It is my job as your Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure Wiltshire Police have the necessary resources to fight and prevent crime.
As with your finances during this time, your Force is facing increased financial pressures too. With an indication of a 1% increase in central funding from Government for 2023/24, Wiltshire Police faces making £5.5m savings.
This is at a time when we need to invest in the policing service to ensure the necessary changes and improvements are made to keep the county safe – and to bring the Force out of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Engage process (special measures).
For 2023/24, I am asking all residents to support an increase of 83p a month, per average household (Band D). This is a 4.1% increase and would mean a Band D household would pay an extra £10 a year - £251.47p - for their police service.
At the extreme ends of the council tax bandings, this increase means a Band A household would pay an extra £6.66 a year, 55p a month, and a Band H household would pay an extra £20 a year or £1.66 a month.
With your support for an average 83p a month precept increase, Wiltshire Police would still need to make savings of £3.1m BUT the saving becomes more manageable and would be made from ensuring the Force is being as efficient as it can be.
During the last year, communities have reinforced the need for more frontline police officers – and I agree with them. Using your precept support, we will have more visible policing.
Working with the Chief Constable, and on his operational advice, we will deliver 40 additional police officers for neighbourhood and volume crime teams by the careful review of the current workforce mix so Wiltshire Police will better meet the needs of our communities.
These officers will bolster Wiltshire Police’s work in the community and crime investigation and are in addition to the Uplift officers who are also coming through the recruitment and training pipeline into our communities, as well as specialist roles and the rural crime team.
I know in normal times an increase in contributions will be felt by our communities but in the current economic situation I realise this increase will be felt more keenly than ever before.
Here is the full police precept council tax table:
The decision to ask for your support for an increase has been a difficult one – and one that I would not make if there was an alternative.
I encourage you to fill out the survey - it is only by using your voice that we can truly understand the views of local people. It is short and should only take a few moments to fill in.
Philip Wilkinson - OBE
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon