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Police to ask council tax payers for extra 6.8% to fund services

Before the announcement police were set to raise the precept by two per cent
Before the announcement police were set to raise the precept by two per cent

Council tax payers across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are facing a £12 a year rate rise to fund policing.

Earlier this month the government announced that Police and Crime Commissioners will be able to increase the policing precept by 6.8 per cent - or £12 a year for a Band D property.

In Suffolk the rise would add a further £2.1 million to policing budget in the next financial year, bringing the policing precept to £188.82 a year per Band D property.

Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: "Suffolk Constabulary does a good job for the people of Suffolk. It is a low-cost force and offers good value for money. However, we face significant challenges and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

"On December 19 the Policing Minister made his announcement about funding for the next financial year. Whilst we will receive the same amount of core government funding as in 2017/18, the bottom line is this does not take into account the impact of inflation nor additional policing costs, so I will need to raise the council tax precept to cover this.

"I understand the impact, an increase in council tax, will have on you as a resident of Suffolk but I have a difficult decision to make."

Suffolk Police's consultation about the increase closes on January 10.

Cambridgeshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, welcomed the rate rise.

"The recently announced Local Policing Review recognises the challenges faced by the Constabulary in terms of increased demand on services and remains the right structure to both maintain neighbourhood policing whilst working with communities and partners to reduce crime. However, any increase in funds would enable the Constabulary to increase the number of police officers on the frontline to strengthen community safety across the county."

He said that the 23p a week rise would mean the force the potential to hire 150 more officers over the next two years.

"This will significantly increase our ability to respond, investigate and deter people from criminality," Mr Ablewhite said.

Cambridgeshire will be consulting with residents early next month

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