Penny-a-day council tax rise ‘will pay for more police officers’

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld
Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld
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A rise in the police portion of council tax will pay for nine extra police officers across Thames Valley.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Anthony Stansfeld, had his proposed rise in the police portion of the council tax approved by the Police andCrime Panel last Friday.

The rise is equal to £3.08 a year extra for a Band D household.

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 interventionprogrammes and organisations tackling gang and youth violence to continue.”

Thames Valley Police says the increase will allow it to recruit an extra nine officers and redeploy 34 other officers to key roles in local policing and child protection.

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.”

Due to central government cuts, the force is having to save £70 million over the six-year period 2011/12 to 2016/17. Cash savings of £13.5 million have already been identified for 2013/14.