Extra 25p a week on council tax bills will pay for more police in Northamptonshire, under Commissioner's plan

Increase will raise £3.15m to boost number of officers to record levels

Northamptonshire residents are being asked for an extra 25p a week to pay for 130 new Police officers over the next two years.

Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is asking for a five per cent increase in the chunk of Council Tax that goes towards the county’s policing budget.

The increase – which amounts to £13 a year for a band D household – will raise an additional £3.15million to help fund the recruitment of a further 130 officers by 2023, adding to and extra 200 in the last four years.

Commissioner Stephen Mold is asking for a five per cent increase in the Police budget for Chief Constable Nick Adderley

That would boost the number of officers to 1,500 across Northamptonshire, making it the largest it has ever been.

Mr Mold admitted: “I have to balance the need to keep the public safe and to ensure the police have sufficient money to do their job with the ability of the public to pay.

“We are facing some of the most extreme challenges we have ever faced as a country and a county and I understand the huge impact that this pandemic has had on many households.

“We have made important investments that have strengthened policing in Northamptonshire over the last four years to give a better service and keep our community safe.

"A five per cent increase will enable us to tackle the issues that the public have asked us to address and to put more police officers on the streets.”

Northamptonshire's police budget is made up of Government grants and around 14 per cent of Council Tax payments — with the rest going to the local authorities.

The Police, Fire and Crime Panel will vote on whether to approve the plans at a public meeting on Wednesday (February 3).

Police and Crime Commissioners nationwide were told they could raise the police precept by 5.89 per cent, around £15 a year. But after a public consultation and and discussions with Chief Constable, Nick Adderley, Mr Mold opted for a lower increase taking next year's total budget to £153.5m

Mr Mold added: “I never lose sight of the fact that this is public money and needs to be spent wisely.

"I have reduced the costs of my office and I will be ensuring the Chief Constable manages the policing budget as effectively as possible.”

Mr Mold has seen the Police budget grow by more than 31 per cent since he was elected in 2016 and invested heavily in giving officers better tools and technology to support crime fighting.

These include more police dogs, improved burglary response and investigation, a significant expansion of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition network and a new fleet of fast response Interceptor vehicles.

This year Commissioner has also pledged set aside £1 million to:

■ Strengthen the focus on neighbourhood policing, with dedicated, named teams in communities across the county

■ Initiatives to tackle anti-social behaviour, street level drug dealing and other issues that people have identified as their local priorities

■ Find new ways to prevent and reduce domestic violence