Police chiefs proposal 1.95 per cent precept tax rise

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Merseyside’s police commissioner has put forward proposals which she believes will balance the force’s books.

Jane Kennedy wants to increase the police precept by 1.95 per cent to offset a 0.6 per cent £1.35m cut to the main police grant from government.

Asking people to pay more is something I do reluctantly, but through the consultation people demonstrated beyond doubt their support for protecting frontline police services

Police commissioner Jane Kennedy

The Commissioner will also use £3.4m from reserves in order to ensure the budget remains balanced.

The increase works out as 4p a week or £2 a year for a Band A household – the lowest category of Council Tax and the amount paid by the majority of tax payers on Merseyside.

Mrs Kennedy said: “Asking people to pay more is something I do reluctantly, but through the consultation people demonstrated beyond doubt their support for protecting frontline police services.

“The Police and Crime Panel have also recognised the necessity of this increase and I’m grateful for their support.

“Merseyside Police has lost over 1,600 officers, PCSOs and staff since 2010. While fortunately the government appears to have seen sense and stopped the reckless programme of cuts it has imposed over the last six years, they were only able to claim they were protecting the police budget by assuming local people would pay more.

“This tied my hands. Without local taxpayers agreeing to pay more our police service would have again lost out and we cannot afford to lose any more.

“I thank the public for playing their part in protecting our police service and helping to keep our communities safe.”