NORTHUMBIRA Police and Crime Commisioner is asking the public if they would pay extra to help fund local policing.

Following the government's decision to put the responsibility of paying for policing on to council tax payers, Dame Vera Baird has asked members of the public to possibly pay the equivalent of an additional 31p per week for those living in a Band A property. It would be an additional 46p per week for Band D properties.

In December, the government moved the responsibility for the majority of this year’s settlement on to the public, by allowing a local increase to the precept of up to £24 per year.

Dame Vera said: “Local residents know that I firmly believe the government should pay to deliver policing, sadly, Theresa May does not agree. Here, in Northumbria, we stretch every penny out of every pound.

"However, without significant additional investment, Northumbria Police would be unable to provide the current levels of service to our communities.

“We continue to make savings and efficiencies to direct money to the services that local residents want to see provided.

"I remain immensely frustrated that the financial burden has, once again, been passed to local taxpayers and it is important that members of the public are under no illusion. This is a short-term fix that barely covers the need.

"The Home Secretary’s announcement does not address the considerable, and unfunded, police pension issue, new training regime and inflationary and pay pressures, all of which have been thrust upon national policing. Nor does it reverse the eight years of austerity that have left Northumbria Police with the lowest number of officers since the 1980s.

“Nevertheless, the flexibility that an extra 31p per week for the majority of residents on the precept provides would leave Northumbria Police in a better position than was feared just a few months ago.

"I have recently met with the Chief Constable who agrees with me that savings must also continue to be made so we can build our reserves and to ensure we can deal with any unexpected emergencies throughout the year.

“Chief Constable Keenen and I will continue to seek further efficiency savings to ensure we can reinvest in the priorities that you set out in the Police and Crime Plan.

“Like you,  we want the very best for policing – your unwavering support is appreciated and we want to hear your thoughts now about how we fund policing in the year ahead and ensure the priorities you value continue to be delivered”.

Dame Vera is asking for people to share their views on the proposals by taking part in the online survey at