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Policing strategy: Quis custodiet custodies?

  • Keith
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2 years 2 months ago #88 by Keith
I gather that Police Commissioner Hurley has now written to councillors abandoning the proposal for a large increase on the Police Council Tax precept, which would have meant a referendum in Surrey. Instead there will a 1.99% increase. Surrey County Council announced earlier in the week that the recommendation will also be for a 1.99% increase on their part of the bill. That's 0.01% under the threshold that would trigger a referendum, if I recall correctly.

Elmbridge, whose Conservative Administration hiked the Borough element of Council Tax in the year when there was no Borough election, is thought likely to maintain a freeze on it in this year, when they face elections along with the national election. If so, we can expect an overall increase of about 1,74% in our Council Tax bills for the coming year - over three times the current rate of inflation (CPI).
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2 years 3 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #47 by Keith


A YouGov survey of Surrey commissioned by Police Commissioner Hurley reports that two thirds of Surrey households would not pay an extra £1 a week to avoid police cuts. See www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-30732832

At the last RA Open Meeting Hurley's deputy, Jeff Harris, made a presentation complete with glossy brochure and free customised pens for each member of the audience, with the bull points for the Commissioner's policies. Inter alia, the crime rate has been reducing significantly (from already low levels in the county as a whole and in this area). Nevertheless Harris argued that a special council tax increase of £52 per year (presented as a pound a week) was necessary to raise more money for the police. A survey was passed round asking the audience whether they would support that. The results have not, as far as I am aware, been made public - the YouGov survey is separate.

The policies of PCC Hurley and his deputy, both former senior officers of the Metropolitan Police, emphasise zero tolerance, victim support, getting rid of PCSOs in order to help fund recruitment of a smaller number of full PCs (which from anecdotal evidence in the county has demoralised some PCSOs and neighbourhood teams), and establishing local policing boards (how these are to be different from neighbourhood teams, and whether the current neighbourhood consultation process which has worked well here is to be dismantled, is not clear).

The PCC and his deputy emphasise that they are representing the public and mention consultation. But apart from the election itself (a turnout of around 15% IIRC) and this survey on police funding I am not aware that any formal consultation has taken place to test support for the changes they are putting in place. In my view the changes are to the detriment of the neighbourhood policing teams which in this area have been a success, resulting in a greater, more accessible and locally-responsive policing presence in the community and a more appropriate use of resources for the lower-level functions of crime prevention and education as well as the pettier forms of crime that make up the bulk of local statistics.

It will be interesting to see whether despite the words on consultation and the clear result of the YouGov poll on the suggested CT increase, will be pushed further, which according to the BBC would require a referendum (expensive) .

The BBC quotes a Home Office spokesman:
"There is no question that the police will still have the resources they need to do their important work.

"Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary recently found that forces can successfully manage to balance their books while protecting the frontline and delivering reductions in crime.

"Surrey Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending, and on track to make the financial savings required to meet the spending review."


What do others think?
Last Edit: 2 years 3 months ago by Keith.