CHESHIRE residents will not face an increase for policing in their council tax bills after the police and crime commissioner announced the budget for the new financial year.

Despite facing a real terms reduction in government funding, commissioner John Dwyer has frozen the amount of council tax resident will pay for policing.

Cheshire’s budget for policing in 2014/15 will be £189.8million, but proposals are subject to consideration from the Police and Crime Panel on Friday, February 7.

The commissioner said: "In this budget, I have focussed on my key priorities of reducing crime and supporting victims.

“It has not been an easy budget to set as we are still facing cuts in funding from government.

“But I have also been mindful that the public of Cheshire are also facing difficult financial challenges, many have not received a pay rise in the last year and so I am not going to increase the amount they pay for policing."

The budget sets out how the resources will be allocated to the Constabulary to deliver an efficient and effective police service, meet the needs of local policing and prevent re-offending.

However, with 80% of expenditure relating to people, there will be a managed reduction of officers through retirement and leavers.

The budget will allow for the recruitment of 50 new officers next year, but there will also be a loss of 70 police staff posts.

The commissioner added: "The continuing financial challenges cannot be underestimated.

“The root and branch review has identified a clear way forward to achieving the required savings whilst maintaining and where possible improving services.

“I have set this budget to try, as far as possible, to meet the policing needs of the people of Cheshire without passing any costs directly on to them.”

In line with the Police and Crime Plan, the commissioner is proposing to invest in key priorities, including piloting a new neighbourhood policing model and working with local communities to manage crime reduction and support victims.

The commissioner is also proposing to commit additional resources to dealing with cyber crime and to working with partners to safeguard the most vulnerable children and young people who are being sexually exploited or are at risk of being so.