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The South Wales Police & Crime Panel supports an increase to the police precept for 2022/23

Last Updated: 03/02/2022

Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael has today set out the need to increase the precept which will allow South Wales Police to maintain the service it provides to the communities of South Wales, whilst further developing its core focus on Neighbourhood Policing and Community Safety arrangements.

The rise of 5% amounts to an extra £1.20 per month for someone living in a band D property – but most people across South Wales will pay far less than that.

Council Taxpayers in South Wales will still pay significantly less for policing than households in North Wales, less than those in Gwent and only slightly more than people living in Dyfed Powys.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:

“I am confident that South Wales Police gives the best possible value for money to our council taxpayers because of the cost effective management of resources, high level of performance and the focus that I and the Chief Constable have placed on working with partners, on early intervention and prevention of harm and on neighbourhood policing and community safety.

“Once again, there is no increase from the Home Office in the grant funding to cover issues such as rising costs, police estate, fleet, kit and equipment. Sadly, Central Government continues to shift the burden of police finance onto local taxpayers.

“The added frustration here in South Wales is that, despite repeated calls for a review, the Home Office still doesn’t recognise the extra cost of policing Cardiff as our capital city, so South Wales Police is further short changed, whereas additional money is provided to forces policing London and Edinburgh. We share the ambitions of Cardiff and indeed Swansea to host major events and all we seek is fairness in the way money for policing is provided by the Home Office. We also experience a significant shortfall in the cost of police training which is met for English forces.

“We will continue to work hard to highlight this unfair position to Government to ensure that South Wales Police gets the funding it rightly deserves to police our capital city and the additional challenges that brings.”

Since 2011/12 South Wales Police has had its Police Grant cut by £45million which is the highest cash reduction in Wales compared to the other centrally funded public services. During this time, the number of police officers was cut from 3,400 to 2,800 and even after the uplift announced by the Government, we will only see officer numbers return to roughly what they were a decade ago.

Mr Michael added:

“The past 12 months have had a huge impact on policing as we started moving out of the challenges that the pandemic brought and back into lockdown when the new wave arrived. This placed enormous pressure on our resources given the key role of policing in helping to protect the NHS and save lives during Covid-19. At the same time police still had all the existing priorities of keeping communities safe, protecting people from harm and investigating crime.

“This budget, together with effective forward planning and the innovative way in which we work with partners to keep South Wales safe, will allow us to meet our challenges against a backdrop of a decade of deep financial cuts.”

The precept was agreed at a meeting of the South Wales Police and Crime Panel earlier today (Thursday 3rd February). The panel was given a detailed overview of the challenges faced by the force and the significant steps which have been taken to save money, invest in technology and ensure that operational policing is working more efficiently and effectively.

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