Households to be asked if they mind paying more for their policing
POLICE and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove will ask residents in North East Lincolnshire if they mind paying more for policing of their streets.
Unveiling his draft plan for policing of Humberside, Mr Grove said he will meet the public in a series of consultation events to hear their views and respond to their wishes on an increase in precept to pay for police.
The commissioner, who was elected in November, said he would prefer to have a freeze in the precept for the force, which has a budget of £180 million.
But he said the cost might have to go up if he cannot find any other way of balancing the books. That could mean an increase of two per cent.
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Mr Grove said that was equivalent to an additional 7p per week for a Band D property.
"Two months into the job I have not yet exhausted every avenue to maintain a freeze in the precept," he said.
"It is what I want to do and I said during the campaign I did not want the money to come out of the pockets of the hard-working taxpayers of Humberside.
"I would like the people of this area to tell me if they would like to see the precept frozen or increased."
Although the commissioner has responsibility to set the precept, the Police and Crime Panel can veto the decision.
The commissioner's plan includes a drive to target crime hotspots.
He said 16 of the 81 wards in Humberside account for 45 per cent of all crime.
He said: "These areas are where most of the victims are too. We need to target resources and effort in these areas to get the best possible return for taxpayers."
He said he would aim for greater collaboration with health services to tackle drug addicts and stem the spiral of drug abusers' children continuing with problems.
"It is about empowering communities," he added.
He praised the members of North Lincolnshire Country Watch after meeting them at Elsham to hear the success in tackling crimes such as poaching and wildlife, metal and fuel theft. In two years, the level of crime has halved.
Mr Grove said: "This is a tremendous example of the sort of successful partnerships that can be developed at little cost but with huge results."
Keep reading your Grimsby Telegraph for dates and venues for public meetings with the commissioner.
You can contact Mr Grove at www.humberside-pcc.gov.uk