Sussex Police funding 2018-22

 Frequently asked questions

What is a precept?

It is an element of your Council Tax which is raised for specific services, such as, policing, local councils and Fire & Rescue authorities. 

How much does £1 on the precept raise?

In 2018/19 each £1 of the precept raised £616,000.

How much does the precept currently raise in total?

2018/19 £102.1 million (£8.884 million more than last year)
2017/18 £93.216 million (£8.888 million more than the last year)

How much do I currently pay?

This depends on a number of things: the borough or district you live in, the council tax band of your dwelling and how many people live in the property.

In addition you may be eligible for a discount: for example, if you are the only adult in the household you can obtain an exemption. (Contact your local council for more information if you think you may be eligible for a discount or exemption.)

75% of dwellings in Sussex are a Band D property or below so the majority of people will pay £165.91 or less (£12 or a lower amount of increase) for Policing.



How much was the precept in previous years?

The following schedule sets out the level of police precept within Band D council tax in Sussex since 2010/11.

Note that the precept was frozen for four years from 2010/11 to 2013/14:

Year Band D Council Tax
2018/19 £165.91
2017/18 £153.91
2016/17 £148.91
2015/16 £143.91
2014/15 £141.12
2013/14 £138.42
2012/13 £138.42
2011/12 £138.42
2010/11 £138.42

You can check your band here.

Why are you asking me whether I would be prepared to pay even more?

There is a possibility that in December 2018, the government will lift the cap on the amount the PCC is able to raise locally for policing.

With the current year’s (2018/19) increase in police precept of an average £12 for a band D property and the PCC releasing £17 million from reserves, Sussex Police are now able to invest in 200 extra officers on the frontline over the period 2018/19 – 2021/22.

Although residents are pleased to hear that they will see these 200 extra officers, they are already indicating that they would like even more. That’s why the PCC has opened a survey on her website to gauge potential support for raising more funding locally.

How much of the additional money taken from my council tax is now going to have to fund the government's proposed pension payments that the force may have to make?

The current government proposals to increase employer contributions to police pensions by 9.7% would add £420 million to police force costs across England and Wales each year from 2020. For Sussex, this could mean an extra responsibility of £3.2m over the period 2019/20 which could rise to £8.1m a year from 2020-2023.

PCCs and Police Chiefs have already made representations to government and will continue to work with the Home Office and the Police Pension Scheme Advisory Board over the coming weeks to try to offset the effect.

Why do you ask for public opinion?

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 places a duty to consult with residents within Sussex on the proposals of the PCC for expenditure (including capital expenditure) and the precept in that financial year.

The PCC has completed an annual survey in each of the past five years using a range of public engagement channels including broadcast, print, social media and direct email.

Will you simply just increase the precept, irrespective of the views received?

The PCC gauges public opinion and this forms just one element of the information considered when determining the precept.

Under Schedule 5 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, the
Commissioner must report her decision to the Police & Crime Panel who are asked to consider the proposed precept and make recommendations.

If the Panel does not accept the proposed precept, the power of veto is provided under this Schedule. The power of veto can only be exercised with a two thirds majority, at least, of the current Panel membership, i.e. 13 members or more, voting in favour of a veto.

In the event of a veto, the Commissioner must produce a revised precept and an additional meeting is convened for the Panel to meet to consider this revised precept and make reports to the Commissioner. The Panel does not have the power of veto over the revised precept.

How many people took part in last year’s public consultation?

A total of 4,559 responses were received which is a statistically significant sample of Sussex households. This means had we received a response from every household in Sussex, the results would be the same plus or minus one percent.

Further information about the results of the consultation are available here.

How much is received from Government?

Sussex Police receive a core grant for the day to day running expenses and this is £162.8 million for 2018/19. They also receive other specific grants for specialist activities, totalling £6.9 million.

How does the Government determine how much money it gives to Sussex Police?

The Police Funding Formula divides up how much money each policing body receives from the overall central government funds. It takes into account a number of factors to assess demand in each area.

The Home Office’s proposed changes to the funding formula will be revisited at the next Spending Review.

Why do you have so much money in reserves?

Reserves are held for four main purposes:

• A working balance to help cushion the impact of uneven cash flows and avoids unnecessary temporary borrowing – this forms part of general reserves;
• Funds to cushion the impact of unexpected events or emergencies – this also forms part of general reserves;
• Funds for the purposes of managing risk e.g. insurance reserve; and
• A means of building up funds, often referred to as earmarked reserves, to meet known or predicted requirements; earmarked reserves are accounted for separately but remain legally part of the reserves.

The PCC has a reserves policy that sets out the use of each reserve and the financial
report provides the detail of the value and their use – see this page.

Is money raised through fines considered when setting council tax?

Sussex Police do not retain money raised directly from fines, e.g. speeding/ parking fines.

How much do you charge Gatwick Airport?

Gatwick Airport pays £12 million a year to Sussex Police for the policing services provided.

Does Sussex Police charge for policing the Brighton & Hove Albion Football matches in Sussex?

Yes, and Sussex Police can recover some of the costs of policing large public events and the methodology is agreed nationally.

I cannot afford to pay my Bill

The PCC recognises that any increase in taxation at any level will be challenging for some of our residents and it is therefore not a decision that she takes lightly.

Please contact your local council who will be able to review your council tax liability and check to see if you can obtain a discount, exemption or other reduction to your bill. They can also direct you to independent advice.

What are your medium term plans?

The PCC's current Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) covers the period of four financial years from 2018/19 to 2021/22.

It provides options for delivering a sustainable revenue budget and capital investment over the medium term. It also sets out how the PCC can provide the Chief Constable with the resources to deliver the priorities in the Police & Crime Plan 2018/19 to 2021/22; support the mission, vision and values of Sussex Police and meet the requirements of the Strategic Policing Requirement within challenging financial boundaries. The MTFS can be found here.

The MTFS will be updated as part of our budget planning and precept, published in February 2019.

What is the Police & Crime Commissioner’s salary?

The PCC is paid an annual salary of £86,700

How much does the Police & Crime Commissioner’s office cost?

The cost of running the PCCs office is £1.286m

How much of the increase is to fund the Police & Crime Commissioner’s office?

The increase for the PCCs office equates to 0.4% of the gross budget

Other helpful documents

Further information is available on this page of our website.


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