The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, is asking residents for their views on police funding for the next financial year. Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for setting the amount that residents pay towards policing each month. Almost 40 per cent of Gwent Police’s overall budget of £173 million now comes from local council taxpayers. To make this decision the Commissioner must take into account the amount of money that the Chief Constable says Gwent Police needs to operate an efficient and effective service, the annual financial settlement from the UK Government, funding from the Welsh Government and Ministry of Justice, and the affordability for local council tax payers. Jeff Cuthbert said: “Continuing economic uncertainty, particularly in relation to funding for public services, means that the future financial position for policing remains uncertain and extremely challenging. Daily demands are growing, costs are rising, and the money available to protect communities is shrinking. At the same the cost of living crisis is hitting our residents hard. “We will not know how much money the UK Government will give police forces until December 2022. I will continue to lobby the UK Government for more money for policing, but we cannot wait until then to begin planning for the year ahead. “Our financial modelling tells us that a rise in council tax of £25 per year for the average property is our best chance of attempting to maintain current service levels. Even with this increase there will be a significant deficit which will need to be balanced by efficiency savings. “This is always a difficult decision to make and it is not one I take lightly. This year it is more difficult than ever and before I take a decision I want residents to have their say.” Gwent Police has had significant ‘real term’ cuts in Government funding since 2010. It has had to make almost £52.8 million in savings and must save between £19.8 to £25.8 million by 2027. To have your say before the survey closes on Sunday 9 January, visit www.gwent.pcc.police.uk
Operation Soteria Bluestone aims to put suspects at centre of investigations while better supporting victims (Stock image)
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