Have your say on police funding in Cambridgeshire for 2019-20

As we plan our budget for 2019/20, I am keen to understand your views on how much you are willing to support policing as part of your council tax. 

The Chief Constable and I have been working hard to ensure Cambridgeshire Constabulary continues to be as efficient and effective as it can be.  

The Constabulary is still one of the most effective forces in the country but also one of the lowest funded with a cost of 43p per person per day against a national average of 55p (per person per day). This funding formula is something we continue to press government to change. 

At the moment, police funding is made up of 55% from a government grant and 43% from the policing part of the council tax. 
Last year, we introduced a new structure for local policing which enabled an additional 50 officers on our front line. Also, as a result of last year’s increase in the policing part of the council tax, a further 55 officers have been recruited and are in training. When these officers are fully trained and deployed, they will provide a further boost to our frontline.

Whilst those additional officers are very welcome, there are some harsh policing realities that we face. Demand on policing is growing. Cambridgeshire is a safe county, but police now spend more time:
  • Tackling “hidden crimes” such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and modern day slavery.
  • Dealing with online crime, and historic abuse cases.
  • Working with partners to tackle vulnerability where there is a risk to an  individual or members of the public.
The forecast growth in the population of Cambridgeshire is 20% by 2031, but with government funding not currently linked to population growth, this is something we continue to press to change. 

We will continue to identify further efficiency savings in order to meet future demand however in order to meet future demand, I propose to increase the policing part of  the council tax by £2 a month per household (based on a Band D property).  This equates to 50p per week or £24 per year.
I would be grateful if you could spare a minute to complete a short survey.  Your views will then inform my final decision on how much to raise the policing part of the council tax. 

Thank you.

Jason Ablewhite
Police & Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough