Thames Valley Police has decided to increase the council tax it collects by 6.22 per cent in an effort to provide ‘strong local policing to keep streets safe.’
The police force, along with local councils and the fire service, can raise council taxes to pay for the services they provide. The taxes raised by the force are used to fund the Thames Valley Police budget.
This year, Matthew Barber, the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Thames Valley Police, has decided to increase council tax by 6.22 per cent.
The force’s priorities this year include strengthening community policing to tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour, developing a CCTV partnership, recruiting additional officers and utilising police volunteers such as Special Constables.
Additionally, Thames Valle Police aim to prevent crime by patrolling hotspots and tackling known offenders, reducing 101 call waiting times, and tackling cybercrime, child abuse and domestic violence.
Read more: Thames Valley Police reveals plans for new state-of-the-art forensics centre in Bicester
The funds raised by the police are added to your council tax bill.
Justifying the 6.22 per cent rise, Mr Barber said: “In setting this year’s budget for Thames Valley Police, I am acutely aware of the increasing cost of living impacting so many families locally.
“Of course, the police are not immune from rising costs, and we see the impact of inflation, particularly in energy and fuel costs, despite increased funding from the central government.
“This year’s policing budget will ensure that crimefighting remains at the heart of our mission to keep the public safe.
“The focus will be on delivering proactive community policing focussed on crime prevention to make every community even safer.”
John Campbell, Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police argued that the rise is minimal when considering the daily and weekly amounts.
Chief Constable Campbell said: “The approved council tax police precept increase equates to less than 29p extra a week for an average Band D property.
“But as a total, these additional funds will help in our priority areas, including tackling violence against women and girls, investigating the most serious crimes, such as murder, rape and kidnap, and enhancing our forensic capabilities that help to bring offenders to justice.
“I understand that with the cost of living increasing, these are tough times for households, so I want to thank residents for all this extra investment, which will help Thames Valley Police continue to keep our communities safe.”
The PCC is an elected position responsible for how the area is policed, providing information about what police are doing, and setting the area’s police budget.
The council tax rise was approved by the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, which is made up of councillors from all councils in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The budget had to be finalised so total amounts of council tax could be calculated by the councils in the Thames Valley area.
You can see how much you will pay for police services for this financial year in the table below.
|Band||Thames Valley Police council tax 2023/24|