A police boss is urging people in North Wales to take part in a survey to gauge how much voters are prepared to pay for policing the region.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has launched the online poll against a backdrop of £31 million in cuts imposed on North Wales Police by the Home Office since 2011.
According to Mr Jones, the force is having to cope with a rising tide of new and emerging crimes.
Around half the money for the budget comes from the UK Government and the rest comes from Council Tax, with the amount depending on the precept levied by Police and Crime Commissioners.
In consultation with the North Wales Police and Crime Panel, Mr Jones will make the proposal to set the level of the precept at a meeting on Monday, January 21.
Last year there was 3.79 per cent increase in the police precept which was among the lowest in Wales.
The Home Office recently announced a two per cent increase in the money allocated to North Wales Police but it is still a “real terms cut”.
Mr Jones said: “Last time round with public backing we were able to recruit seventeen extra police officers and an additional six staff.
“This was due to increasing the investment in community policing which worked out for people as less than the cost of a loaf of bread – 76p a month.”
The commissioner is also looking at adapting his Police and Crime Plan to reflect the changing demands on the police.
It’s currently focused on tackling domestic abuse, sexual abuse including child sexual exploitation, organised crime, modern slavery, and delivering safer neighbourhoods.
He wants to take on emerging threats such as criminal exploitation of vulnerable children and adults.
Mr Jones said: “The criminal exploitation of the vulnerable has emerged in recent years with evil organised crime groups targeting children, people with mental ill health and those suffering from addiction.
“The exploitation of the vulnerable is used in organised crime models, child sexual exploitation and modern slavery.
“Criminal exploitation is a significant factor in each of my policing priorities which is why I want to consult the public about making tackling it an overarching priority.”
“I want the people of North Wales to share their views on police priorities with me so I can then put those views into action to keep our communities safe.
“The cost pressures means the police will have to change the way they work and we need t relook at our priorities and how they can be delivered.
“The Police and Crime Plan sets the strategic direction for North Wales Police, Community Safety Partnerships and other organisations dedicated to reducing crime and safeguarding our communities.
“As police and crime commissioner for North Wales, I have duty to consult local people on policing priorities.
“This survey is a way of finding out what the people of North Wales think.
“Listening to local people is one of the most important parts of my role and it is vital that people have a true voice in policing.”
“I will be using the feedback to inform my discussions with the Chief Constable in agreeing the precept with the Police and Crime Panel.”
The survey can be completed in Welsh by clicking the following link https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4709548/Ymgynghoriad-Praesept-Gogledd-Cymru-2019-20
The survey can be completed in English by clicking the following link https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4650641/North-Wales-Precept-Survey-2019-20