Council tax rise proposed to pay for the cost of policing in South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire residents will be asked to pay an extra two per cent towards the cost of policing in the county through their council tax bills.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings is proposing an increase of two per cent of the money allocated to the South Yorkshire force in next year’s council tax bills.
This is dependent on the final results of public consultations and winning approval from the Police and Crime Panel, a body made up largely of South Yorkshire councillors.
Speaking at a meeting of his Public Accountability Board, Dr Billings said: “I think we have seen an end to the argument there is no relationship between police officer numbers and crime, which has dogged the last ten years.“By the end of 2018 it was obvious to everyone there is a relationship between the number of officers you can put on the streets and crime. I think we can expect a continued commitment to increase police officer numbers.“The argument yet to be won, in my view, is that the burden of paying for public services has to be met principally by central Government and they cannot keep shifting the burden to the localities.”
His spending plans were announced at the meeting, and include extra money from the Government to finance the first of 487 expected from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promised 20,000 new officers nationally.
The increase in financial terms adds £3.88 a year to a home in property band D.
However, in South Yorkshire more than half of all properties are in band A, where the increase will be £2.59 a year, taking the total annual contribution towards policing up to £132.03.
Dr Billings said South Yorkshire’s communities had become poorer in the austerity years, with residents unable to shoulder the burden of increased taxes. He previously said that he wanted this year’s settlement to be close to the inflation rate after last year’s larger increase, which was used to finance additional officers following years of cuts.
That decision was made before the Prime Minister’s promise of 20,000 additional officers nationally.