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Suffolk police authority's council tax announced

PUBLISHED: 16:05 22 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:26 06 July 2010

SUFFOLK Police Authority has today (Monday) agreed their policing budget for the county in the midst of severe financial pressures.

A budget of £113.5 million has been set for policing the county in 2010/11, with members also agreeing an increase in the police's part of the council tax of 3pc.

SUFFOLK Police Authority has today (Monday) agreed their policing budget for the county in the midst of severe financial pressures.

A budget of £113.5 million has been set for policing the county in 2010/11, with members also agreeing an increase in the police's part of the council tax of 3pc.

Maintaining the Constabulary's position as one of the lowest cost forces in the country, Police Authority chairman Gulshan Kayembe said: “I believe we have got the balance right. The financial situation for the Constabulary is currently very difficult; we have to work under increased pressure to realise large efficiency savings, which this year are set at £2.4 million. This is alongside the fact that we have once again received the lowest level of government grant.”

A key part of the budget setting process involves targeting funds towards priority policing areas, decided through public consultation and detailed research.

Mrs Kayembe added: “Through robust financial planning and consideration of public concerns, we aim to continue work in key areas that we know are priorities to our communities. Following extensive public consultation, operational service priorities for this year's budget have been agreed which focus on anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and violent crime, among others.”

Whilst balancing force priorities and efficiency pressures, a key factor in the authority's decision is to avoid making large increases to Suffolk residents' council tax contribution. This year's increase will result in a rise of less than £5 for the year for a Band D property compared with last year.

“This year, as in previous years, the Authority has set a budget which is aimed at giving the Constabulary the means to continue providing a quality, responsive service to local people while trying to keep council tax increases to a minimum,” Mrs Kayembe said.

Suffolk's Chief Constable Simon Ash added: “The year ahead will be financially challenging, but we are committed to providing the best possible policing to our communities, to listen to and act upon their concerns and to increase their confidence in their police force.”

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