‘Agree to council tax rise to help secure more Government funding’ says Notts crime tsar

Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner says she wants to bring in ‘millions of pounds’ in extra government funding – but believes the policing part of local council tax bills must go up to make the rise possible.

By Matt Jarram
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 9:30 am

Caroline Henry has proposed an increase in local bills of about £10 a year for a Band D property, saying the money will partly help provide ‘a ring of steel’ around the county through a bigger network of cameras which automatically track car number plates.

The expansion is designed to stop criminal gangs transporting weapons and drugs into the area.

Mrs Henry says about £500,000 will be pumped into new cameras as well as 24 new officers in Operation Reacher teams.

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Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner.

The dedicated police teams work within each neighbourhood using tactics such as early morning raids to disrupt and dismantle criminals.

Her office said Notts Police would be £22m ‘worse off’ over five years if the council tax precept wasn’t increased, impacting around 70 police officers.

And Mrs Henry told a police and crime panel meeting: “I am acutely aware we have people really struggling for money and I had to think really hard if this was the right time to increase the precept.

“If we don’t increase it, we are never going to be able to catch up again. There is so much we need to do. I think we should be spending to save long-term.

“The work we do now will stop more victims in the future – I am confident of that like the automatic number-plate recognition investment.

“We have done really well at getting millions of pounds extra out of the government, but we did that because they knew the precept had been maxed and we could not do any more.

“If I don’t put it up – and I haven’t raised the money here – I can’t then go to my ministerial colleagues, hand on my heart, and say ‘I need more for more’.

“Unless I raise what I can here, I have a weak argument when I am going to ask for more. And trust me I have a vision to get millions and millions more out of government, but to do that I have to get local people to help out.”

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Fair share

Coun Richard MacRae said: “Fifty-five pence a month extra for those in the lowest banded areas is quite a lot, but for 55p a month we are getting Operation Reacher to tackle knife crime and gangs and ANPR.”

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, said: “The financial world has changed dramatically. Do we really need to have the precept (increased) this year when everything is going through the roof?”

Coun André Camilleri, Nottinghamshire Council member for Mansfield South, was also supportive of the rise, but said: “I know the north of the county do need more officers, especially in Mansfield and Ashfield. It’s what we get in the north of the area, not about the money. We don’t get our fair share.”

The majority of councillors were in favour of the rise.

Proposed rises to households: Band A – £162.84 to £169.50; Band B – £189.98 to £197.75; Band C – £217.12 to £226.00; Band D – £244.26 to £254.25; Band E – £298.54 to £310.75; Band F – £352.82 to £367.25; Band G – £407.10 to £423.75; and Band H – £488.52 to £508.50.

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