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Council tax could rise to prevent cuts to police officer numbers
TAX levels may rise again this year as police seek to make cuts without losing officers, the Thames Valley's Crime Commissioner said last night.
Anthony Stansfeld said the number of front line officers in the force area had actually increased over the last year despite the police having to make significant cuts to their spending.
The Thames Valley's Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner warned residents the force's slice of council tax could increase in the next year when he spoke at a public meeting in Amersham this week.
He said: "It will have to happen again this year I think, although that hasn't been decided yet.
"We have further cuts coming. We don't know what they are but they'll probably be about six per cent."
Mr Stansfeld told residents there was "a lot less bureaucracy in the system now" and IT services had been combined with Hampshire Constabulary, which he said had saved a 'colossal' amount of money.
He said: "We had to cut 21 per cent out of our budget and that's a hell of a lot. We've done that without cutting the front line at all - in fact we've increased it. There are eight more front line officers.
"We cut out a whole level of command. The Basic Command Units, we were able to delegate it down to the local commanders. Performance has improved quite dramatically."
Mr Stansfeld said up to a third of his £400million budget for the most recent financial year comes from council tax contributions.
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