An independent candidate for the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) says government police funding is unfair to Surrey residents.

Alex Coley, who is running for election on Thursday, May 2, is concerned about the shift of gradual funding by stealth from central to local taxation to fund the police.

Alex says: “Surrey is the only police area in the country where local residents pay more towards policing than central government.

“The share of the burden is 55 per cent council tax precept, versus 45 per cent government funding.

“We are approaching a point where other police areas will join Surrey and cross the line where the Council Tax precept provides the majority of funding.

“Within three years a third of police areas may cross that point, in five years it could be half.

“Not only are residents being taxed twice for policing, many will soon face being directly taxed for the majority of police funding contributions where they live, just like in Surrey.

“A quiet and gradual funding shift by stealth.”

The average council tax precept contribution in England and Wales is 34 per cent and growing faster than any other funding area, says Alex.

The council tax precept also increased nationally by 71 per cent from March 2016 to March 2024 and government funding only increased by 29 per cent.

At a Surrey Police & Crime Panel in February Alex asked the current commissioner to consider other funding sources because of the impact another maximum increase would have on residents suffering from the cost-of-living crisis.

On her behalf, the PCC’s staff replied: “What do you want us to do, pass a hat around?”

Alex added: “The Police & Crime Commissioner has £43m in treasury management, she underspent by £8.7m last year and is forecast to underspend again this year.

“Your council tax is going into her reserves, while police officers are taken off the streets to cover desk jobs for staff vacancies.

“Little wonder that the recent inspection report assessed Surrey Police as ‘Inadequate’ at responding to the public.”

Alex is currently petitioning Parliament to change the police funding allocation formula.