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Unanimous support given to increase council tax precept in Hampshire

Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, has received support from the Police and Crime Panel to increase the council tax precept by £2 a month to help fund vital local policing.

According to the PCC, the increase will raise £16 million of essential funding to protect local policing and keep communities safer.

Michael Lane said: "It is good news for policing and local people that the Police and Crime Panel has today unanimously supported my recommendation to increase the council tax precept by £2 per month for a Band D property.

"The additional funds represent a real opportunity to stop the ongoing reduction in policing numbers and will enhance current capacity and protect local policing.

"All the additional money raised by increasing the precept goes on protecting local policing.

"Increasing the precept by £2 a month, or £24 a year, will unlock the recruitment and training of more than 200 new police officers and 65 Police Staff investigators, and training for a new cadre of PCSO's.

"The Police and Crime Panel's welcome scrutiny and support builds on the strong support from the local community, the Chief Constable, Hampshire Police Federation, UNISON and Neighbourhood Watch.

"Recognising that it is the Chief Constable who is responsible for operational policing and the configuration of the force to meet operational demand, it will now be for the Chief Constable to identify how these extra officers will challenge local crime.

"And I will be scrutinising to ensure that this delivers real improvements to local safety."

The Police and Crime Panel Chair, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: "I am pleased to say that the panel unanimously supported the recommendation and expressed their appreciation for the clarity and detailed explanation the Commissioner provided to support his request.

"The panel also fully support the commissioners continued efforts to secure improved funding from central government.

"It felt today we were all working together in the interests of our community and I'll look forward to continued dialogue going forward."

Michael Lane added: "Welcome news that this is, I must also restate that the underlying funding weakness remains.

"Policing in Hampshire is under significant financial pressure.

"With national funding making up two-thirds of the money available to us, a fairer funding formula that delivers for Hampshire remains vital to enable the force to invest for the future and stay ahead of new and emerging threats.

"That is why I have pushed for fairer funding for Hampshire and must and will continue to do so."

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