How much extra will you pay to help police keep us safe?

Hardyal Dhindsa, police and crime commissioner for Derbyshire. Photo: John McLean
Hardyal Dhindsa, police and crime commissioner for Derbyshire. Photo: John McLean

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa is asking the public if they would support a small increase in council tax to keep Derbyshire safe.

Launching a new online survey, Mr Dhindsa said more resources were needed to repair the damage brought by a decade of austerity and is asking local people whether they would be willing to pay more to strengthen policing services in the future.

Derbyshire is expecting to recruit 283 police officers under the Government’s uplift programme, which pledges to increase police officers nationally by 20,000 by March 31, 2023.

Derbyshire Police is already well on its way to recruiting the first 50 extra officers this year, with plans to recruit a further 35 from April onwards.

The remainder will be recruited in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

However, Mr Dhindsa said the plans failed to address the cuts to police staff numbers and infrastructure including IT, estate, vehicles and equipment, made since 2010.

This has seen Derbyshire lose more than 400 police officers and the best part of 300 police staff during that time as £40 million was cut from the force.

The PCC is now asking local people for their views on what level of support they would be prepared to pay before setting the 2020-2021 budget.

Mr Dhindsa said: “I am tremendously grateful for the public’s support over these difficult years and really value the feedback, which has helped me make vital decisions on the future of policing in Derbyshire.

“Although the chief constable and I welcome the national uplift, it does nothing to help forces out of the red financially and indeed many continue to make cuts to simply break even.

“We will continue to face some very difficult decisions if the government does not increase funding for policing generally over and above the 20,000 pledge.

“That would mean cuts for Derbyshire.”   

The commissioner said he had already begun to repair Derbyshire’s depleted frontline by increasing overall numbers by 145 since coming to office, largely thanks to the public’s support.

To complete the survey visit: www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/Budget2020-21