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PCC's budget aims to restore lost officer numbers

PCC Lord Willy Bach’s budget for policing Leicestershire was supported earlier today by the Police and Crime Pane for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, enabling a further increase in the number of police officers.

The PCC presented his budget for 2021-22 to the panel, explaining that his plans reflect his long-standing conviction backed by public opinion, that communities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland want to see more police officers on their streets and in their neighbourhoods.

“My aim has always been to replace those officers lost to austerity and ensure they are supported by the necessary resources.  I believe that this budget will enable the force to bring officer numbers back up to pre-austerity levels,” he said.

He pointed out that when he produced his first budget in 2017, he never expected to be presenting one, virtually, in 2021 due to a pandemic.  “That pandemic has brought pressures, personal risks and over 21,000 incidents onto the police and I would like to acknowledge that,” he added.

The Commissioner’s total net budget requirement for 2021-22 has been set at £212.572m. This equates to an increase of £12.709m (6.4%) from the 2020-21 net budget requirement level of £199.863m.

Willy Bach highlighted to Panel members that the national Uplift Programme alone will not restore officer numbers to pre-austerity levels of around 2,317 FTEs.  He pointed out that thanks to their support in previous years, this budget will deliver a total of 2342 offices by 31 March 2023.  At the highest point in 2011 Leicestershire boasted 2317.

In 2017 eight additional officers were enabled by PCCs first budget; in 2018 he added another 24; over 2019/21 he was able to provide an additional 207 and with today’s budget he has increased the establishment strength by a further 50 in 2021-22, with plans for another 20 in 2022-23 dependent on the funding settlement for the year.

The combined effect of the national and local uplift in full time equivalent (FTE) officer numbers will result in 2,104 by March 2021, rising to 2,242 by March 2022 and 2,342 by March 2023. The estimated cost of the Commissioner’s officer uplift is £2m for 2021-22.

The Commissioner’s planned increase of 50 officers in 2021-22 will further boost neighbourhood policing, the rural and heritage crime team, serious crime investigation, sex offender management, anti-fraud capability, and violent and complex crime investigation and problem solving, including knife crime.

The Panel’s approval of the Commissioner’s proposals for the policing precept means that there will be an increase in the amount of funding raised for policing through the Council Tax. 

This means that a Band D (the average) property will be charged an additional £15.00 per annum (or 6.43%) in line with Home Office proposals to maximise resources for operational policing.  This means that in total a Band D household will pay £248.23 towards policing.

Thanking the Panel for its support, Willy Bach said: “Our communities value police visibility. This budget enables us to retain 200 PCSOs to be deployed locally, as well as fund officers who will be based locally. It puts the force on the beat and on the cyber beat too.  

I’m confident that this budget will help to ensure that local residents receive a police service designed to meet their needs, one which prevents harm and keeps people safe.”

Ends

 

Editor notes:

The second year of the Government’s 20,000 officer uplift programme will deliver 88 additional officers during 2021-22 with another 100 expected during 2022-23.

The Commissioner has also determined that 50 additional officers will be recruited during 2021-22 at a cost of £2m, and a further 20 officers during 2022-23 dependent upon the Funding Settlement announcement for that year. Of these 70 officers, 50 will be funded through the precept longer term and 20 will be subsumed into the third and final year of the Government’s uplift programme for 2022-23 (subject to the conditions set out at paragraph 47 in the full report: police officers).

The locally funded uplift in officers for 2021-22 is further to the Commissioner’s decision to increase officer numbers by 107 in 2019-20 and 100 during 2020-21.

The effect of the overall uplift in full time equivalent (FTE) officer numbers will mean that they rise from 2,104 by March 2021, to 2,242 by March 2022 and 2,342 by March 2023.

The table below depicts the policing precept in the current year and 2021-22 with the 6.43% increase for each property Band.

2020-21
£

Property
Band

2021-22
£

155.48

A

165.48

181.40

B

193.06

207.31

C

220.64

233.23

D

248.23

285.05

E

303.39

336.88

F

358.55

388.71

G

413.71

466.46

H

496.46

 

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Thursday 28th January 2021
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