PCC for Cheshire John Dwyer, 2016/17 police budget

An extra 70 police officers will be recruited to Cheshire Police under new budget plans which will see a rise in council tax bills.

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer has agreed a 3.2% increase in the police precept – equivalent to around 10p per week.

He says the force’s 2016/17 budget of £192.5million will invest in “frontline policing” and “protecting the public from new and emerging threats”.

Mr Dwyer added: “The money for extra officers will help make Cheshire a safer, more prosperous county and one that remains hostile to criminals.

“This is a budget to protect Cheshire and meet the Home Secretary’s challenge to increase policing capacity and capability to meet both local and national security threats.

“My budget is built on the success of a major efficiency drive, which has helped ensure every pound spent by the police is a pound well spent.

“When the Chancellor announced police funding was protected, it was based on an assumption Commissioners across the country would increase council tax.

“In the case of those Commissioners with the lowest historic levels of precept, as we have in Cheshire, the Chancellor has provided the flexibility to increase this by an average of 10p per week – which will broadly protect Cheshire’s police budget.

“My decision to raise council tax means that I can increase the number of frontline police officers in our communities. This year’s budget will allow me to add a further 70 officers.”

The increase in officers will bring the total to 2,053 in Cheshire Constabulary.

“I have thought long and hard about this decision,” he added.

“I have talked with Cheshire residents and businesses.

“Consistently, they tell me a modest increase in tax is a price they are prepared to pay when it guarantees more frontline officers.

“This budget will help equip the Constabulary to meet the challenges of cybercrime, extremism, and more complex offences which increasingly we see today, including some horrendous sexual and domestic abuse cases.”

Cheshire Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “Over the last year we have changed the policing model to get more officers on to the frontline, in our communities protecting the people of Cheshire.

“During the last year, crime has steadily reduced and we are seeing some of our highest rates for solving crime in recent years.

“Our intention in the coming year is to continue to focus on those issues that matter to the public.”

There will be further investment in the public protection team to tackle sexual crimes and domestic abuse, human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

And the Constabulary’s Taskforce, which tackles organised criminal gangs and drug crime, will also see increased funding.

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