North Yorkshire police boss says above-inflation demand for council tax is necessity to tackle rise in violent crime

North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan.
North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan.
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North Yorkshire's police commissioner Julia Mulligan has said her proposal for the maximum council tax increase without triggering an election is a necessity to make sure the force can tackle a rise in violent crime, drugs and domestic abuse.

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will present her suggestion for a 3.91 per cent increase at the police and crime panel meeting on Thursday stating the rise is necessary to ensure the county remains the safest place to live in the UK.

The proposal would set the Band D Police Element of the Council Tax within North Yorkshire for 2020/21 at £265.77. The increase of £10, or 3.91 per cent over the 2019/20 level is the maximum rise the Government will allow before a referendum is triggered.

“With the total increase in funding from the Government totalling £6.8m, compared against the unavoidable cost increases of £10.6m, then the organisation needs £3.8m more in precept funding, in comparison to 2019/20, to deliver the required services in 2020/21," Ms Mulligan said.

"The increase I am suggesting is less than the 3.99 per cent proposed by the county.

"With the exception of Essex and possibly Staffordshire, I believe mine is the second or third lowest percentage in the country.

"As a force we have seen a significant increase in demand when it comes to domestic abuse, especially in some rural areas where victims are not receiving the service they should.

"North Yorkshire has also seen a huge rise in burglary and violent crime which is in relation to County Lines and we have not had any funding from the Government to help tackle this.

"North Yorkshire is the safest place to live in the country but we are seeing real pressures.

"I want it to remain the safest place to live, but people are getting worried, for example, when they hear about the problems places like Harrogate are having with County Lines."

Ms Mulligan said she will be joined at the meeting on Thursday by North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lisa Winward who will explain the operational reasons behind the suggested rise to the tax payer.

The police and crime commissioner said: "The panel will want to do its job and quite rightly so - they are there to scrutinise and support, but we will be putting forward our arguments for the rise and they are justified.

"They will also hear from the Chief about why the rise is necessary and she will be able to give an explanation on the operational reasons.

"People need to understand what the police deal with on a daily basis and the difference the funds will make.

"The panel will be able to express their reservations about the increase, but I would hope that they will ultimately approve the suggestion otherwise its going to have to come back before them again where I will propose fairly similar amount."

The proposal follows Mrs Mulligan being warned last month by the panel against asking taxpayers to fund another large increase on the police element of council tax after it emerged the force had £600,000 left over from last year’s budget.