LETTER: Questions over police tax rise

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It was interesting to note from page 17 of last week’s WSCT, that more than half of respondents surveyed would support ‘a proposed increase in the police element council tax’, of 3.6 per cent we understand.

Unfortunately the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) did not state how many Sussex residents responded to the survey. Perhaps she could provide us with that information, along with a proper justification for the proposed increase.

I understand that she said at a meeting last in Horsham last year, that police numbers in Sussex had been increased by over 200 but, when prompted by councillor Arthur, she acknowledged that this had been preceded by a reduction of 500, before she took office.

Those residents who are already paying for Neighbourhood Wardens, to compensate for reduced police presence, will no doubt be asking why they should now pay more, at a time when disposable incomes have fallen steadily for many years and when we hear many complaints about the lack of response to reported crimes.

Since the total cost of policing of a large village can amount to around £500,000 pa, the costs are not insignificant and many of the residents who were not aware of the survey, will no doubt want to object to the PCC.

Before being elected, she assured us that the political appointment of PCCs would not result in a diversion of resources from our rural areas, to areas with incidents of high media impact and we were told that this would not occur.

So perhaps the PCC could confirm that the cost of policing fracking demonstrations has been funded by central Government (which is pushing fracking forward at high speed) and will not be carried by residents.

Of course the PCC did decide not to replace the deputy that she appointed, but we might well ask how the cost of the appointment was justified in the first place.

The key question remains, as to why the PCC can’t find ways to reduce the cost/income ratio, as everyone in the real world has been doing, instead of relying on her monopoly position and to use residents as cash cows.

RAY TOOTS

Comptons Lane, Horsham