Residents face an increase in the council tax they pay to police after the force agreed a 1.99 per cent hike for next year.

Members of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel last week approved Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld’s proposed precept increase for 2015/16.

And the 1.99 per cent rise is the maximum allowed without full public consultation, with the commissioner insisting it is necessary to maintain frontline policing.

Trevor Egleton, panel chairman, said: “After careful and effective scrutiny of the Commissioner’s proposed policing budget and precept plans, the Panel was satisfied that the Commissioner’s budget was appropriate and that the precept increase was necessary to ensure the overall Police and Crime Plan can be delivered.

“We understand that few people welcome an increase in their council tax bill but we believe the increase is acceptable given that it is in line with most other areas nationally.”

Every council tax payer pays a set amount towards policing as part of their annual council tax bill.

Last year, residents in a band D property paid £160.51 towards policing.

Commissioner Mr Stansfeld presented his budget plans and reported the force’s central government funding had been cut by almost five per cent for the next financial year.

He said that although some assumptions had to be made regarding future government grant funding, the rise would protect any impact on frontline policing.

At the panel’s meeting last week, members also received an update from the commissioner on the recruitment of the new chief constable for the Thames Valley.

The Commissioner reported that he hopes to be able to announce the appointment by the end of March, with Sara Thornton is expected to take up her new role as Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council in April.

Residents also look set to face a 1.9 per cent on the council tax they pay to Buckinghamshire County Council for 2015/16.

And Wycombe District Council will agree its rate at a meeting later this month.