The results of the maths exercise on the true cost of losing Kent police as a stand-alone force are starting to creep out.
According to official sources, the costs of amalgamation could leave taxpayers in the South East picking up a bill for about £60million, spread over ten years or roughly the same amount Kent taxpayers currently contribute via council tax towards the force’s yearly budget of £340million.
Every one per cent extra on the police share of the council tax generates about £700,000 and so if Kent police was forced to raise an additional £6million from taxpayers each year, it would translate as an 8.5 per cent increase on our community charge, half of which would be spent on new computer systems and as somewhat of an authority on the subject of public sector computing, I would be inclined to add a further 50% contingency to this figure, based on good precedent.
One good reason for a merger is the search for efficiency, because the different police forces or should I say services, vary wildly in their performance and ability to deliver a service to the community. Some are so bad that their results are pitiful and the costs of policing to the public are now quite outrageous.
A second reason for seeking an amalgamation, is that “The wheels are falling off” the criminal justice system in its fight against Serious and Organised Crime but there's far too much to write about this than I have room here.