Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, Rupert Matthews, has released details of his budget to deliver policing, crime prevention and victims services for the coming financial year.
The 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.
A report published ahead of the Police and Crime Panel meeting later this week shows that the net revenue budget for policing Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in 2024-25 has been agreed at £243.15m. This includes an increase in the police precept (the fraction of the locally raised council tax) of £1.08 per month (£13 per annum) for a Band D property, as per the Government's expectations.
This decision is supported by the findings of a public survey open to all residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, asking if they were prepared to pay more towards policing. There were 2,283 responses of which 58% indicated that funding for Leicestershire Police, collected through Council Tax, should be increased.
Mr Matthews said today that the 2024-25 budget will enable the Chief Constable to maintain the significant improvements in service delivery, as stated in his Police and Crime Plan, that he has called for since he was elected. This includes Mr Matthews' ongoing drive to prevent crime; his firm focus on community policing; the introduction of a dedicated Rural Crime Team; the investment in projects to drive down anti-social behaviour; and the new, improved victims services contract worth £1.4m per annum.
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'. His team also runs 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 become the solution to crime and anti-social behaviour.
Mr Matthews said: "We have seen many improvements to service delivery 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.
"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, in line with public opinion, 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 assure them all that 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 from their police service."
In line with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act the Commissioner and his team will present a full budget overview and state the case for an increase in the police precept at a meeting of the County's Police and Crime Panel on 1 February 2024.
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 to support the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The OPCC spends £1.4m on Victims Services of which £1.3m is funded by the Ministry of Justice Victim and Witness Grant.
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 the Force 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.
- You can access the Police and Crime Panel Reports here
- You can read the Leicestershire Police Pledge here
- You can download the Police and Crime Plan here