Residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be asked if they would be prepared to pay around 40p a week more to fund improvements to policing, including 85 more officers.
Currently most households in the region contribute less than £3.20 a week to pay for policing through the council tax precept.
Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is today (Wednesday, January 8) launching a poll to establish whether people would ‘pay more to get more’ for the 2019-20 financial year.
A rise of 41p a week for a band C property (most households in the force area are band C or below) would allow the force to recruit 85 officers by the end of 2020, taking the force strength to 3,100 officers – the highest level since police and crime commissioners were introduced in 2012.
The front line will also be bolstered with the release of 30 experienced officers from back-office functions at police headquarters in Exeter after Alison took the decision not to press ahead with a merger with Dorset Police.
“For about the price of a pasty each week council tax payers in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are providing important funding so the police can help communities keep safe, beat antisocial behaviour, catch criminals and protect the most vulnerable in our society,” she said.
“Last year the public supported my plans for extra investment in our force area and we were able to fast-track officer recruitment, recruit tri-service officers in Cornwall and community responders in Devon. We were able to roll out body-worn video cameras and invest in 38 armed response officers.
“We live in one of the safest parts of the country and I want to keep it that way in the face of rising levels of crime in our area.
“The proposed rise would allow the chief constable to place a police officer in every sector with responsibility for better connecting the police and public, the force would be able to recruit more detectives so more criminals are brought to justice, maintain our investment in roads policing and recruit more response officers so we can get to more incidents, more often and in better time.
“I am also committed to driving productivity in the force.”
Without the increase in funding Devon and Cornwall Police would have to halt recruitment and revisit plans for frontline officer numbers.
A final decision will be made by the Police and Crime Commissioner ahead of the next meeting of the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel on Friday, February 8.
Alison is asking for people to make their views on the precept known by completing a brief survey (click here) or by calling the office on 01392 225555.Create your own user feedback survey