TIME is running out for members of the public to have a say on police priorities and funding with a consultation set close at midnight this Sunday (24 January 2021).
The online survey, launched earlier this month by police and crime commissioner David Keane, asks Cheshire residents whether they feel safe in their area and what they would like to see Cheshire Police prioritise over the next 12 months.
It also asks whether they would support a £1.25 per month (for the average band D household over 12 months) increase to the policing precept element of council tax to address increasing pressures on local policing.
The online consultation has been supported by virtual public engagement sessions that the commissioner has held with chief constable Darren Martland over the last few weeks for residents to talk to them directly about their concerns.
When announcing the consultation earlier this month, PCC David Keane said: “2020 was one of the most challenging years in living memory and I know that many of us are anxious about the future.
“The pandemic has shown us just how important policing and other key public services are when it comes to protecting our communities.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 has also made the future financial position for policing even more challenging.
“Funding for Cheshire Police has been cut significantly by the government over the last decade. We have made more than £60 million of savings during this time, whilst striving to ensure this vital service remains effective.
“During this period, I’ve maintained my commitment to bring back real community policing to Cheshire. With the support of the public, I have been able to increase officer numbers to ensure every community in Cheshire has its own dedicated Police Constable and Police Community Support Officer.
“The extra funding that the government boasts about in its Provisional Police Funding Settlement is dependent on local residents paying more in council tax (£1.25 a month for the average Band D property) over the next year.
“I completely disagree with the government putting the burden on local taxpayers. However, the chief constable has advised me that without this increase, Cheshire Police would be unable to maintain its existing level of service and would be unable to meet the additional operational demands and pressures that we face.
“As your voice in policing, I want to hear your views on this proposal and I want to know what your policing priorities are for the coming year.
“Please take the time to the complete the short survey and have your say.”
Cheshire residents can give their views by completing the following survey: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/siam/surveylanding/surveylogin.asp?sk=160759151682