Extra council tax would provide extra funding for Sussex Police

The portion of council tax which goes to Sussex Police is expected to rise by £15 in April.

Sussex Police
Sussex Police

The increase – the maximum allowed – will be discussed at a meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel on Friday (January 29).

It would see the bill for a Band D homes rise from £199.91 to £214.91 in 2021/22.

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A report to the panel said this was still one of the lowest in England.

It added: “By raising the precept this year by £15, the Police & Crime Commissioner will provide the Chief Constable with the resources to continue the local recruitment programme, meet the significant costs arising from the pandemic, and prepare the force to meet the increased demand and emerging threats and meet the expectations of visitors, residents and taxpayers.”

According to the report, the 2021/22 funding settlement has given the PCC extra ring-fenced investment to recruit a further 121 police officers in Sussex, plus six to the regional organised crime unit as part of the national uplift programme.

This is in addition to the 250 police officers that Sussex has been recruiting through previous precept requirements to build back officer numbers.

It suggests the new police officer, Police Community Support Officer recruits and specialist staff ‘have begun to make a positive impact, strengthening local divisions, improving public contact, and modernising policing’ as well as building the force’s capacity to respond to neighbourhood crime anti-social behaviour on top of starting to make inroads in tackling serious and organised criminality.

New units such as the rural crime team and the tactical and specialist enforcement units have also had a ‘significant impact’.

But the report adds: “However, the Chief Constable has made a strong case calling for further targeted resource investment to be able to maintain this success, respond effectively against rapidly increasing demand and, critically, be able to deal with the emerging new and serious crime threats.”

The meeting will also look at the new Police and Crime Plan – which sets out the force’s strategic direction for the next four years – and the possibility of setting up a reserve to deal with any unforeseen financial problems arising from the pandemic.

The meeting will start at 10.30am, with the webcast available to view via www.eastsussex.public-i.tv/core .