RESIDENTS of County Durham and Darlington are being asked how much they are willing to pay for policing in their council tax.

The Government has recently confirmed that Police and Crime Commissioners can increase the precept in Council Tax by £15 annually.

That is the figure being recommended by the office of Durham Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner for Band D properties, stating it will enable more police officers to be deployed on the streets, serving in the community, as well as ensuring the force control room is sufficiently resourced to meet demand from 999 and 101 calls.

The increase in precept will also enable the force to invest in technology infrastructure, increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.

Over recent years the precept has been increased to help continue investment in victim support services, including those who need assistance to recover from domestic and/or sexual abuse, and ensure the force is able to maintain a strong community support presence in the community.

Steve White, Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, said: “Durham Constabulary is one of the most efficient police forces in the country, according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

“That’s a consequence of the force’s commitment to innovation and making the very best use of the money available.

“I recognise how tough this year has been on everyone within the community and how difficult individuals’ financial circumstances have become, however policing is an essential service that will help us keep our communities safe.

“Our police force has faced their own challenges and worked extremely hard to set new regulations this year in order to keep people safe during the pandemic.

“The proposed increase will help meet the rising demand from people who suffer from mental health crisis in our communities, in order to keep them and the public safe. An increase will also mean we can continue to deliver an effective and efficient police force and maintain the highest standard of policing with more officers on the streets protecting the community”.

Residents will be asked what services they think would benefit from extra investment including victim support, rural crime and anti-social behaviour.

Last year’s precept increase of £10 per Band D household helped support the employment of over 68 additional police officers plus additional police staff to support these officers, to Durham Police during 2020/21.

Durham Constabulary has recently submitted a planning application to build a £21m centralised custody facility, these funds have come from reserves and will not be funded from a rise in the precept.

Steve White, Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner will make a precept recommendation to Durham Police and Crime Panel in the New Year, once the consultation has ended.

The survey for residents of County Durham and Darlington is available via, until January 31.