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Lincolnshire Police & Crime Commissioner recommends almost £13 rise for council tax precept

Lincolnshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner has recommended almost the maximum increase for the council tax precept for 2024/25.

An online survey saw 81% of residents back a rise.

The proposals was made ahead of a Police & Crime Panel meeting for the force next week.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo: Daniel Jaines
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo: Daniel Jaines

Lincolnshire PCC Marc Jones (Conservative) has put forward a proposed £12.96 precept increase.

The government’s local finance policy statement for 2024/25 placed a £13 cap as the maximum permitted increase for police forces to add onto council tax precepts for the upcoming financial year.

Around 70% of police funding comes from central government, and the rest coming from local taxes.

Lincolnshire Police’s proposed price increase would see a Band D property pay £304.20 in taxes to the force across the next year, which is up nearly 4.5% on last year’s total of £291.24.

Band A properties would pay 17p a week more, while Band H properties would pay up to 50p per week extra on 2023/24’s total.

An online survey conducted by Mr Jones saw 3,434 complete responses, with just 3% preferring a reduction to the precept, and 81% backing an increase in some capacity.

In total, 54% supported an increase of at least 5%, which is larger than the proposed precept for 2024/25, and only two districts in the county (Lincoln at 49% and Boston at 36%) fell below the 50% mark for support of a 5% increase.

The PCC’s report says these results demonstrate a “long-standing belief across the county that Lincolnshire Police is underfunded.”

Indeed, Lincolnshire Police is the lowest funded force anywhere in the country, with the smallest cost of policing per head of population in England and Wales.

In a letter to the Home Secretary and the Policing Minister, Marc Jones disclosed that Lincolnshire’s police funding works out at £196 per head for 2023/24, compared with an average of £222 per person for similar sized forces.

He also makes the point of Lincolnshire having the lowest number of officers per 100,000 residents (155) compared with the 203 for similar forces, and says the county’s frontline officers deal with an average of 53 crimes a year, compared to a 39 average elsewhere.

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The PCC said the government’s commitment to granting commissioners “flexibility to increase funding” on precepts was “welcome,” but urged it “must be accompanied by a fair distribution of government grant” to make sure the “burden of local taxpayers is proportionate.”

The government’s provisional settlement for Lincolnshire Police in the 2024/25 financial year is £75.9 million.

The report will be discussed at the Lincolnshire and Humberside Police & Crime Panel meetings next week.

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