‘Penny a day’ council tax rise to protect policing levels

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COUNCIL tax could be set to rise by £3.08 per year after proposals from the Police and Crime Commissioner were accepted on Friday.

PCC Anthony Stansfeld presented the rise, for a Band D house, to the Police and Crime Panel with the hope of using the extra income to bring nine extra officers into the Thames Valley force. It will also see 34 other officers redeployed.

Mr Stansfeld said: “This increase is less than a pint of beer for a Band D household or less than a penny a day, but it allows us to keep our frontline secure by not just maintaining police numbers but actually increasing them.

“With this extra money I can also aim to maintain levels of funding for community safety initiatives for the next year despite 16 per cent cuts in the grant for this area. This is crucial to reducing crime as it will allow groups which have received Home Office funding before such as Community Safety Partnerships, drug intervention programmes and organisations tackling gang and youth violence to continue.”

Government cuts have meant the force have had to save around £70 million between 2011/12 and 2016/17 and already £13.5 million of savings have been found for the next year.

Chief Constable, Sara Thornton, said: “I am pleased that the Police and Crime Commissioner has supported the force by proposing a modest rise in the precept. This will enable us to increase the number of officers on local patrol teams and to increase the strength in our child protection units.”