Thames Valley Police survey over planned council tax rises

Kings Road Reading
Picture: Phil Creighton/ The Wokingham Paper Ltd

A NEW survey has been launched to seek views on a potential council tax rise.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley launched the survey for policing element for the year 2021/22.

Antony Stansfield said that the Government is allowing an increase in funding for police forces of £703 million, 40% of which would come from householders, adding £1.25 per month to a Band D council tax bill – £15 a year.

Mr Stansfeld, who will stand down in May’s PCC elections, said: “The Government is encouraging all Police and Crime Commissioners to raise the policing element of the council tax precept for all households.

“The (rise) will enable Thames Valley Police to recruit an additional 179 police officers next year.

“Despite the increase in funding from government, there continue to be cost pressures on the Force and the public rightly expect to see improving performance in order to keep us all safe and bring criminals to justice.”

He added that he was aware the coronavirus pandemic had put pressures on many.

“It is important that any increase in council tax now, at a time when many families are struggling, is focused on frontline policing to tackle the concerns of the public,” he said.

Mr Stansfeld is calling for Thames Valley Police to recruit more PCSOs, create a rural crime taskforce, boost the anti-drug taskforce, improve the response to fraud and cyber crime, tackle domestic abuse and issue new technology to help officers. The increase would help make this happen.

“Final decisions on council tax and budget priorities will be made in February and by contributing your views now you can help play your part in shaping how Thames Valley Police continues to improve and tackle crime across our community,” he said.

The survey is open until 5pm on Wednesday, January 20, and can be found at: http://bit.ly/PoliceCouncilTax

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