3.9pc rise in police part of council tax

The amount Norfolk police takes from council tax will rise by 3.9pc, the force confirmed yesterday.Police authority chairman Stephen Bett said the force had cut costs and was looking to make further savings but it was impossible to provide a high level of service “on the cheap”.

The amount Norfolk police takes from council tax will rise by 3.9pc, the force confirmed yesterday.

Police authority chairman Stephen Bett said the force had cut costs and was looking to make further savings but it was impossible to provide a high level of service “on the cheap”.

At its budget meeting, the authority agreed a rise which will see the police share of council tax from the average Band D property rise from �179 last year to �185 this year.

Last year, ministers imposed capping powers on the authority after it set its budget higher than the government's approved limit, meaning this year's budget had to be set within predetermined confines.


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Mr Bett said: “I accept that any increase at this time of economic instability is likely to be unpopular, but if people judge us against the constabulary's track record of delivery in recent years they will see that what we said, we did. We have delivered on greater efficiencies, restructuring and driving out costs on a significant scale to reapply them to front-line delivery. We have delivered on 280 police community support officers.

“We have delivered on 1,660 police officers - the highest ever number for Norfolk. Fifty-two safer neighbour-hood teams are now establishing themselves as part of their designated communities. The results are clear for all to see - crime in Norfolk has fallen in five successive years and detections are up - this is a quantative and qualitative improve-ment in performance... Public confidence and satisfaction levels in Norfolk Constabulary are rising.

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“This year's budget is about consolidating that progress, despite uncertainties and concerns about future funding. Whilst all members would like to have gone further, the threat of more drastic capping action by the government, combined with the current economic situation, made that an unrealistic proposition.”

Chief constable Ian McPherson welcomed the decision. He said: “I am grateful to the police authority for their support and for the maintenance of the budget but I am mindful of the significant challenges that lie ahead in a period of recession. We have delivered over �18m of efficiency savings since 2004 and are on target to deliver a further �11.7m by 2011. We have delivered on our promises and I believe there is more to come.”

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