Nottinghamshire residents to pay extra £8.4 million council tax to fund policing

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Council tax payers in Nottinghamshire will have to stump up an extra £8.4 million towards local policing this year, figures reveal.

The latest Home Office data shows that £69.5 million in funding for Nottinghamshire Police will come from council tax bills in 2019-20 – up from £61.1 million last year.

Meanwhile, funding from central government went from £134 million to £138.7 million, meaning the share of the police budget paid from council tax rose from 31 per cent to 33 per cent in the period.

READ MORE: Tax rise to pay for more police on Notts’ streets
The picture in Nottinghamshire reflects that across England and Wales, where the proportion of police funds paid by council tax grew from 32 per cent to 34 per cent.

Police and crime commissioners in England and Wales were given the option of increasing the police precept – their portion of council tax – by up to £24 per household this year.

The vast majority opted to raise it by the maximum, including in Nottinghamshire.

READ MORE: Extra £1 million for police to tackle violent crime in Nottinghamshire
Across England and Wales, police force funding rose to £12.1 billion in 2019-20 – a seven per cent increase on the previous year.

But according to a report published by the National Audit Office last year, funding has fallen in real terms over the last decade.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, welcomed the extra cash but said passing the buck from the Government to police and crime commissioners is “grossly unfair”.

He added: “It means the bulk of any increases in police budgets will fall on council tax payers, with no guarantees that PCCs will implement the rises.

“We also risk creating a two-tier system where wealthier communities will have more money available for local policing than others.”

Labour’s shadow policing minister Louise Haigh said: “Putting up council tax to fund the police means those areas that are least able to pay, and with the highest levels of violent crime, get the least.

“Rather than call time on their nine years of brutal real-terms cuts to local police forces, the Tories are instead forcing hard-pressed local taxpayers to carry the can. This is perverse and fundamentally unfair.”

A Home Office spokesperson said it is up to police and crime commissioners to decide whether to increase their council tax precept.

They added: “We recognise that demand on the police is changing and becoming more complex.

“This year police funding is increasing by over £1 billion, including council tax and new funding to tackle serious violence. This is the most substantial investment in policing since 2010.”