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Norfolk police warn of 3.5pc increase in council tax share

PUBLISHED: 08:12 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:38 02 July 2010

Ben Kendall

Norfolk police's share of council tax must increase by 3.5pc next year if the force is to maintain its current performance, a meeting has heard.

Norfolk police's share of council tax must increase by 3.5pc next year if the force is to maintain its current performance, a meeting has heard.

Speaking at a public meeting at the force's Wymondham headquarters police authority chairman Stephen Bett outlined how the force is already planning to save £15m over the next three years as it faces a "dire" financial situation.

He added that whichever party won the next general election would inevitably make substantial cuts to police and public spending in general.

“Once a new government is in power it is going to be quite frightening how little money there is to go around,” Mr Bett said.

But deputy chief constable Ian Learmonth, currently in temporary charge of the force, pledged that the county's increased number of police officers - which currently stands at 1,644 - can be maintained for at least one more year.

He added: "We cannot guarantee we can maintain these numbers indefinitely but, at a time when some forces are considering cutting numbers, we can maintain our existing level of officers and police community support officers."

The 3.5pc proposed increase would equate to £5.05 a year for a Band B property or £6.51 per year for those in Band D.

Every 1pc of the police's council tax precept is equivalent to £550,000 in the force's budget. At 3.5pc the force would be able to continue its modernisation while also looking at ways it can become more efficient.

The police authority will make a formal decision on its council tax precept over the coming months.

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