The police and crime commissioner for South Wales Police Alun Michael has revealed precept and budget proposals for 2024/2025 which would see an increase in the precept of 8.69 per cent, and a band D property pay £2.35 more a month as the force faces a budget gap of more than £16 million for next year.
The proposals would see a £2.09 increase per month for a band C, a £1.83 increase per month for a band B and a £1.57 increase per month for a band A.
With 68 per cent of households in the South Wales Police area being below band D, most households would pay between 36p and 48p extra a week.
A report due to go before the South Wales Police and Crime Panel on Tuesday, February 6, said a band D taxpayer in South Wales currently pays £8.62 less than a council tax payer in North Wales but pays 0.2 per cent above the Welsh average precept.
This would mean council tax payers in the South Wales Police area would pay this much in their police precept next year:
Band A: £235.11;
Band B: £274.30;
Band C: £313.48;
Band D: £352.67;
Band E: £431.04;
Band F: £509.41;
Band G: £587.78;
Band H: £705.34;
Band I: £822.90.
It said that the increase in the precept proposed is “at the lowest level that will allow South Wales Police to maintain the high quality service it provides to the communities of South Wales.”
It also said that most people living in the force area which covers the Vale of Glamorgan, as well as Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and Swansea, will pay less than the extra £2.35 for Band D households.
In the report Mr Michael said he believes this to be the right decision because even with this rise for 2024/25, council taxpayers in South Wales will be paying around the average police precept when compared with the other Welsh forces and the force will have to find “efficiency savings” of £750,000 per month in order to balance the books.
He said: “The decision has to be seen against a backdrop of the £60 million cut in real terms (£45 million in cash terms) in the annual police grant to South Wales Police from the Home Office compared with ten years ago as well as the cost of living crisis that currently affects individuals and public services.
“This means that cumulatively South Wales Police has lost in the order of £651 million in real terms over the 12 years.
“We also have to take account of the recently announced cuts to Welsh Government funding for PCSOs forced by the shortfall in their budget before setting the precept at a level that will allow South Wales Police to maintain its core focus on neighbourhood policing and community safety arrangements.”
Local policing is funded by the police grant from the home office together with contributions directly from the public through council tax known as the police precept.
The precept now accounts for 47 per cent of the money received by South Wales Police for the 2024/2025 budget while it was 34 per cent 10 years ago.