Commissioner warns of Â£4.3million black hole for North Yorkshire Police
Harrogate residents are being asked whether they would rather see an increase to their council tax or a cut to the budget of the local police force.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan, sets the amount that residents across the county pay for policing annually.
But Ms Mulligan has warned that this year, unless the precept is increased, the county's police force will face a £4.3million budget black hole.
She said: "Despite many challenges, I am pleased to say that that North Yorkshire remained the safest place to live and work in England throughout 2017. Meanwhile, policing is continuing to evolve in North Yorkshire as it responds to the changing nature of crime and demands, including a greater focus on protecting and caring for vulnerable people.
“This coupled with reductions in funding from central government and our increasing costs, mean we will still need to save £3 million for the year. This would rise to £4.3 million if the precept was frozen.”
Ms Mulligan has asked the public to take part in a survey to choose one of three options:
· Freeze the precept – continue to pay the amount as it stands now
· Increase the precept by 1.99 per cent. This would increase the amount by £4.40 per year (8p per week) for a Band D property.
· Increase the precept by more than 1.99 per cent. This would raise more money but would mean spending at least £700,000 on a referendum on the proposals.
The survey is available online and paper copies will be on display at public buildings across North Yorkshire, such as police stations, libraries and council offices.
Currently about 53 per cent of North Yorkshire Police funding comes from the Government while the remaining 47 per cent is raised locally, mainly through the ‘police precept'.
The survey is available to complete until the end of January.