Norfolk council tax rise to pay for more police

Norfolk PCC Lorne Green
Image caption Police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said he asked for the money as policing had become more "complex"

A rise in council tax to pay for more police officers in Norfolk has been given the green light.

The 5.5% increase was approved on Tuesday, on top of a 6% rise for council services agreed last week.

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said it would pay for 23 more staff, including 17 officers.

PCC Lorne Green said: "I had to make that terrible choice to impose a tax burden, but I promise the community they will see more for their money."

The rise means householders with an average Band D property will pay an extra £12 a year.

County councillors and independent members on Norfolk's police and crime panel approved the increase.

Mr Green said: "The police are skint - the changing nature of crime is so considerable... we really need officers who are fully equipped.

"We just could not continue with the resources we had - this money is going to buy extra police officers.

"It is a lot if you are on a fixed income or no income and I am sensitive to that, but my primary responsibility is to keep the people of this county safe."

Image caption Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey said the rise would let him put more officers on the beat

Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable, Simon Bailey, said he was "genuinely pleased" that Mr Green's proposal had been approved.

He said the extra money would be spent on more police officers for the front line, specialist units and Norfolk's Safer Schools programme.

"It equates to £12 a year, which is a really significant step up for us as it helps us to bridge the deficit," he said.

"I would like to think our communities are going to see that visible presence and they will be really pleased to see it."

A public consultation on the police precept for 2018-2019 was held before Christmas.

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