Council tax set to rise to pay for more police on South Yorkshire streets

Council tax payments are set to rise to fund more police officers on the streets of South Yorkshire.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 9:26 am

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, who oversees the funding of South Yorkshire Police, suggested an increase of £15 per year from the residents of Band D properties for the portion of council tax which helps pay for policing and crime services.

His recommendation, which was approved by the police and crime panel – made up of councillors from across South Yorkshire – will see a weekly increase for the policing precept of around 20p for the most common Band A and B properties.

Dr Alan Billings said: “If we are to get on top of crime, have a more visible police force and tackle anti-social behaviour, we need more officers. These proposals will deliver an additional 228. This builds on the extra 194 I was able to support this year.

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Council tax payments are set to rise in South Yorkshire to pay for more police officers on the street

“149 of the new officers are part of the government’s national uplift and 79 are from local resources.”

Dr Billings added: “I recognise that there will be some families who will be in a difficult place financially next year, not least because of the impact of the coronavirus on jobs. But I also know that if we are to get on top of crime we need the additional officers.

“The public also tell me of their expectations around increasing the number of police officers in our neighbourhoods and within specialist departments to tackle and prevent crime.

“Over the next three years South Yorkshire Police will have recruited a total of 487 additional officers as our share of the 20,000 the government wants to see recruited nationally, plus a further 220 wholly from local resources.

“Whilst the Government will be providing some funding towards these officers in the form of the Government grant, Police and Crime Commissioners have been told that we have to contribute towards the cost of these extra officers by raising our council tax precept. Doing so will allow me to increase officer numbers, fight crime, support victims and keep the people of South Yorkshire safe.

“However, in order to balance the books, I will still have to ask the force to make substantial savings and I will have to use some of our reserves.”