Peter Lilley welcomed David Lloyd’s decision to reduce the police rate, whereas many counties are raising theirs. Given the pressure on public spending and Hertfordshire constabulary’s success in reducing crime levels, it would be wrong to increase the rate this year. He was speaking in response to a talk by David Lloyd at the Hitchin Conservatives’ New Year lunch.
Peter said: “We are fortunate that, by good financial management, Hertfordshire Constabulary has built up substantial reserves to protect itself against future pressures, so it is in a much stronger position financially than the vast majority of forces nationwide.”
David Lloyd explained: “I think it would be wrong to raise the police rate simply to bolster reserves, and so, following a public consultation, the decision has been made to reduce the rate slightly. This is a small reduction, but I think it is an important one as it reinforces the principle that taxes should not simply rise automatically.
“In addition, I have resisted pressures to centralise policing in Hertfordshire, because I believe it is important to maintain local police units that are responsive to local needs. We have achieved the savings needed to preserve local policing by cooperating with neighbouring forces to share back office services.”
Peter said: “We are lucky to live in an area with low levels of crime, but it is important to maintain a visible local police presence to deter crime, and to respond rapidly to crimes that do occur.”