Part of being your Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire means that I am responsible for securing the annual budget for Bedfordshire Police. In 2021/22, the budget was made up of 61% from Government grant money and 39% from the police precept part of your council tax. 

I also determine the local policing priorities for the Chief Constable based on listening to what local residents tell me. These priorities are set out in my Police and Crime Plan and I hold the Chief to account, on your behalf, for their successful delivery. Click here to read my Police and Crime Plan
 
The priorities in the Police and Crime Plan reflect what local people tell me are important, which is why I want to hear from you through this survey about changes to the budget.

You will probably know that we are facing rising costs across the public sector because of inflation. This means that next year an increase in the precept will be needed just for Bedfordshire Police to maintain its current position and meet the costs of pay and price increases.

So we have to decide if we stand still, move forward or make cuts to policing in our county. With higher costs for some everyday items and the impact of the pandemic affecting everyone, I know that any increase next year for some people will be hard. But I also know, because you have told me, that you want to see more officers in our communities and our rural areas, taking more criminals off the streets and protecting our towns and villages. To do this, as well as maintaining other services, we will need to increase the precept.

The Government has said that PCCs can raise the precept by up to £10 a year for an average (band D) home. That’s a rise of just under 3pence per day. We remain one of the lowest funded forces in the country. Click here to see where we are compared to the average council tax for police forces (Band D).

I want to hear from you so that I can make an informed decision.

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* 1. Do you support an increase in precept of £10 for a band D home in Bedfordshire?

This would enable the Chief Constable to:

- Recruit an extra 72 Police Officers so that we can take more criminals off the streets
- Improve the way 999 and 101 calls are answered, which you have told me takes too long
- Continue to prioritise drug related serious organised crime to dismantle county lines 
- Increase our rural crime capability
 to protect our villages and farms from criminals who target our rural communities
- Invest in the Professional Standards Department so that we continue to root out and deal swiftly with any corrupt behaviour within the Force 
- Increase our victim engagement officers to support victims of rape, serious sexual offences and domestic abuse
- Invest in the sustainability agenda including the use of low and zero emission vehicles, and alternative forms of energy

I am interested to know if you think these are important areas for us to direct additional resources into. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my thinking and how the Bedfordshire Police budget will be set for 2022/23.

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* 2. Please share any comments you have about the budget in the box below

If you have been a victim of crime and would like some support, please contact the Bedfordshire Victim Care Services team on 0800 0282 887 or visit their website https://www.bedfordshirevcs.com/ 
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