Statement on the Police Grant Settlement 2024/25

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has voiced his disappointment with the police grant settlement, which once again means that council tax-payers are having to be asked for more money to make up the shortfall in order for services to be maintained.

The settlement is the amount of funding each police force receives from the government for providing policing, community safety and victim’s services. This amounts to around three quarters (74%) of the force budget. The other quarter (26%) has to be raised through the council tax precept.

The government usually caps the amount by which police and crime commissioners can raise the precept. In previous years this has been a maximum of £10 per year (based on a Band D property) and last year this was raised to £15. In this year’s settlement the government has capped the amount at a £13 increase. While any increase in precept is a decision the PCC takes, the government will not make up for any funding foregone if precepts are set lower.

Based on the settlement announcement, the South Yorkshire policing and crime budget will be around £355 million – this is assuming that the council tax precept is set at the maximum amount. This will be made up of around £261.5 million in government grant and approximately £93.5 million from the precept.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The grant the government is making available falls short of what is needed to meet all inflationary pressures and maintain an effective and efficient police force. We are forced to raise the precept and to ask the force to make savings if a balanced budget is to be achieved.

“There is a perception in many of our communities that levels of crime and anti-social behaviour are increasing. If they are to be tackled effectively, the police service must be properly funded. Members of the public will be asked to pay more or face cuts to the service. In the current financial climate this is a difficult ask from our local council taxpayers.

“Public finances are in a poor shape nationally and this settlement is unlikely to enable significant improvements in service, even if PCCs make full use of the precept flexibility, not least because in areas such as South Yorkshire, council tax yields are weak due to low property values and growing poverty. Yet these are often the communities where some of the most serious crimes are committed.

“Despite the tight finances, I will continue to work with the Chief Constable to use every penny to support the priorities people most want to see – not least targeting neighbourhood crimes and bringing offenders to justice.”

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is currently consulting with the public on the setting of the council tax precept as well as asking them to identify policing priorities and areas where they think savings can be made.

To have your say on the precept and priorities you can click on the following link: South Yorkshire Precept and Priorities Survey