The 2024-25 budget to deliver policing, crime prevention and victims services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has been finalised following unanimous approval for the increase in the police precept from Leicestershire's Police and Crime Panel.
Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews' budget has been developed to sustain the increases in officer numbers, maintaining the neighbourhood policing teams that are vital for boosting police visibility in communities. Crucially, it provides the Chief Constable with the resources he says he needs to provide an efficient and effective police service.
The net revenue budget for policing Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in 2024-25 has been agreed at £243.15m. This includes a 4.76% increase in the police precept (the fraction of the locally raised council tax that goes towards policing) of £1.08 per month (£13 per annum) for a Band D property, in line with the Government's expectations.
A public survey, open to all residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, showed that 58% of respondents supported the increase.
Mr Matthews told Panel members that the 2024-25 budget will enable the Chief Constable to maintain the significant improvements in police service delivery which he called for in his Police and Crime Plan.
Mr Matthews said: "Police service delivery has improved significantly over the last three years. We now have 332 additional officers boosting our neighbourhood policing teams; we have introduced the highly effective Rural Crime Team; we have put renewed energy into tackling retail crime; and we are focussing efforts to improve road safety. This is what local people asked me to focus on so, with the public's support, that is what I have done.
"We are investing in long-term solutions instead of short-term headline grabbers. People told me that they wanted to see more police officers in their community, they wanted better support for victims and those at risk, and they wanted crime to be prevented. We have made giant strides to meet these expectations and I am determined to maintain this progress.
"It would be downright irresponsible to put the progress to date at risk. So, with support from the local community, I have reluctantly agreed to increase the precept by £13 for a Band D property. Even with this increase, there remains a clear deficit and the Chief Constable has been tasked with finding efficiency savings of £5.4m to balance the budget over the year.
"I understand that household budgets are already tightly stretched. However, I have little option but to increase the precept if we are not to return to the days of reducing officer numbers. I will monitor the budget position closely to ensure that there is no slippage and that every investment is paying its way.
"I remain resolutely committed to cutting crime and keeping our law-abiding residents safe. I want to see more criminals brought to justice and more crimes prevented. This is what residents expect and deserve."
The Commissioner's budget also provides funding to the area's nine Community Safety Partnerships to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour; knife crime and other forms of violence; support for those at risk of domestic abuse; to local community ‘drop-in centres'. He commissions victims services worth £1.4m per annum. His office also manages the highly successful Safer Streets projects, with crime prevention projects where they are needed most. He funds the three innovative and successful People Zones, enabling whole communities to work together to become the solution to crime and anti-social behaviour.
The budget for 2024-25 will
- Consolidate the uplift in police officers;
- Enable the continuation on the delivery of all elements of the Police and Crime Plan,
- Support the work to drive up public confidence, including delivery of the Leicestershire Police pledge;
- Protect the investment in key service areas of importance to local communities;
- Maintain the force's focus on rural crime with the rural crime team;
- Sustain the new Community Cohesion team;
- Enable better and stronger local neighbourhood policing;
- Augment the work with the business community;
- Embed the new Prevention Directorate;
- Develop and optimise new diversionary programmes to prevent crime;
- Provide tailored and targeted support and intervention to both victims and offenders who display additional risk of becoming a victim again or further offending;
- Secure the investments made to strengthen supervision, leadership and visibility in local policing;
- Uphold the stronger senior leadership in the city and in two counties welcomed by communities;
- Support the delivery of the next phase of transformation linked with IT and digital restructuring.
- The Commissioner provides funding for substance misuse services, safeguarding boards, suicide prevention, YOS, Young Adults Pathways, Domestic Homicide Reviews and Out of Court Disposals.
- The Commissioner also provides funds to support the Community Safety Partnerships.
- The OPCC commissions Leicestershire Police to deliver a number of services including Integrated Offender Management, Police Offender Management and contributes towards Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) posts.
- The OPCC has agreed to provide a further £400k from the Commissioning budget towards the Force's Prevention and Partnership Strategy, in addition to the £400k invested through the Commissioner's Safety Fund in local projects tackling local issues.
- The OPCC spends £1.4m on Victims Services
The Commissioner has continued to allocate 2.7% of total available funding for 2024-25 to the Chief Executive for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner including Commissioning. Of that 2.7%, £4.65m or 70% is allocated to commissioning services on behalf of residents and businesses of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The Commissioner provides funding for substance misuse services, safeguarding boards, suicide prevention, YOS, Young Adults Pathways, Domestic Homicide Reviews and Out of Court Disposals. The Commissioner also provides funds to support the Community Safety Partnerships.
The OPCC commissions Leicestershire Police to deliver a number of services including Integrated Offender Management, Police Offender Management and contributes towards Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) posts. The OPCC has agreed to provide a further £400k from the Commissioning budget towards the Force's Prevention and Partnership Strategy, in addition to the £400k invested through the Commissioner's Safety Fund in local projects tackling local issues.