January 26, 2021 4.18 pm This story is over 40 months old

Lincolnshire PCC to hike tax to hire 60 more police officers

Also be a new team on the county’s roads

Lincolnshire Police will recruit a further 60 officers next year if a council tax increase between 20p to 26p a week can be agreed.

This recruitment in the 2021/22 financial year will be in addition to 54 new officer posts already planned.

This is part of new projects identified by Chief Constable Chris Haward and Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones, which will be approved if the council tax rise is agreed.

PCC Jones is proposing the rise to help pay for various measures designed to improve community safety.

The proposed rise accounts for 5.9% of the policing element of council tax, which will deliver an additional £2.9 million in funding.

This is the proposed council tax for 2021/22 per band.

The list of priorities identified includes the following:

  • A new team dedicated to fighting crime and saving lives on the county’s roads
  • The establishment of specialist teams to drive down community crime in both rural and urban areas
  • More tasers for frontline officers
  • An increase in armed response units to tackle violent crime
  • Investment in new technology to give better public access

This comes just days after the results of the PCC’s annual survey, which was completed by 3,243 people.

Some 87% agreed they were prepared to pay more council tax. 77% of people said they were prepared to pay 10% more.

In every council district more than a third said they were willing to pay a 20% increase.

Mr Jones said: “The outcome of the research is at odds with my personal feelings that given the current challenging situation for the personal finances of many in our community even a modest rise of around £1 a month would be too much to ask.

“I have, however, made no secret in previous years that I would respect the outcome of these robust consultations and so I cannot, in all conscience, choose to ignore it this year.

“The public have spoken. They have said no to a freeze in council tax and a reduction in policing and officer numbers and yes to a pound or so a month increase as long as it’s directed to frontline policing.”

He added that Lincolnshire Police remains one of the lowest funded police forces in the country.

Chris Haward, who replaced Bill Skelly as Chief Constable in December last year, said violent crime and low force morale will take priority in 2021.