Bedfordshire Police Headquarters

Bridgebury House, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire, MK43 9AX

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Office of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner


Title and Reference – PCC/D/125
Subject: Budget/Precept Proposal Approved
Report of: Police and Crime Commissioner
Date: 07/02/2024
In conjunction with the results of the public consultation and the 2024/25 Budget Report, the Precept Proposal was recommended for approval to the Police & Crime Panel at their meeting on 06 February 2024: To increase the policing element of council tax precept for 2024/25 to increase by 25p a week (£13.00 per year) for an average Band D.

All documents surrounding the budget and precept are available here: Police and Crime Panel Website Festus Akinbusoye, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Bedfordshire, presented the recommendation to the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel to increase the police precept for 2024/25 last night.

The decision to recommend an increase of £13 (£25 pence a week) per band D property was made by the PCC following a public consultation that took place from 19 December 2023 until 12 January 2024.

The consultation resulted in those that expressed a preference, 67% voiced their support for the increase in precept.
Panel members from Bedford Borough Council, Luton Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, and the independent members voted in regard to the precept that helps to fund Bedfordshire Police with 4 members in favour, 7 against and 1 abstention.

The rules surrounding precept are that the Panel will either:
• support the precept without qualification or comment;
• support the precept and make recommendations; or
• veto the proposed precept (by the required majority of at least two thirds of the persons who are Members of the Panel at the time when the decision is made)

The Police and Crime Panel did not have the majority of at least two thirds (9) during the vote, so the precept increase was approved.

The proposal is focused on tackling crime in both urban and rural communities and supporting victims of crime. With the increase the PCC can secure funding for:

Retail crime – We want to work with retailers and partners to improve the investigation of retail crime by using artificial intelligence linked to CCTV technology. We want to put CCTV in real time in the hands of police officers and support the identification of suspects through facial recognition.

Force control room – The Control Room continues to experience high levels of demand, with a total of 23,000 emergency and non-emergency calls received in November 2023. To respond to this demand the Force will increase the level of resourcing and use a mixed workforce of police staff and police officers. Chat and voice bots will help with non-emergency demand. This will free up officers and staff to deal with police incidents.

Crime prevention – Bedfordshire continues to be impacted by knife crime and serious youth violence. We want to bring in a dedicated Superintendent role to develop a countywide crime prevention strategy with a specific focus on preventing serious youth violence and reducing knife related crime.

Improved outcomes for victims through immediate justice – We want to make more and better use of alternative ways of dealing with offenders by increasing our use of processes like out of court disposals. This will help us to speed up resolution for some victims of crime and help to shape offender behaviour to prevent further victims of crime.

Speeding – We want to train and equip our Special Constables with monitoring and enforcement techniques to reduce speeding in key areas across our county at periods of high road use.

During 2024/25 there will be a sustained campaign throughout the year to recruit more Specials in the Force as part of our commitment to Community Policing.

To note decision

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