Would you pay more council tax to help fund policing in West Norfolk?
That is the question being posed by Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, who soon has to decide whether to freeze or increase the policing element of council tax to fund next year’s service.
To gauge public opinion, Mr Green has been speaking to residents in West Norfolk to find out their reasons for accepting or dismissing a possible increase.
He said: “It is important to me to gather the views of the community on whether or not they are inclined to offer some more money to sustain and hopefully to increase policing cover in the county.
“I have been going around the county gathering views on the streets. We have been across the county in King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Thetford, Diss.
“I pleaded when I was elected would be accessible, I would be visible, I would be accountable and that is what I am doing.”
At present, the PCC can only raise policing council tax by a maximum of just under two per cent, but Mr Green will, for the first time, be asking central government whether it is possible to lift this cap.
He added: “The reality is that the demands for policing in Norfolk, as is the case nationally, have gone up in certain respects explanatory, piratically in very complex crimes that threat harm and great risk.
“In one month alone there has been 91 reported rapes in this county. We have four detectives each carrying 20 rape investigations. That means there are 80 victims out there who are suffering and facing these delays.
“In the last 12 months up until the end of October there has been 6,827 crimes of domestic abuse in the county. In the same period we have had 16,000 reported incidents from calls to 101 or 999. The numbers have gone through the roof.
“The demands are enormous on the police, but the budget has gone down. Crime is up but resources are down, something has got to give.”
- To have your say on whether policing council tax should freeze or increase, visit www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk and vote before 5pm today.