Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane has approved the 2021/2022 budget which will see an additional 88 police officers recruited in Cheshire.
Along with the additional officers the budget will see additional investment into the Force Control Centre, crime recording and road safety initiatives.
The increase spending will be funded in part by an increase in the Police Precept, the portion of Council Tax that pays for policing.
A public consultation found that 68% of those who responded supported the increase which equates to £1.25 per month for the average Band D household.
PCC David Keane said:
I’m confident that this budget will allow us to continue to deliver a truly local police service which protects Cheshire residents and builds on the foundations that we have laid so far.
I thank all those residents who responded to the survey or attended our online events to share their views.
When the government announced its provisional funding settlement for Cheshire late last year, the chief constable advised me that, without a precept increase, Cheshire Police would be unable to maintain its existing level of service and would be unable to meet the additional operational demands and pressures that we face.
In reaching my decision regarding the precept, I have carefully considered the views of the public, any government announcements, and the recommendations made to me by the chief constable.
It is important to note that policing is still recovering from years of cuts and the demands we face continue to grow, both in volume and complexity. With the support of the public, however, we have been able to invest in our front line and I believe this budget will provide the chief constable with the resources needed to make our communities safer.
Chief constable Darren Martland added:
I welcome the budget, which is necessary to develop and enhance our community policing model.
It enables dedicated PCSOs and police officers to continue to work with communities to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and make our roads safer.
The increase will also ensure that Cheshire Constabulary has the resources that are critical to tackle some of the complex challenges of serious and organised crime and provide the necessary technology to investigate online crime and abuse.
We will prioritise the protection of vulnerable people and put victims and witnesses at the heart of everything we do and working with our partners and communities, will make Cheshire even safer.
The policing priorities consultation also provided Cheshire residents with the opportunity to state their policing priorities. Increased police visibility was the top priority, followed by dealing with serious and organised crime and then dealing with anti-social behaviour.
The consultation also asked respondents how safe they feel in their area, using a sliding scale from 1-10 with 10 being very safe and 1 very unsafe. 78 per cent of respondents rated how safe they feel in their area as ‘7’ or above.