Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness is asking the public to pay on average 83p pence a month extra as Northumbria Police faces the cost of spiralling inflation and rising cost pressures.

In response to budget pressures the Commissioner will oversee the introduction of a new policing model which will see 134 new officers deployed to neighbourhood policing – but substantial changes will have to be made elsewhere in the force.

Inflation and other cost increases mean the force needs to find more than £11.7m in savings.  This figure would rise to £15.8m if the public do not back a rise in the precept.

Despite these financial concerns, the Commissioner has insisted that a new neighbourhood policing approach to tackle anti-social behaviour will be safeguarded from the cuts as far as possible. This will involve deploying more officers into frontline policing to help maintain a visible police presence in local communities.

A proposed precept rise would see a Band A property – the average council tax band home in the region – pay 83p a month.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said “The Government should be fully funding policing, but instead they’re asking local taxpayers to cover the costs instead and are asking more and more of them.

“Even the full precept rise won’t fully cover what Northumbria Police needs but we are planning around this with a restructure that would see the force allocate 134 new officers into specialist frontline policing to take on the fight against crime.”

Plans would focus on patrols in hot spot areas, proactive ASB reduction plans and further disruption of organised crime groups. This potential restructure has been prompted by an unprecedented combination of high inflation, government austerity and rising pay bills.

Although the PCC believes it is ‘wholly inappropriate’ to keep increasing the cost burden on the taxpayer, she fears there is little choice when it comes to people’s safety and so a new public consultation on the precept and policing priorities asks:

 1.How much more would you be prepared to pay per month towards your council tax to support policing in the Northumbria area?
Option 1: Increase of 83 per month for a Band A property
Option 2: No increase in my council tax

Commenting further Kim McGuinness, said: “The Government seems in denial about the dire situation of police funding, particularly in the North East. They seem intent on passing the police bill onto the local tax payer.

“Northumbria Police is up against significant financial pressure and needs investment as inflation continues.”

Earlier this month, with concerns mounting about police finances, Kim teamed up with PCCs and Mayors up and down the country to call on the Home Secretary for urgent action to save our police forces and prevent them from being forced to make difficult decisions, but the Commissioner is yet to receive a reply.

The PCC had previously asked the public to pay an extra 56p a month, but the Government has said forces must now consider a £15 a year hike in order to offset the cost of inflation.

To give your feedback on the police precept and your priorities for 2023, please complete the survey here: or call 0191 221 9800 for any assistance.