March 2022: News from the A&SPCC Mark Shelford
Tax increase is a positive step for policing
LAST month, I announced that I would be increasing the policing part of the council tax – known as the precept – by 4.1% for local residents, equivalent to 83p more per month for the average band D household.
I would like to thank the Police and Crime Panel and local people for their support. This increase will help deliver my ambitious Police and Crime Plan, which aims to provide you with an efficient, effective and legitimate police service.
I know that any increase in household bills is felt by local people but, without it, it is likely cuts would have had to be made that would impact frontline services. This is why I was determined to hear from as many residents as possible and, through my consultation, I heard from 6,335 residents, of which the majority were in support of an increase to support policing.
This increase is a really positive step for policing. It allows the force and my office to work towards our vision of more visible policing, better community engagement, preventing crime, strengthening partnership work, and improving outcomes and support for victims of crime.
The increase will also allow us to give pay rises to the policing family, ensuring we are recognising the hard work of officers and staff that go above and beyond for our communities. If you want an outstanding police service you have to fund it and, as your PCC, I will ensure Avon and Somerset Police deliver.
I’m also delighted to announce that my team and I have been successful in securing over £100,000 in additional funding for sexual violence and domestic abuse services in Avon and Somerset; an additional £30,797 from the Ministry of Justice’s Critical Support Fund and £70,000 from NHSEI Health and Justice South West.
As PCC, my team and I will continue to work with other commissioners – including health and local authorities – to ensure there are effective and efficient services across Avon and Somerset that can be accessed by everyone, which supports victims and survivors to cope and recover.
Preventing and fighting crime is a priority in my recently-published Police and Crime Plan and this includes tackling male violence against women and girls, specifically domestic abuse, sexual offences, stalking and harassment.
As well as ensuring there are good provisions for victims and survivors, we must address the attitudes and behaviours of the perpetrator and ensure police investigations are evidence-led and focus on the actions of the offender rather than the victim.
Finally, for anyone who is a victim or survivor of sexual violence or domestic abuse, remember help is available whether you report to the police or not, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. You can find you more about local services at www.survivorpathway.org.uk