THE COST OF CRIME

Introduced by Phyllida Pyper, Member of Avon & Somerset Police Authority on 10 July 1997

Mrs Pyper is one of five independent members of the 17 strong Police Authority, the remainder
being magistrates or Local Government Councillors.
A wide-ranging discussion looked at most of the matters for concern as they affected local
residents. The Authority had set a revenue budget of 154 million, approximately 53m. of which came
from the business rate and Council tax (which was 52/yr for Band D). The major expenditure was on wages
and pensions, taking 86%.
Technical advances, such as DNA testing improved detection rates but were costly. The
Government was providing no more money and there was little support in the Group for a suggestion that
the Council tax contribution should be increased to provide extra funds.
Young people under 18 are 26% of all known offenders and Mrs Pyper chairs a Committee which is
considering this problem. The Audit Commission have prepared an excellent report "Misspent Youth:
Young People and Crime"; a free summary of it can be obtained by phoning 0800 502 030.
The public can attend Police Authority meetings and make a five minute submission, and also
Police and Community Consultative Groups, for which details can be obtained by phoning 01275 816 384.
Rodney Tye.