South Yorkshire police chiefs want extra Council Tax cash to balance the books

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings

Police chiefs are asking for a 1.95 per cent increase in the amount received from South Yorkshire residents in Council Tax payments.

The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, is recommending the annual increase - £2.83 for Band D properties - because of Government funding cuts and to help the police force tackle the issue of child sexual exploitation.

In a report prepared by Allan Rainford, the Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer, he said ‘the overall financial outlook facing policing and crime services in South Yorkshire continues to be extremely difficult’.

South Yorkshire Police is trying to save £49 million based on previous grant allocations, and Commissioner Billings said £8 million needs to be set aside for the next financial year to ‘address the heightened emphasis given to protecting vulnerable people’.

The force is investing heavily in tackling child sexual exploitation following a damning report published last year which suggested 1,400 children had been abused in Rotherham over a 16 year period while those in authority failed to act.

The Commissioner’s finance report, which will be considered by the South Yorkshire Crime Panel next week, says extra cash is also needed to invest in new ‘technology and infrastructure’ to ‘generate efficiencies in operational policing and support functions in future years’.