HOUSEHOLDERS are being asked to stump up around £5 a year extra to help cuts-hit Hampshire Police to keep our streets safe.

Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, wants to raise the policing precept of the council tax bills by three per cent.

For the average Band D household, this would mean an increase of £4.54, raising the total bill to £155.79.

Hampshire Constabulary has been told to expect cuts of £25million for 2015-17, on top of the £55m cuts it made following the Government’s comprehensive spending review in 2010.

Mr Hayes has warned that the Government is “risking public safety” with its cuts, and there will come a time when policing in Hampshire’s communities will reach “dangerous levels”.

He added: “These are very, very difficult times for policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It would be wrong of me not to tell the public the truth about the impact of Government cuts.

“I believe that we must maintain a| safe level of neighbourhood policing, including PCSOs on our streets, and this is why I am left with no option but to propose a precept increase.”

The proposed rise has the backing of John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, which represents officers below the rank of Superintendent.

He said: “The public deserve the best possible police service, and this proposed increase is a lifeline which will assist us to keep hold of some of those essential areas of policing which people take for granted. I would, therefore, urge the public to support the PCC’s plan.”

Mr Hayes has invited comments from members of the public about the proposal, and a survey is available to fill in through the commissioner’s website The deadline for feedback is Wednesday, January 22.

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