Tax rise to pay for Thames Valley Police officers approved

Police officers Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thames Valley Police is expecting to gain between 400 and 600 officers over the next few years

A council tax rise to help fund 183 new police officers across the Thames Valley area has been approved.

Thames Valley Police's crime panel of councillors passed the force's budget to increase the precept by £10 (4.9%).

The plans, put forward by Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, mean Band D householders will pay £46 a year more to the police than they did three years ago.

The force said each 1% rise in tax would generate about £1.9m.

Mr Stansfeld said increasing council tax each year concerned him, but said if taxpayers had not "propped it up, we would have far fewer police officers in post than we have now".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson was accompanied by Anthony Stansfeld at Thames Valley Police's training centre on his election campaign trial

Thames Valley Police increased taxation by £12 two years ago and then £24 last year.

The rise also means council tax will make up 44.8% of the force's overall budget in 2020-21, a rise from 34% in 2013-14.

Thames Valley Police said while the extra funding was "welcomed", it was "not a panacea for the police service", with cuts of £14.4m still needing to be made over the next four years.

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