A council tax rise which will see people across Norfolk pay about a penny more a day to cover the costs of policing has been agreed, despite an attempt to veto it.

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And Norfolk’s first police and crime commissioner said part of the reason extra cash is needed is because the repercussions from the Jimmy Savile allegations has put pressure on the force’s vulnerable people’s unit, with more people reporting abuse.

Stephen Bett, who was elected to the new role in November, said the increase could pay for up to 10 more frontline police staff, bolstering the unit which deals with reports of child abuse, domestic violence and rape, while also managing sex offenders.

He said the 1.965pc increase, which will see a Band D household pay £200.79 a year towards policing, would also help head off a potential £10m to £20m funding gap which could open up within four years.

He said he could have accepted a government offer of a two-year council tax reduction scheme grant, which would provide about £598,000 in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

But he said increasing the police element of the council tax will give more stability in the long run when it comes to paying for recurring staff wages.

Mr Bett yesterday presented his proposal to the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel – a panel made up of councillors and independent members.

He said: “I plan to give the chief constable discretion to retain up to 10 more essential frontline personnel to meet the challenges in the vulnerable people’s directorate where we face unprecedented pressure.”

But councillor Brian Long, representing West Norfolk Council, proposed a veto on the increase.

He said he would rather see the commissioner take the government money for freezing the council tax.

He said: “It sits very hard with me that we would continue to take more and more from the public purse. I propose we veto it on the basis that the increase is too high.”

However, the vote to veto it was lost and the panel then agreed, by eight votes to four to agree the increase.

14 comments

  • Get away. He said it woulld pay for another 10 bobbies. Now he says its because of JS 'and others'. Bit of luck that Cameron nipped in the bud the prospect of a wider investigation into certain sectors. Also isn't it hheartening to see the panel is just a shower of spinelss rubber-stampers. He must be delighted. Safe Bett? The only glimmmer of truth is that he will keep on finding reasons to tax us more and more come what may.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • nrg...can you substantiate those comments with fact? Are you well versed with crime recording in Norfolk to be able to say that no crime has ever been solved by the intervention of a PCSO? Do you have access to the latest figures concerning sick leave and costs? Somehow I doubt it, it wouldnt suit you to know the truth, you are happier spouting your nonsense as usual.

    Report this comment

    NL

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • Grasshopper....not sure the increase is directly due to Saville, but the fact that the publicity about his gross actions, and that they have finally been taken seriously, has given other victims of abuse the courage to report their abuser. That's how I read it...might be wrong though.

    Report this comment

    Fluffy Cat

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • lame excuse, the cost should be clawed back from his estate not the public, had they investigated him when they choose to ignore complaints earlier this could have been avoided

    Report this comment

    grasshopper

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • Another weak excuse for screwing even more money out of the council tax payer.The only "strain" is probably on the wrists of police pointing radar guns at motorists for extended periods!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • What was it SB said during his election march, we need to be honest with the public on matters of police funding, or tosh to that effect. Didn't take him long!

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • NL, as I said in a previous post, when someone comes accusing my statement, I do my homework and only engage with real facts gathered from FOI on plod site, all in individual PDF format available for all to see...Disclosure logs from 2005 to 2011. Are you one of these useless plastics whose always sick and rather rotund or the spotty pale faced skinny no brains yoof variety ??

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • Tosh!!! bin the plastics...the sick pay of the plastics cost the hard pressed taxpayer £200 to 300k every year in Norfolk,not forgetting they've still not solved one crime in Norfolk since being let loose in the public.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • "......part of the reason extra cash is needed is because the repercussions from the Jimmy Savile allegations has put pressure on the force’s vulnerable people’s unit, with more people reporting abuse." Ha ha ha. Thats the best excuse I have heard this year. And I suppose that plods increased sickness is having to show kids how to use illegal speed guns and chasing motorists doing 32 in a 30 limit ?. This commissioner is living in fantasy land, like all the other jobsworths.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • Elected by a mere 4.5% of Norfolk's voters, Bett is now claiming that a consultation, with a response from a miniscule 2 in every 1,000 of the electorate (1,740 responses), with only half of them in favour of a small council tax increase, is justification for hitting us with a surprise tax hike at a time when household budgets are under severe pressure and other parts of the council tax bill are somehow able to be frozen. He justified this, saying it would pay for up to 10 more front-line police staff, but this is just more spin. Government funding cuts mean that he is already committed to ditching 180 posts by 2015 (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary report, July 2012). This will get us back to virtually the same number of staff as Norfolk Constabulary had 15 years ago, but for 4 times the amount of council tax (an extra £120 on band D above inflation). In truth every extra £1 we pay in council tax for the police will be taken away by Central Government in future funding cuts. At the birth of Norfolk's police authority in 1995, every £1 in council tax was matched by £5.45 from Central Government, whereas today the rapidly declining Central Government grant and ballooning council tax (e.g. due to inflation-busting increases of 40% during the mid noughties) means we now pay £1 in council tax for every £1.44 from the Government. This makes Bett's role little more than a stealth tax collector for Westminster.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • It seems to me that the most vulnerable people are the poor mugs paying heavy taxes to fund these politically correct liberal left-wing groups of social worker police.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • It would be an interesting exercise to see just how many “specialist units,” Norfolk police have. The Met, like many other forces, have analysed the work of many of its units and have decided to disband them because they give a very poor return on the resources invested in them. The work previously undertaken by the units in the Met will now be done by fully trained CID officers. It has been found that many of the officers in these so called units were no more than bobbies in civvies. Perhaps Mr Bett should have an away day to the Smoke to see what others are doing before increasing the size of Norfolk’s units any further.

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    BG

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • Surely, with such a big target, and having to investigate all of Jimmy's 'friends' in high places, who also frequently appeared at Haute La Garenne, Jersey, the 1.965% increase is far too small, some might say 'democracy dodging'. How about a referendum on 2.5% and lets see some arrests, Mr. Bett.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • We can see the flood of paedophiles being interviewed and brought to justice, masses of them, every day. To use police inaction, similar to the Belgian Authorities to justify a just below 2% democracy dodging increase in council tax, is obscene and unaccountable. What extra strain and were is the justice?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 1, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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