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Wednesday August 5th 2020

Have your say on Police funding in Surrey

Time is running out to have your say on whether you would be prepared to pay a little extra in council tax to strengthen the policing service in Surrey.

The Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro is asking the public to fill in a brief online survey which gives two options for the policing element of council tax that Surrey residents will pay in 2020/21 – known as the precept. The PCC wants to hear whether you would support a 3.83% rise for the next year which would allow further investment in more officers and staff or a 2% inflationary increase which would allow Surrey Police to maintain a steady course.

The survey closes at midday on Thursday 6 February and can be found here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/LX7UC/ .

A 3.83% rise would equate to around a £10 a year rise for an average Band D property while 2% would mean an extra £5 on a Band D annual bill. To read more about the PCC’s proposal and the reasons for it – click here: https://www.surrey-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/council-tax-consultation-2020-21/.

It was announced in October that Surrey will receive central funding for an extra 78 police officers over the coming year as part of the government’s programme to increase police officer numbers nationally by 20,000. When the survey was launched on January 8th, the PCC’s original option was for a 5% increase as he was still awaiting the government’s settlement announcement which was delayed due to the general election. That settlement was announced on January 22nd stating that PCCs may ask for a maximum increase of £10 per year on an average Band D property which equates to a 3.83% rise across all council tax bands. The survey has been updated to reflect that announcement and whilst it is slightly less than the PCC’s original proposal – this figure will still allow Surrey Police to further invest in more officers and staff as previously stated.

PCC David Munro said: “I believe Surrey Police has a bright future ahead of them with more officers being put back into our communities which I know our residents want to see. “A 3.83% rise in this year’s council tax precept would allow the Force to boost their numbers beyond the 78 officers promised by government which would be even better news for the county. “But I want as many residents as possible to let me know what they think before the survey closes on Thursday afternoon and I put my final budget proposal to the Police and Crime Panel on Friday. “We have had a good response already and I want to thank all those who have taken part so far. If you haven’t had time to complete it yet – it only takes a couple of minutes to fill it in and will really help me make my decision on this year’s precept.”