Police council tax rise reduces after capping

Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton and District Commander Superintendent Maggie Blyth. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE council tax precept for policing in Hampshire is to rise by 1.99 per cent following a cap by the government.

Police and Crime Panel members last month voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three per cent rise.

It would have meant a rise of 9p per week for the average band D property from April.

Simon Hayes, Hampshire police and crime commissioner, branded the move ‘hugely disappointing’.

He will now use £973,000 from the force’s reserves to make up the shortfall.

It comes as the force is radically reorganised in a bid to save an extra £25m by April 2017 due to government spending cuts.

Hampshire police has had to save £55m since 2010.

Mr Hayes said: ‘The cap equates to a funding loss of nearly £1m and puts additional pressure on our already squeezed budget for the coming year.

‘With the public purse in mind I have decided against a costly referendum. Instead, I’ll increase the policing element of the council tax by 1.99 per cent and make up the shortfall from our reserves to ensure we can sustain the current level of neighbourhood policing and keep our communities safe.’