‘Agree to 15% council tax hike or risk losing police officers’ – warning

THE police’s share of the council tax could soar by an inflation-busting 15 per cent next year, residents have been warned.

The alternative – keeping the precept to a 1.5 per cent hike – could mean 200 LESS police officers on our streets.

That grim picture was painted today (Tuesday) by Hertfordshire Police Authority, which has launched a survey calling on residents to have their say.

It wants to know how much the public is willing to pay to protect the level of policing needed in the county.

Chairman Stuart Nagler said: “The authority has some very hard decisions to make in the next few months.”

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“The force needs additional funding to maintain and improve its services, but we want to limit the burden placed on council taxpayers, particularly during the current recession.

“We are now looking at options ranging from an inflation increase of 1.5 per cent, which may lead to a loss of nearly 200 officers in the next three years, up to an increase of 15 per cent, which would enable us to put an extra 40 officers in our neighbourhood policing teams and maintain our current workforce numbers.”

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Band D taxpayers currently pay a police precept of �142.82. A 15 per cent increase would add around �21 to the bill.

* For more on this story see tomorrow’s (Wednesday) Welwyn Hatfield Times.

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