RESIDENTS across Cheshire will pay more in tax for the county's police force from April 1.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner, has approved the 2021-22 budget for Cheshire Police.

It includes an increase in the police's council tax precept, which will see Band D households pay £1.25 more per month than in 2020-21.

The move follows a public consultation, in which 68 per cent of the 2,282 respondents said they would be willing to support a rise in the precept to help the force invest in community policing and tackle serious and complex crime.

Mr Keane said: "I’m confident that this budget will allow us to continue to deliver a truly local police service which protects Cheshire residents and builds on the foundations that we have laid so far.

"When the Government announced its provisional funding settlement for Cheshire late last year, the chief constable advised me that, without a precept increase, Cheshire Police would be unable to maintain its existing level of service and would be unable to meet the additional operational demands and pressures that we face.

“In reaching my decision regarding the precept, I have carefully considered the views of the public, any Government announcements, and the recommendations made to me by the chief constable."

Mr Keane says the budget will allow Cheshire Police to deliver a 'truly local community police service' with increased investment in areas that residents prioritised in the consultation.

In addition to a dedicated PC and PCSO in each area, the budget will include provision for:

  • The recruitment of an additional 88 police officers
  • Investment to bolster the recording and investigation of crimes, including serious and organized crime
  • Significant investment to tackle death and serious injuries on Cheshire's roads, supporting plans for further average-speed schemes on the county's most dangerous roads
  • Further investment in the force control centre to bolster the service for callers to 999 and 101, and
  • Funding for the recently-developed stalking and domestic abuse multi-agency team.

Mr Keane added: “I thank all those residents who responded to the survey or attended our online events to share their views.

“It is important to note that policing is still recovering from years of cuts and the demands we face continue to grow, both in volume and complexity.

"With the support of the public, however, we have been able to invest in our front line and I believe this budget will provide the chief constable with the resources needed to make our communities safer.”

Chf Con Darren Martland added: “I welcome the budget, which is necessary to develop and enhance our community policing model.

“It enables dedicated PCSOs and police officers to continue to work with communities to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and make our roads safer.

“The increase will also ensure that Cheshire Police has the resources that are critical to tackle some of the complex challenges of serious and organised crime and provide the necessary technology to investigate online crime and abuse.

“We will prioritise the protection of vulnerable people and put victims and witnesses at the heart of everything we do and working with our partners and communities, will make Cheshire even safer.”

The commissioner has written to the police and crime panel to set out the precept increase and his budget ahead of its meeting next week where it will be discussed.

The precept could be vetoed by the panel if two-thirds of members choose to do so.