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Cornwall's top cop defends hike in council tax

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Published by Emma Carton at 7:44am 9th February 2019. (Updated at 9:18am 9th February 2019)

Cornwall's top cop has defended a hike in council tax for policing, but demands fairer funding.

The agreed plans will bills for the average Band D home rise by £24 a year.

We are told that frees up enough money for 85 more officers across the Duchy and Devon.

However, the Chief Constable says our area gets less cash from the government than forces up country.

Shaun Sawyer warns if that does not change, more cuts would be a "realistic assumption".

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Cornwall and Devon's top cop has defended a rise in council tax for policing but demands fairer government funding

"I note the views of the Police and Crime Panel today and their agreement to raise the council tax precept by 41 pence a week for a Band C property.

"While I don't under estimate the impact of rising costs for our communities, an increase in precept is the only way I can provide a sustainable policing service for the communities of Devon and Cornwall.

"I will now be working closely with the OPCC, emphasising my own priorities as well as those in the Police and Crime Plan.

"We still have some significant funding challenges ahead - financing a changing pension picture, increasing public demand for service and the huge swell of population summer brings to our region being just some of those areas.

"But I will do everything possible to work with the OPCC to maintain, and wherever possible, increase frontline policing across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly".

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer

Shaun Sawyer - Devon and Cornwall Police
The Chief Constable says if we do not receive a fairer slice of govenment money, more cuts are a "realistic assumption"

"Government funding remains a huge personal frustration as my force has for many years, and continues, to fall foul of the Home Office funding formula of police forces.

"The geography and population of Devon and Cornwall means we do not get a fair slice of funding compared to other - often more urban forces.

"Against the most basic national averages, our communities in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly receives 26 pence of government funding per day per head of population compared to an average of 33 pence in other areas.

"If we received the average from government we could potentially invest £40m more into frontline policing - reflecting the enormous challenges of policing our rural, urban and coastal communities.

"I've also no doubt that Government funding will not be increasing significantly in the coming years - further austerity is a more realistic assumption. So to simply stand still we have to ask the public for more.

"That cannot be right and I am committed to continuing to lobby Government, with the OPCC, to remedy this long standing discrimination to our force".

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer

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