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Lib Dems PCC Candidate James Sandbach answers Tim Passmore

January 26, 2021 4:01 PM


James Sandbach Lib Dems PPC CSNI (East Suffolk Lib Dems)

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore writing in the Bury Free Press has asked for the views of the members of the public on a proposed £15 per year increase in the policing precept of our Council tax.

Citing demands on the much overstretched Suffolk constabulary, the current crisis and longer-term impacts of Covid (e.g., on mental health), James Sandbach responded saying, "Mr Passmore is making a statement of the blindingly obvious that policing in our County needs greater resources. He also cites that we have the fourth worst funded police force per capita in the country, and has talked of his disappointment that the Government has chosen not to look at a fairer funding formula for Suffolk".

'But here's the rub, by placing ever greater burden on the precept (which was increased last year also), an assumption becomes built into government policy and Home Office allocations that funding of the police be calculated on the basis that the PCC will increase the precept.The underlying problem of a poor funding for settlement for Suffolk's constabulary goes unaddressed.

In his 8 years as a Suffolk PCC he has failed to change this situation, despite being elected from the ruling Conservative Party. We also have five Conservative MPs representing the County including two Cabinet Ministers. What are they doing to improve central funding for our police?

I can fully understand the PCC wanting use his powers to increase local funding, but in doing so is he not being the Home Office's "useful idiot"?

Perhaps it's time we stopped elected Conservatives to these positions, and returned a PCC who can provide a more independent voice for the policing needs of Suffolk's communities'.