County tax increase to fund Avon & Somerset Police

5 February 2019, 14:47 | Updated: 5 February 2019, 14:49


Plans for a 12% increase in the amount we pay for policing through council tax has been approved by the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Panel.

It means an extra £24 will be added to the average bill this year to help raise £15m.

That money will be used to pay for 100 new officers and proactive operations targeting burglary, drugs and violent crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: ''I fully understand that this is a big increase for households. It was not an easy decision. However I have to balance the challenges facing policing; the increased threat from criminality and the safety of residents.

''In order to improve visibility and results, we need to have the resources. With the government set on raising money for policing from local people I have the unenviable job of deciding how we meet these challenges. I am grateful to have the support of the Police and Crime Panel in this decision.

''I want local people to see and feel a difference in the Constabulary's fight against crime. Just like last year we will continue to protect neighbourhood policing the very 'eyes and ears' of our communities and invest in additional officers for the first time in over a decade. I'm committed with the Chief Constable to intensify our fight against serious violence on our streets, in our towns and cities with high profile disruption activity for burglary, drugs and serious violence. Sending a loud and clear message to criminals that coming into our area to commit their crimes and exploit our children is not an option.

''This money will not fix everything but it’s the first investment we've seen since austerity begun in 2010 and it's a big step in the right direction.''