Bedfordshire PCC consults with residents about police precept for 2024/25
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The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Bedfordshire, Festus Akinbusoye, has released the police precept surveyfor the financial year 2024/25. The PCC must consult with local residents on any changes that he is considering to the police precept. For 2024/25, the PCC wants to propose an increase to the police precept of £13 a year for an average Band D property.
The PCC said, “Over the last year I have spoken to hundreds of residents and community representatives about what they want from their police force. I am also very conscious of the demands and financial pressures that Bedfordshire Police is under, and the areas that His Majesty’s Inspectorate have identified for improvement. I am also acutely aware of the pressures on people’s own finances, so appreciate any rise in council tax will have an impact. This all means that difficult decisions need to be made around the precept.
Even with an increase of £13 in the police precept, the Chief Constable would still need to make savings to try to maintain the current level of service being provided. Every unit and department of Bedfordshire Police is being examined to identify where these savings can be made and where costs can be reduced.
The Chief and I have agreed that by increasing the precept next year we will be able to close some of the gap created by the outdated funding formula but will still require further innovation and use of technology to support the fight against crime in our county.”
In 2024/25 the focus will be on:
We want to work with retailers and partners to improve the investigation of retail crime by using artificial intelligence linked to CCTV technology. We want to put CCTV in real time in the hands of police officers and support the identification of suspects through facial recognition.
Force control room
The Control Room continues to experience high levels of demand, with a total of 23,000 emergency and non-emergency calls received in November 2023. To respond to this demand the Force will increase the level of resourcing and use a mixed workforce of police staff and police officers. Chat and voice bots will help with non-emergency demand. This will free up officers and staff to deal with police incidents.
Bedfordshire continues to be impacted by knife crime and serious youth violence. We want to bring in a dedicated Superintendent role to develop a countywide crime prevention strategy with a specific focus on preventing serious youth violence and reducing knife related crime.
Improved outcomes for victims through immediate justice
We want to make more and better use of alternative ways of dealing with offenders by increasing our use of processes like out of court disposals. This will help us to speed up resolution for some victims of crime and help to shape offender behaviour to prevent further victims of crime.
Speeding – We want to train and equip our Special Constables with monitoring and enforcement techniques to reduce speeding in key areas across our county at periods of high road use. During 2024/25 there will be a sustained campaign throughout the year to recruit more Specials in the Force as part of our commitment to Community Policing.
The police precept survey will close at 5pm on 12 January 2024 and will form part of the report to the Police and Crime Panel that will meet to consider recommendations from the PCC on 6 February 2024.