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Cumbria PCC Says Council Tax Rise Will Mean More Officers On The Beat

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner wants to put council tax up, saying it'll mean more officers on the beat.

Peter McCall's taking advantage of a government announcement in December giving PCCs more power to raise bills to improve service.

He says the average household would only pay an extra £12 a year.

That would be spent recruiting 25 more police officers and 95 more PCSOs.

A public consultation is underway.

Mr. McCall said: “As the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria I have a difficult choice to make. I know that increasing council tax is never popular, but your safety and security are more important to me. My commitment to you is to secure an effective policing service and to ‘keep you safe’. It is clear to me that combatting crime and addressing your local concerns such as anti-social behaviour is becoming even more complex. In addition, rising demand and emerging threats such as terrorism and online-crime are increasingly stretching the force’s resources.
“None of us likes to pay more but I believe that the right thing to do is to invest now in front line policing for Cumbria, however, I have to balance this against the impact on hard pressed household budgets."

Chief Constable Jerry Graham said: “I have always stated that an independent police force is the best way to keep Cumbria safe, and I remain convinced that this is still the case. This is a key opportunity to secure our future, providing dedicated policing services for the people of Cumbria.

“I would like the force to be in the strongest possible position to protect Cumbria. I am confident that this extra money will support the future of policing services in Cumbria. Without the additional funding the current police service may face further reductions.

“I understand that we are asking for more money at a time when many people’s personal budgets are already stretched, particularly after Christmas, and it is not a request I am making lightly. However, this relatively small amount of money will have a significant impact on the quality of local policing services we can offer in your communities.
“I fully believe that this money will secure a future for independent local policing in Cumbria to keep you and your family safe. I support the Commissioner’s proposals.”

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