Surgery pledge as Norfolk police panel agrees 5.5 per cent tax rise

Lorne Green Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner
Lorne Green Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner
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The proportion of council tax used to fund police services in West Norfolk will rise by 5.5 per cent this spring after budget plans were approved today.

But senior officers have agreed some revisions to their controversial reforms of the Norfolk force’s structure, which will see all PCSOs made redundant next month.

A meeting of Norfolk’s police and crime panel in Norwich was told the budget would add around £12 a year, or 23 pence a week, to bills for an average band D property.

The decision followed a public consultation in which nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they would pay two per cent more in tax to the police, with several hundred indicating they would pay up to 12 per cent more.

Police and crime commissioner Lorne Green told the panel: “It is clear that people are prepared to pay more to help fund their police force.

“However, having read the comments that accompanied their vote, I am also very clear that, if they are to pay more, respondents to the consultation expect to see more for their money and they want the funds to be used to increase frontline and visible policing.”

Mr Green said the force’s chief constable, Simon Bailey, had agreed to appoint 23 additional staff dedicated to local policing, as well as reinforcing school links.

The measures also include the provision of regular local policing surgeries, which are particularly intended to help elderly and vulnerable residents, plus a review of the non-emergency 101 number’s operations.

Mr Green also paid tribute to the county’s PCSOs and said he was continuing to scrutinise measures to ensure that as many as possible are moved into new roles.

But he insisted the budget proposals would enable the force’s new operational model to be implemented.