In recent years, our work with Staffordshire Police to use money more efficiently, as well as investment in modern technology, has helped cushion policing in the County against slash and burn cuts elsewhere.
Countering the effect of less funding nationally by using money more efficiently locally has limits – that limit has now been reached. In the last few years crime has also evolved; becoming more complex and often more harmful. Technology means the worst in our society can now harm more people more often.
The police have coped well with types of criminality we could hardly imagine just a few years ago. All this does mean that day to day, very local policing in communities has been squeezed. I want to change that. Officer numbers will increase, rather than decrease, in the next couple of years.
My long-held principle, evidenced by a four year freeze in the policing part of council tax , is to take no more money than is necessary from local people. I must, however, also ensure the police service, which serves communities across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, is not overwhelmed by the growing challenges and emerging threats.
It is for that reason, I have decided, with the benefit of public consultation, to provide additional funding for our police service. There will be a strong focus on improving the most local policing for communities at an additional cost of 95p per month for an average ‘Band D’ property.
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