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Statement from Chief Constable following budget setting

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Local authority precept agreed.

Following today’s Police and Crime Panel the 2019/20 local authority precept for Devon and Cornwall Police has been agreed.

Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: “I note the views of the Police and Crime Panel today and their agreement to raise the council tax precept by 41 pence a week for a Band C property.

“While I don’t under estimate the impact of rising costs for our communities, an increase in precept is the only way I can provide a sustainable policing service for the communities of Devon and Cornwall.

“I will now be working closely with the OPCC, emphasising my own priorities as well as those in the Police and Crime Plan.

“We still have some significant funding challenges ahead – financing a changing pension picture, increasing public demand for service and the huge swell of population summer brings to our region being just some of those areas.

“But I will do everything possible to work with the OPCC to maintain, and wherever possible, increase frontline policing across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Chief Constable Sawyer added: “Government funding remains a huge personal frustration as my force has for many years, and continues, to fall foul of the Home Office funding formula of police forces.

“The geography and population of Devon and Cornwall means we do not get a fair slice of funding compared to other – often more urban forces.

“Against the most basic national averages, our communities in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly receives 26 pence of government funding per day per head of population compared to an average of 33 pence in other areas.

“If we received the average from government we could potentially invest £40m more into frontline policing – reflecting the enormous challenges of policing our rural, urban and coastal communities.

“I’ve also no doubt that Government funding will not be increasing significantly in the coming years – further austerity is a more realistic assumption. So to simply stand still we have to ask the public for more.

“That cannot be right and I am committed to continuing to lobby Government, with the OPCC, to remedy this long standing discrimination to our force.”


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