Council tax cap forces police rethink

By Richard Wright

Friday, February 14, 2014

 

A GOVERNMENT cap on how much police forces can raise their part of the council tax bill, has forced a rethink by Isle of Wight and Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes.

As reported, Mr Hayes had hoped to increase the police precept by 3% in the coming year — a plan backed by the police federation — in the light of huge funding cuts from government.

The government however has capped rises to 2%, with any rise over that requiring a costly public referendum.

To avoid that process, Mr Hayes has said the police precept will rise by just 1.99% and and he will use cash reserves to make up a near £1 million budget shortfall.

He said the cap had been imposed despite overwhelming support from the public and the police and crime panel for a 3% precept increase.

It follows unprecedented cuts to policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, with £80 million cuts being pushed through in the seven years from 2010 to 2017 as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The latest funding cut led to the force announcing 535 job losses and new ways of working to save money.

Commissioner Hayes said: "It is hugely disappointing that the government has made the decision to cap increases at such a low level, in particular given the clear support from the local population for a 3% increase.

"Using reserves put aside through careful budgeting is not my preferred option. It only offers short-term relief for one year, whereas funds generated through a precept increase are generated for years to come.

"The extent of the cuts and the imposed cap this year will mean that we may need to look at further precept adjustments in the coming years.

"I will be monitoring the delivery of the changes as well as the budget carefully to ensure a continued quality policing service for all residents of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight."

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by carl palmer

17th February 2014, at 13:15:54

If all these sandwich fillings didn’t object to a bridge or tunnel then we could share police and other services easier, Kevin, “As these officers are part of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Police and frequently moved between the two counties” they would save time and money if they could just drive to and fro

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by David Blackford

16th February 2014, at 07:59:38

Your argument is OK Peter - but if we had that bridge we could quickly call in reinforcements in an emergency - but the Hover only takes 10 minutes - so ?????

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by Peter Jeffery

15th February 2014, at 20:22:56

Kev

How refreshing someone else on this site uses their real name !

Paul

"my friends in the Met and City of London"

I never had an issue with City Plod but the Met have always thought they were superior to the provinces. Hampshire had always had a very high reputation amongst forces and I am confident they haven't slipped that far back since I retired 10 years ago.

Policing the IOW has unique challenges. How many officers ? Enough for the Summer, but not too many for the winter. The 'quiet' winter includes, Stag and Hen nights, Halloween, Bonfire parties, Christmas and new year celebrations and parties.

Yes, as an officer on the IOW, in the winter, you may not be as busy, but if something major happens, i.e. Prison break, Rave, Pub fight, major road accident, flood or storm, murder,

Then you are on your own, ( allow a couple of hours for North Island assistance )

By the way, 'targetting motorists' compared to the North Island, we are amateurs !

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by Kevin Gard

15th February 2014, at 15:32:51

An interesting concept that officers from Metpol and City of London Police should be such experts on Island Police Officers.
Two points
As these officers are part of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Police and frequently moved between the two counties I can only assume that their view is of all Hampshire and Isle of Wight officers.
Secondly with all the recent developments surrounding Plebgate one wonders why the views of Metpol officers should be so relevant.......

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by Colin Russell

15th February 2014, at 15:30:11

Go on Mr Hayes, go for 3% and the referendum to the people of the Island, then i think you wil get a good idea of what the feeling is here on the Island.

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by Paul Clipstone

15th February 2014, at 11:36:23

Speaking to my friends in The Met and London City Police the perception of The Isle Of Wight police is there failed mainland bobbies. Unfortunately the reputation that the Island police force has amongst their mainland colleagues is very low, incompetent is a word they use. The only thing they excel at is targeting the motorist and wasting time on stupid non crime related issues. Can't see why they should have any increase in budget at all. On a final note, why do the Island force need the big powerful cars they have to fund with the roads like they are on the Island.

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by Valerie Ching

15th February 2014, at 09:33:37

I yearn for the day (crying for the moon I fear) when public figures like Mr Hayes drop the management speak. Then maybe precept "adjustments" would read "rises year on year". And what is a "quality policing service" I wonder. Surely If quality is unqualified, any standard is implied and achieved instantly. I can have fun wrapping words up around themselves too, you see!

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by tony white

15th February 2014, at 08:47:54

I agree with other posters, i heard no one agreeing or supporting the proposed rise in tax and most people i have spoken to feel it should be reduced as we do not seem to have any law enforcement on the island, getting rid of the utterly pointless position of police comissioner and his expensive office would put more money into available policing

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by Paul Cox

14th February 2014, at 17:10:08

What planet is this Mr Hayes on? He claims there was "overwhelming public support" for increased payments for the police - utter garbage ! There was not a single voice in support of increased payments for the police that I saw, just the opposite, most people were dead set against it. And I think he has a cheek to ask us to pay more when he apparently has "cash reserves". Use your own budget Mr Hayes before ripping us off for a third rate service from your useless police force.

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by C Ryan-Sammon

14th February 2014, at 16:57:19

Id say the lunatics are running the asylum and the world.
Time to Wake Up and Stand Up Together.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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