South Wales Police precept rises 7% as proposals backed

Alun Michael Alun Michael said the precept rise was a "difficult decision"

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The South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner has seen the force's funding from council tax rise by 7%.

Alun Michael said he was "relieved" and "delighted" after his increase proposals were backed by the majority of the region's Police and Crime Panel.

He said the proposed police precept would be £181.28 for a Band D property, an increase of £11.86 per year.

Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said a 7% increase "during these austere times is disappointing".

He added: "The south Wales increase of 7% is far and above those set for other regions of Wales, which seems unreasonable during these tough economic times for households across the Vale and south Wales."

Mr Michael, who served as Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth for 25 years until resigning to stand as commissioner last November, is responsible for deciding how much householders should pay for police in an annual "precept".

Despite the rise, Mr Michael said the cost to south Wales council tax payers was below the cost for people living in the three other Welsh force areas.

He said: "It's the poorest members of our communities who are hit the hardest by local crime and disorder and this precept will enable us to work to protect them."

He added: "I realise that any increase in council tax is difficult for the public in south Wales.

"However, I have had to make the difficult decision in order to act responsibly and effectively protect and maintain a high quality police service in south Wales.

"This budget allows us to continue the downward pressure on crime and disorder, even in such difficult times."

South Wales Police chief constable Peter Vaughan said the decision "recognises the significant challenges facing South Wales Police, and the investment required to maintain and enhance the policing of our communities".

'Significant challenges'

Alun Michael has claimed the "modest" 7% rise will pay for 40 police community support officers (PCSOs).

South Wales Police chief constable Peter Vaughan said the decision "recognises the significant challenges facing South Wales Police" and the investment required to maintain and enhance policing.

He said: "Over recent years, there has been significant performance improvements for this force, and crime is now at its lowest level for 30 years.

"This decision today will allow us to continue this reduction. I look forward to working closely with the commissioner to fulfil his priorities."

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