Valerie Steve Winwood
20 January 2012, 03:00
People living in Suffolk could have to pay more in council tax to help fund the police.
Suffolk Police Authority are meeting today to set their budget for next year - and that includes the option of putting up council tax.
If tax did have to go up, it would be around £6 a year for an average household
In the meeting they are expecting to hear that the decision made on council tax will have major implications on the future of policing in the county, including the number of officers available.
They will also be looking at their savings plan for the next four years.
A report will say that Suffolk police have already cut £4.7 million over the last year, mainly through sharing more services with Norfolk's force.
They are still being asked to save around £16 million by 2015.
Police Authority Chairman Joanna Spicer said: 'The budget setting process is particularly difficult this year, with significant pressures coming to bear on all sides. We recognise that these are difficult times for everyone and want to do everything we can to keep costs down for council tax payers across the county.'
'However, our role as an authority is to secure an efficient and effective policing service for Suffolk, which already has one of the lowest cost forces in the country. We need to get this balance right.'
'No decisions will be made until we have thoroughly examined all the financial scenarios in detail.
It is clear that our decisions over the next few weeks will have major implications for policing both today and in the years ahead.'