Approval for increase of police tax precept

Oxford Circus tube station has been closed after a police incident

UPDATE: Reports of shots fired in Oxford Street and Oxford Circus tube station, police responding as if terror incident

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HOUSEHOLDS will have to pay more to support police from April.

Following an extensive public consultation, the Hampshire police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes has seen his proposal for a 1.99 per cent increase in the police portion of council tax agreed by the county’s police and crime panel.

As reported previously, this will mean an annual increase of £3.07 for an average Band D household – up to £157.33.

In a recent public consultation, 93 per cent supported the increase.

Mr Hayes said: ‘The Police and Crime Panel has made the right decision by supporting the 1.99 per cent increase I proposed.

‘Through the precept consultation exercise, members of the public have clearly told me that they agree with my commitment to protect neighbourhood policing.

‘This is only possible through retaining front-line policing, which has been put at risk due to £80m government-imposed cuts since 2010.’

Leaders of local authorities had criticised the increase, arguing that their government grant had also been reduced but they had frozen their precept.