Surrey Police Commissioner: ‘We need to raise taxes to protect services’

Eagle Radio reports:  There could be another squeeze on our finances.  Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner is thinking about increasing his part of the council tax.

Surrey Police Commissioner

Kevin Hurley says it is either that or more cuts to services: “I haven’t got enough people dealing with child exploitation, because we haven’t got the money.

“We cannot get emergency cars to people as quickly as we would like, because we haven’t got the money.

“If you want to maintain your current levels of policing, and actually see more on the street, think about if you would pay another £1 per week.”

He is suggesting an increase of £1 per week but if it was to be introduced it would need public backing in a referendum.

Kevin thinks most people would support the move: “If you want to keep your PCSOs then we are going to have to charge more, of we’re going to have to take them away.

“If you want to dial 101 and get the police to pick up the phone immediately, then we’re going to have to charge more.

“There is no other way because the Government will not fund us properly.

“I need to reflect on whether I should have that conversation with the Surrey public.”

The PCC says Surrey’s tax payers are not getting a fair deal in the current system.

He claims they pay more than in other parts of the country, but much of the money goes to policing other counties.

“Surrey people pay far more than anywhere else in the country, both in their council tax and police rate precept, and in income tax, for services they don’t get,” he says.

“I want the people of Surrey to get a fair shake for the huge amount of local tax and national tax that they pay.”

‘Abolish county-wide police forces’

One of Kevin’s ideas for saving some money for tax payers throughout the country is to abolish county-wide police forces and introduce one national force.

He says that will lead to huge savings and would see an increase in bobbies on the beat: “One sixth of the £13billion spent on policing is wasted on headquarters.

“Amalgamate police forces, bring fairness back to the way we fund policing in this country and release£2billion to pay for officers on the street.

“We waste £2billion on having 43 separate police forces.

“If we got on with amalgamating the police forces, we could increase the number of officers on the street by about 25,000 to 30,000.

“Surrey would probably get another 500 or 600 officers immediately.”

Kevin also wants there to be just one Police and Crime Commissioner for the whole country but has ruled out standing for the role himself: “I want to be the first Police and Crime Commissioner in the country to be made redundant.”