Herts PCC calls for tax increase to help police budget

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd wants to see the government devolve some of its powers to the PCC office
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd wants to see the government devolve some of its powers to the PCC office

Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) wants to be given more power over the setting of local police budgets – including a rise in council tax.

David Lloyd was called to give evidence yesterday to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s investigation into the future of policing.

He appeared before the committee alongside other PCCs – with the inquiry looking at all aspects of policing, including the funding of forces, and levels of demand.

Mr Lloyd, who chairs the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, made the case for greater devolution of the policing budget to PCCs.

He argues that an increase in council tax of just £1 a week would make ‘a huge difference’ to the force’s budget.

He said: “Currently, we are limited in what we can raise by a cap set by the government, which is two per cent.

“I would like to see PCCs have greater flexibility to set a budget based on the demands of their area.

“PCCs are the democratically accountable representatives for policing, and should be able to make a case to local people in order to deliver the police service they expect.

“If we were to limit an increase in council tax to just £50 a year, it’s a 33 per cent increase – which sounds huge – but it’s a pound a week.”

Speaking about the resources at his disposal to address growing demand on services, he added: “We have seen significant increases in investigations involving complex fraud, other types of cybercrime, child sexual abuse and exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery.

“We are dealing with these whilst trying to maintain community policing.

“We must ensure that we have the resources available to deliver those services, and this government inquiry helps to keep that at the front of our minds.”