South Wales Police and Crime Panel has agreed to increase the police precept by 5% – a move which will allow modest investment into protecting vulnerable people and maintain neighbourhood policing.
The rise equates to an extra £10.39 per year (or 20p a week) for a band D household.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael said: “The increase is essential to help maintain the service, while allowing us to protect vulnerable people and invest in the future of policing in South Wales. I could not safely recommend a lower increase to the precept.
“Central government is continuing to cut the grant to police forces. Next year our grant has been cut by £2.2million cash. In real terms, the impact of this cut is far higher when we factor in additional burdens such as the Apprenticeship Levy and increased pension costs.
“We have made tough decisions for a number of years in relation to how we deliver our services and our effective forward planning, combined with the innovative way in which we work with partners to keep South Wales safe, is why we are able to continue to meet financial challenges.
“We have taken a balanced approach to soften the impact on policing our communities, while keeping the burden on the rate payer to a minimum.”
As well as receiving approval from the Police and Crime Panel, the precept proposals also got the support of the Police Federation, which represents officers from the rank of Constable to Chief Inspector.
Mr Michael added: “South Wales remains the best value for money police force in terms of the cost to council tax payers in Wales.
“Despite the financial challenges the force has consistently improved its performance and service to our communities and is recognised as one of the best performing forces in England and Wales.
“Much of this success has been recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, particularly in relation to improving the levels of victim satisfaction which now one of the highest in the country and visibility of our officers in communities which is ranked as the best in the UK.”
The precept increase will allow police officer numbers to be maintained, while funding from Welsh Government will enable the force to keep an additional 206 more PCSOs on the streets of South Wales.
Mr Michael has reiterated his commitment to protect and maintain neighbourhood policing, while at the same time continuing to invest in new technology to improve the way we work, as well as leading to efficiency gains.
He continued: “We now put a far greater emphasis on early intervention and prompt positive action to divert offenders away from a life of crime and enhance the services we provide to victims.”
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