK Government’s investment through Operation Uplift, which will see an additional 160 officers join Gwent Police by the end of 2022.