Budget proposals to increase the policing precept of council tax in Hertfordshire by an average of £13 a year have been accepted. 

The 5.5 per cent precept increase will bridge the budget gap caused by cost of living increases and prevent the loss of any frontline officers, according to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd.

The additional £6.1million raised, alongside the central government grant and a programme of cost savings, are set to ensure Herts has one of the lowest precepts.

PCC Mr Lloyd said: “My proposal to increase the police precept by an average of £13 a year was supported by almost two thirds of the thousands of members of the public who responded to the consultation.

It is not a decision I have taken lightly but the standstill pressures of officers' pay increases, alongside inflationary cost have led to a significant rise in the cost of running Hertfordshire Constabulary."

Standstill pressures are expected to increase the overall cost of running Hertfordshire Constabulary by £21m for the next financial year from April 2024.

Last year, Mr Lloyd and Chief Constable Charlie Hall began an extensive joint efficiency and effectiveness review to identify savings.

To balance the budget, Mr Lloyd has now agreed a programme of measures expected to cut costs by £7.5m.

These measures include maintaining Police Community Support Officers at their current levels, improving overtime efficiency, and additional savings from the collaborated units with Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Constabularies.

While running the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire already costs less than the government guidelines, Mr Lloyd has also agreed to reduce the grant budget he allocates to local partners by £750,000. 

“A key part of my role is ensuring that the police service is efficient and effective, and that public money is being used wisely," added Mr Lloyd.

"Last year the Chief Constable and I launched a joint force review to see where changes could be made to deliver the best service to the public for the money being spent.

“This increase, alongside those identified savings, will enable the Constabulary to balance the budget for the forthcoming year without making cuts to frontline services.”

Mr Lloyd was speaking after the proposed precept was examined and unanimously agreed by the cross-party Police and Crime Panel on Thursday, February 8.

Mr Lloyd’s decision follows a public consultation in which 64 per cent of residents who responded said they wanted to pay more to support policing in the county.

Out of 2,291 replies, the remaining 30 per cent disagreed with the proposal and six per cent were neutral.


How much is the policing precept going to rise?

The increase means the annual precept for an average (Band D) property will go from £238 to £251.

Two thirds of properties in Hertfordshire are in council tax bands A to D, so will pay an extra £13 or less per annum.

Households will pay more or less than the average depending on their house banding. 

Band A will pay £8.66, while Band H will pay £26 extra.

Running Hertfordshire Constabulary, which has its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, is expected to cost £294.2m in the financial year starting April 2024.

This is funded by a combination of £150m from central government, £117m from the council tax and an additional £27.2m in fees, charges and other grants.