Chiseldon Parish Council shares communications it receives which may be of interest to our residents.

PCC Philip Wilkinson writes:

After a period of public consultation, I presented my final proposal for the policing precept of your council tax to the Police and Crime Panel this month.

Wiltshire Police is facing increased financial pressures as we strive to deliver the necessary service improvements required, which led to the panel supporting my decision to increase the precept by 5.2%, an extra £1.09 a month or £13 a year for the average Band D property.

This, alongside a grant from the government, accounts for the core budget for policing in the county.

The decision to increase the precept has been a difficult but necessary one. I am listening to residents when they tell me that they want a better and improved service from both the police and wider criminal justice system with improved outcomes and more visibility.

The public voted in favour of the rise, with 85% of respondents to my recent Policing, Priorities and ££s survey saying they wanted to see more investment in policing.

Whilst key improvements have been delivered over past 12 months, including a fourfold improvement in positive outcomes for Rape and Serious Sexual Offences and Wiltshire Police becoming one of the top performing forces nationally in disrupting county lines per head in capita, there is still much to do to make Wiltshire safer as crime and policing demand becomes ever more complex.

Even by putting the precept up by £13 a year, we still need to make savings of £2.4m to cover the funding gap. We remain one of the worst funded force areas in the country, but I will continue to lobby the government for fairer funding.

Both the Chief Constable and I are committed to delivering a policing service which meets an ever-changing crime picture and is fit for the future.

I am confident that with this increase we can continue to invest in key areas to maintain the improvements that we are now seeing across the board.