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11 May 2015, 14:01
The people of Bedfordshire have voted 'no' in the Police and Crime Commissioner's Referendum, which asked the county's residents to pay an additional 15.85% increase in the Police Precept element of the council tax.
A "yes" vote would have generated an additional £4.5m per year for Bedfordshire Police, who receive the second lowest level of government funding, despite facing demand akin to those seen in large metropolitan force areas.
Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable, Colette Paul, said:
"We will continue to do the best we can with the resources we've got to build a stronger community policing footprint across the county and we remain committed to keeping the county of Bedfordshire safe.
The Commissioner felt that any endeavour to secure the additional funding for the force was a risk worth taking. As a result of today's outcome, our estimated budget shortfall is £6m- which equates to approximately 135 police officers.
We are currently in the process of finalising a new policing model which will combine some of the traditional community policing that we have lost, with a new modern approach to doing business.
We'll be using mobile technology and increasing collaboration with partners in order to effectively and efficiently protect people and fight crime together."