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Near-4% Hampshire police tax precept approved by police and crime panel

NEW Forest residents will see a near-4% hike in the police share of their council tax, with the extra £8 million pledged to be put towards more officers.

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones proposed the precept rise, which the Police and Crime Panel agreed on Friday.

From April, an average band-D household will pay £261.46 for their policing in 2024/25, a rise of £10. The maximum rise for a band-D allowed without a referendum is £13.

Donna Jones, Hampshire and Isle of Wight police and crime commissioner
Donna Jones, Hampshire and Isle of Wight police and crime commissioner

This will raise an extra £7.2 million, but allowing for an estimated 1% increase in council tax base sees a total of £8.1m extra.

Ms Jones has pledged to use the extra cash to fund 75 more police officers which, she says, brings the total increase of officers for Hampshire police since 2020 to 725.

She also said the funds would go towards plans announced in September to open 10 police stations to the public, including Totton’s in autumn this year.

A public consultation on the precept increase in November saw more than 6,300 responses.

“The majority of people told the commissioner anti-social behaviour, speeding and burglary were the crimes they were most concerned about,” said a statement from the PCC’s office.

The survey showed 60% of county residents supported the 3.98% increase while 31% were against the rise.

Ms Jones added: “I want to place on record how proud I am to be commissioner of one the best forces in the country. Police officers and staff are doing an amazing job taking the fight to criminals under Scott Chilton’s leadership. It has been an incredible, transformative year.”

Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “Over the last year, we have started to show what is possible with a significant improvement in performance and visibility. More burglars, more sex offenders, and more violent individuals off our streets and facing justice.

“The momentum must continue, and I want to deliver it as far and as fast as possible. The support of the public, the police and crime commissioner, and the members of today’s crime panel will help our excellent police staff and officers to do just that.”

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