A survey to gauge how much the South Wales public are prepared to pay towards local policing has been launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael.
People have until Monday, 18th December to participate and give their views.
The PCC is responsible for setting the South Wales Police budget and deciding what further funds need to be raised from the additional charge on council tax. This is called the police ‘precept’ and accounts for nearly one half of South Wales Police’s funding, with the rest coming from the Government.
In setting the precept, the Commissioner consults with the local electorate about how much they are willing to pay for their police service. Within the survey launched this week, participants are asked to make a selection from a range of increase options.
In South Wales, residents currently pay the Welsh average for policing, which is significantly less than the cost of policing in North Wales.
Residents living in a Band D Property in South Wales currently pay £27.04 per month for policing, but over sixty per cent of residents in South Wales are below Band D and pay less, and may also receive council tax discounts or benefits.
A series of public engagement events are planned across South Wales over the next few weeks, to raise awareness and maximise public participation in the survey.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael, said: “In setting the precept, it is important for me to consult local taxpayers to understand public sentiment in terms of how much they are willing to pay for policing in South Wales.
“The financial pressures that many households are under is a big problem, but the same financial pressures which affect ordinary people, such as vehicle and household fuel price increases and supply chain costs, have hit police budgets very hard indeed over the past few years thanks to the Government’s ‘flat cash’ approach to police funding. They continue to shift the burden of policing from central government to local taxpayers – that gap in funding has to be bridged somehow and we have a legal responsibility to balance the books.”
“The grant for policing in England and Wales is announced by a Home Office Minister just before Christmas. I then have to determine the budget and notify the Police and Crime Panel of my proposed precept by February, 2024.
“South Wales is one of the safest areas to live and work in the UK but the intense pressure on policing and other services makes it necessary to give very careful consideration to the level of council tax needed to support communities and address emerging crime threats.
“In setting the precept for 2024 / 2025 I will do everything that I can to balance affordability with ensuring that South Wales Police has the funds to carry on keeping communities safe.”