Council tax rise needed to tackle domestic abuse, police commissioner says

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

People in Norfolk will have to pay about 29p a week more for the police element of council tax this year.  

A meeting of the Police and Crime Panel heard the increase was essential to tackle "hidden harms’ such as domestic violence.  

Norfolk Police and crime commissioner (PCC), Lorne Green, proposed an increase of 5.68pc (£14.94) a year on Band D properties. 

A Band B property will see their council tax bills rise by 22p a week.  

Mr Green acknowledged the “unprecedented times” but said he needed to provide for public safety. 

“We must not lose the gains we have made to policing in our county over these recent years,” he said.  

“And so, taking full account of the financial challenges that Norfolk taxpayers face, particularly now, and the demands on government, together with the challenges for policing, I instructed the chief constable to present to me a plan to maintain the level of policing services that residents need and, where possible to enhance service in areas of particular demand or threat such as domestic abuse or cybercrime.” 

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The increase proposal pledged further investment in areas such as: 

  • dealing with the most dangerous domestic abusers across the county 
  • increasing visibility through additional proactive neighbourhood police officers 
  • tackling the growing volume of offences with a digital footprint, including fraud 
  • building capacity to respond to the number of 101 calls coming into the police control room. 

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said they would need an increase of just over 2pc “just to stand still”.  

He added: “It is so important that you support this. The challenges that we have faced throughout the Covid crisis have been unprecedented. 

“In my view, this comes down to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities, those that need a police service that is fit for purpose.” 

A consultation for the plans was held online, with 987 responses. In total, 541 people, almost 56pc of respondents, said they agreed or strongly agreed with a precept increase of 5.86pc. 

In contrast to 39.51pc of the total respondents who did not support a precept increase, 
Norfolk County councillor William Richmond called the precept increase a “small price to pay” for tackling complex crimes. 

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Councillor Colin Manning agreed, adding: “It is absolutely important we support this increase in the precept.  

“Nobody wants to pay more but it is vital that we don’t stand still and tread water or even worse go backwards.” 

The proposal received unanimous support. 

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