INCREASING council tax is “the only way” to maintain current policing provision in Gwent, the area’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

Jeff Cuthbert has said increasing council tax levels by around £2 a month for a band D property would allow Gwent Police to maintain current officers levels and avoid cutting areas such as neighbourhood policing, child protection, domestic abuse, hate crime, rape, sexual assault, and serious or organised crime.

The current portion of council tax bills in Gwent which goes to policing services is £255.53 for Band D properties. Mr Cuthbert said Gwent Police had suffered a 40 per cent real-term cut in government funding since 2010, and had needed to make almost £50 million in savings since 2008.

It is the PCC’s responsibility to set the annual council tax precept and, without the proposed increase, Mr Cuthbert said Gwent Police would have to make further savings of nearly £5 million by 2023/24 in order to achieve a balanced budget.

“Despite recent investment from the UK Government, the future financial position for policing continues to look bleak,” Mr Cuthbert said. “We face significant challenges in Gwent, and demand remains high. “I believe an increase in council tax is the only way Gwent Police are going to be able to continue to provide a high level of service to residents.”

The PCC added: “I am reassured that a rise of up to £2 a month for the average household would see Gwent Police able to maintain current policing provision.

“I want to hear what the public has to say on this matter and would urge people to fill out the survey and have their say.”

“We already have seen significant investment in the last three years in policing in Gwent, with more than 400 new officers and 160 new posts.

“This has brought us closer to the number of officers that we had pre-austerity, and has allowed Gwent Police to prioritise work to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities. This is something of which I am incredibly proud.”

Mr Cuthbert said any increase in council tax would also support recent UK government investment in policing by the UK Government, called Operation Uplift, which will involve approximately 160 new officers joining Gwent Police over the next three years.

These officers are additional to Gwent Police’s planned recruitment for the year.

The PCC said it was “still unclear” where the long-term funding for the 160 Operation Uplift recruits would come from.

To have your say on the PCC’s proposal before the survey closes on Sunday, January 12 next year, visit

Other formats of the survey are available on request from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office by emailing or calling 01633 642200.