Council Tax precepts up to help fund South Wales and Dyfed-Powys Police
THE amount of council tax people contribute to police looks set to increase — but there are big differences between the South Wales and Dyfed-Powys forces.
Police precepts for householders in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are set to go up by 7 per cent this year, while in Carmarthenshire the increase is just under 4 per cent.
The changes will mean a typical Band D household in the South Wales Police area paying £181 a year, while in Dyfed-Powys they will be paying £206.
The increases are being proposed by the forces's commissioners, and will need to be approved by their respective police and crime panels.
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South Wales Police commissioner Alun Michael said the increase would help to mitigate the effects of the "draconian" cuts in budgets from the Home Office, and would be used to create a £1 million fund to help tackle issues including youth offending and domestic violence.
He said: "I realise that any increase in council tax is difficult for the public in South Wales.
"However, I have had to make the difficult decision in order to act responsibly and effectively protect and maintain a high quality police service in South Wales.
"This budget allows us to continue the downward pressure on crime and disorder, even in such difficult times."
He added: "It is important to note that South Wales Police will still have the lowest cost of policing for the tax payer in Wales."
The propsed increase will go before the police and crime panel next week. Last year's increase in South Wales precept was five per cent.
Dyfed-Powys Police commissioner, Christopher Salmon, said that in arriving at his increase — of 3.9 per cent — he had tried to balance the need of providing effective policing with the cost to taxpayers.
He said: "I am acutely conscious of the pressure on family budgets in these tough times.
"In proposing the council tax precept, I have sought to balance the needs of our police service with the demands on families across Dyfed-Powys.
"The budget allows scope for much needed investment in new facilities and leaves us well positioned to cope with unexpected events in future."
He added his aim was to bring rises into line with inflation over the next four years. Last year's precept increase was five per cent. Mr Salmon will put his proposals to the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel tomorrow.
Until the creation of commissioners, the responsibility for setting precepts lay with police authorities which were made-up of councillors and independent members.
Three-quarters of Welsh police budgets come from Westminster — either directly or via Cardiff Bay — with the remainder coming from council tax.