A proposal by Norfolk’s first police and crime commissioner to raise council tax has been approved.
Stephen Bett’s bid to increase the force’s share of the council tax by 1.965 per cent after being given the green light by the police and crime panel earlier today.
Mr Bett said that the move will protect frontline services.
The panel was set-up to scrutinise Mr Bett’s decisions and it has the power to veto his proposals.
Members rejected a proposal to veto the increase and went on to support Mr Bett.
He said: “I am delighted that the panel has chosen to back my decision and give the constabulary the best chance to keep Norfolk the safe and secure county it is.
“From feedback received and talking to people during and since my election, I know that they want me to keep Norfolk one of the lowest crime countries in the country and to maintain the constabulary’s high-performing reputation.
“There is likely to be further reductions in government grant for policing in future and we have to face that.
“By rejecting the Government’s two-year ‘freeze grant’ and increasing the proportion of the budget paid for by local people, we will be better prepared,” The decision, which means householders in Band D properties will pay an additional 7p per week, means that the budget will give Chief Constable Phil Gormley additional flexibility around essential staff.
He told the panel that the original plan to reduce officer numbers to 1,520 by the end of 2012 could be waived in favour of retaining 1,530 and that he planned to give Mr Gormley discretion to retain up to 10 more essential frontline personnel.
“Setting the police budget is always challenging but this year has been especially so as it has had to be done in an impossibly tight timeframe. I am determined to do what the majority of the people of Norfolk want and that is to work towards ensuring a safe and secure future for everyone.”