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Commissioner welcomes pay announcement but asks ‘who’s paying?’

DYFED-Powys Police & Crime Commissioner welcomes this week’s pay announcement for police officers, but questions who will pick up the bill.

After a number of years of pay freezes and an increase in the cost of living, PCC Dafydd Llywelyn welcomes the pay increase of 2.5% for police officers, but raises concerns that it’s yet another financial pressure to be met by the public.

He said: “Earlier this year I had a very difficult decision to make in raising the council tax for policing (precept) by 10.7%. I was left with no choice but to do this in order to sustain the level of service for the residents of Dyfed-Powys. This still left the force in a difficult and precarious position, but through hard work and determination, the books balanced.

“As we continue to work on a sustainable financial plan to meet a myriad of future cost pressures, including additional costs for pensions passed on by government, this pay award is yet another burden. These pressures eat further and further into the budgets to support already stretched policing on the ground. While the much needed and overdue pay increase gives with one hand, it risks taking away with the other.

“The continued shifting of responsibility from government to PCCs and Chief Constables is not sustainable. I’m calling on the Treasury, through the police grant, to step up and provide forces with the necessary funds to deliver a policing service which meets evolving demands.

“More than half of Dyfed-Powys Police’s budget now comes from the pockets of the communities it serves. While the precept paid by the residents of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys remains the lowest of the four Welsh forces, the default position by government should not be to continue to push the burden back to our communities.”

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