Sunday, 17 February 2008

How much?!

Devon and Cornwall Police Authority will be raising the Council Tax of Cornish residents soon to pay for more police officers to walk the beat.

They plan to increase the Council Tax bills of all Cornwall’s residents by 7.94%, amounting to approximately 20p more each week for people living in Band D properties. In exchange, the Authority has promised to provide 200 more ‘front line’ police officers. Good deal?

Well the Authority’s plan is to put the police officers, who are currently working at desk jobs, back on to the streets and to fill their posts with civilians. However the Authority's Treasurer, John Glasby, has also said that 196 office positions in the police will be cut as part of a review to be carried out over the next year.

My reasoning may not be that great, but stay with me here a minute.

If 200 police officers are to be diverted from their desk jobs and put back out on the beat to be replaced by civilian works, while at the same time 196 desk jobs will be cut over the next year, then by my basic calculation only 4 people will be employed.

Therefore, why does the Police Authority want to increase Council tax by 7.94%? Surely a much smaller increase is possible to pay for these extra jobs?

If Council Tax increased by an average of 20p per week for the 1205760 people who are resident in Cornwall and Devon, the annual amount of money this would bring in for the police is over 12 million pounds - even after the wages were paid for 4 civilian desk workers!

If I was a resident of Cornwall or Devon, I would be asking the Police Authority to drop the spin and provide further justification. At least this figure is less than the 8.94% increase the Authority was considering.

Here are some Cornish comments about the proposed increase, taken from the This is Cornwall news website:

Police Community Support Officers are the biggest waste of time and money, they can't do anything useful and they are never around when you need them. I found a lost child last year and still had to phone the real police because we had no way of contacting the PCSO or pretend police officer as we know them.
Kate, Cornwall

HAHA, what a joke wages don't increase by 9-10% a year but yet they increase by stupid amounts...Anyway what police i live in hayle and guess what u can drink drive have fights and its ok but i recommend friday nights in fact any night and weekend's too as thats when the police station closes and if u need to go in and see then remenber only in the morning as they shut otherwise, which probably explained why i was dodging drunks playing football in the road new years eve. and if you call your on hold for ages talking to people in devon who have no local knowledge of cornwall or the streets where i live..very frustrating and to be honest i don't bother informing police about crimes anymore as don't have any respect for the organisation any more.
yubbauk, Hayle

If they did not waste so much time and so may resources on hounding people for minor offences they would have more money anyway! In the summer a friend of mine was held for 9 hours in a cell and was innocent!
Sam, Newquay

This has got nothing to do with funding for Police Officers. Devon & Cornwall Police actually has 160 fewer Police Officers than 2 years ago. This is about funding Police Community Support Officers now that Gov. funding has run-out. PCSO's are a cosmetic luxury and should be scrapped. They do little in real terms to make our communities safer, there is no threat to their performance, they just poodle along the streets smiling at babies and stroking dogs! Why dosent Steve Otter make a brave decision and scrap them?
Andy Robinson, Newquay

This has got to be a joke? I don`t know many people who are not struggling to pay the Council Tax, there should be enough in the kitty to cover Policing anyway
Jon, Redruth

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