Cumbria Constabulary has proposed raising the amount of council tax the public pays for policing, as well as cutting the number of frontline officers, to meet budget cuts.
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Hannah McNulty reports on the budget proposals discussed today by the Police and Crime panel.
Martin Plummer, the Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, has voiced concerns about the proposed plans to cut 155 officers.
He argues that the cuts could increase the harm that each officer faces on a daily basis.
The county's police and crime panel - made up of local councillors - met today to discuss the proposed budget for 2015/2016.
The Commissioner will agree the final budget at the meeting of Executive Board on 3 February but at the moment, the plans are as follows:
- council tax up by 1.9%
- £3.96 increase for Band D Property
- 155 frontline officers to be cut by 2019
- 32 officers to be dropped over the next year due to increased technology efficiency
- 79 staff members to be cut over the next year due to 'digitalisation of back office'
- the number of PCSOs to stay at 95 for the next 12 months.
“I welcome the increase of the policing element of the council tax precept, as this is an important element in supporting policing and public safety in Cumbria.
"As I have previously stated the Constabulary faces major financial challenges and current budget forecasts show that a further £10.8 million needs to be saved by 2018/19.
“Change is challenging, and is required of us due to severe budget cuts; however we are committed to providing a viable independent police force. We will continue to develop and utilise innovative digital and mobile working, while protecting frontline policing as much as possible.
“I remain committed to providing the best possible policing service we can afford for the people of Cumbria.”
The amount people in Cumbria pay for policing is set to increase.
The Police and Crime panel voted in favour of raising the policing part of the council tax by 1.90%.
That would mean an increase of £3.96 for a Band D property.
Cumbria Police is facing nearly £11 million of cuts from central Government and last week announced plans to axe more than 150 police officers.
Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes consulted with the public before proposing the council tax increase, which would mean someone living in a band D property paying an extra £3.96 per year.
"The message from the people I met during the consultation is that they are willing to pay a few pence a week more in order to keep Cumbria safe."
The Commissioner will agree the final budget at an Executive board meeting in February.
Proposals to cut more than a hundred and fifty police officers in Cumbria will come under the spotlight today.
The county's police and crime panel - made up of local councillors - will discuss the plan with the county's Chief Constable and Crime Commissioner.
The force is considering the move because it's facing cuts of £10.8 million to its budget.
Police in the Borders have arrested and charged a 16-year-old man following a series of crimes committed in the Hawick area.
A total of five crimes were committed between Saturday November 29 and Wednesday January 7, including serious assault, assault and robbery, and theft from a motor vehicle.
He has also been charged with possession of cannabis.
He appeared at Jedbergh Sheriff's Court on Friday, January 9, and was subsequently released on bail.
"These crimes have caused significant distress to a number of people in the Hawick area over recent weeks.
"This behaviour is completely unacceptable and we are committed to ensuring that perpetrators of crimes such as these are found and brought to justice."
Anyone with information regarding these incidents should contact Police Scotland immediately on 101 or contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Cumbria Police are warning people to drive carefully following strong overnight winds, which have resulted in a number of blocked roads due to fallen trees. They say the following are affected.
· Whiteriggs, Kirkbride, Nr Wigton,
· A689, Alston
· Little Blencow, near the B5305, Penrith
· Lazonby, Penrith
· Rayrigg Road, Windermere
· Lindeth Drive, Windermere
· Catlands, Carlisle
· Portinscale, Keswick
· Rockcliffe, Carlisle
· Sands Ave, Kendal
Police are urging people to check the roads before driving as the bad weather is forecast to continue over the weekend, with some flooding possible . They're asking people to drive to the conditions and not to attempt to drive through any flood water.
Police Scotland has released a video warnings motorists about the change in the law that will see Scotland have a lower drink-driving limit, drivers who have had a drink and cross the border are in danger of breaking the law.