After recent revelations about the ridiculously high relocations packages Norfolk Police Authority are willing to spend on Chief Constables, we are of the opinion that Norfolk Constabulary should step back and focus…….before the locals notice something going on!
Norfolk police ‘need more cash’
Norfolk police’s share of council tax must increase by 3.5pc next year if the force is to maintain its current performance, a meeting heard last night.
Speaking at a public meeting at the force’s Wymondham headquarters police authority chairman Stephen Bett outlined how the force is already planning to save £15m over the next three years as it faces a “dire” financial situation.
He added that whichever party won the next general election would inevitably make substantial cuts to police and public spending in general.
“Once a new government is in power it is going to be quite frightening how little money there is to go around,” Mr Bett said.
But deputy chief constable Ian Learmonth, currently in temporary charge of the force, pledged that the county’s increased number of police officers – which currently stands at 1,644 – can be maintained for at least one more year.
He added: “We cannot gaurantee we can maintain these numbers indefinitely but, at a time when some forces are considering cutting numbers, we can maintain our existing level of officers and police community support officers.”
The 3.5pc proposed increase would equate to £5.05 a year for a Band B property or £6.51 per year for those in Band D.
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, asked what would happen if the police precept was set one or two percent lower than the level suggested.
Chief financial officer Rupert Birtles said that the very minimum needed to “stand still” was 3pc and if it were set lower there may be a need to “touch the frontline” although current officer numbers would still be sustainable in the short-term.
Every 1pc of the police’s council tax precept is equivalent to £550,000 in the force’s budget. At 3.5pc the force would be able to continue its modernisation while also looking at ways it can become more efficient.
The police authority will make a formal decision on its council tax precept over the coming months.