The amount of Council Tax the public pay for the police service, known as the police precept, will increase for 2020-21 by 5% in County Durham and Darlington. This equates to an increase of £10 a year, or 20p a week for a property in Council Tax Band D. The increase follows a consultation exercise across County Durham and Darlington and was supported by the Police and Crime Panel this week.
In January 2020 the Government announced the funding allocation and the cap on the increase which Police and Crime Commissioners can add to the precept. The cap permits an increase of up to £10 per year for a property in Council Tax Band D. The announcement was made later than normal and only allowed for a ten day consultation period. Nonetheless, almost 3000 people responded to the consultation and over 70% were in favour of the increase.
Acting Police, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Steve White presented his decision, along with his rationale for the increase, to the Police and Crime Panel this morning. The Panel supported his decision unanimously.
Steve White said “raising local taxes is not something that can ever be taken lightly. My guiding principles have been to ensure a continuing secure and resilient police service for the people of Durham and Darlington and in my judgement the increase of £10 per year will contribute to that aim. I am grateful that we had a significantly better response to our consultation exercise this year, which demonstrated a breadth of understanding by our communities of the need to continue to invest in Durham Constabulary.”
Durham County Councillor Lucy Hovvels MBE, Chair of the Durham Police and Crime Panel, said: “The Panel unanimously supported the Acting PCVC’s proposal. Public opinion is extremely valuable to maintain an efficient and effective police service that meets the needs of our local communities and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the approaches taken to significantly increase responses for the precept consultation.”