Have your say on police funding in Gwent

As Police and Crime Commissioner it is my duty to set the annual council tax precept, which is the money residents pay towards policing each month. Almost 50 per cent of Gwent Police’s overall budget now comes from local council taxpayers.

To make this decision, I must take into account:

• The amount of money that the Chief Constable says Gwent Police need to operate an efficient and effective service;
• The final financial settlement from the UK Government for the year; and
• The affordability for local residents.

This is always a difficult decision to make and it is not one I take lightly. Listening to the people of Gwent is incredibly important to me and before I make any decisions on Gwent Police’s budget for 2022/23 I want to hear your views.

Please take some time to read the information below, complete the survey and have your say.



Background

The future financial position for policing remains challenging.

Despite recent investment from the UK Government in extra officers and equipment, Gwent Police has had significant cuts in Government funding since 2010. It has had to make almost £50 million in savings and must save a further £5 million by 2024.

During this time the daily demands on policing have continued, and will continue, to grow.

Gwent Police’s total budget for 2021 – 2022 is £163.63m. Almost three quarters of the annual budget pays for 1,424 police officers, 142 police community support officers, and 804 police staff. This graph illustrates how the policing budget will be spent this year.


Our medium-term financial plan tells us that a rise in the council tax precept of up to £2 a month for an average band D property is needed for Gwent Police to maintain current service levels for the 2022/23 financial year.

This would allow Gwent Police to continue with its current police officer and police staff levels and maintain previous investment in priority areas such as neighbourhood policing, child protection, hate crime, domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, serious and organised crime, and victim support.

It will also allow Gwent Police to create an additional 10 police community support officer posts to work in our communities. This is part of an ongoing plan to invest in PCSOs, growing numbers from 142 to 175 over the next three years.

I know that times continue to be hard for many people, especially those whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic has also shown just how incredibly important policing is to protect our communities.

Please take some time to complete this short survey and have your say before Sunday 9 January.



Other formats of the survey are available on request from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office by emailing commissioner@gwent.pnn.police.uk or calling 01633 642200.