CHESHIRE’S top cop is urging taxpayers to fork out an extra £3-a-month or see a loss of police jobs and services.
Chief constable Peter Fahy warned that despite achieving a 13% cut in crime, his force would face unpalatable cuts if the Government didn’t approve a higher precept.
Urging people to back the average £3-a-month rise, he said: “Cheshire has the lowest Council Tax precept of all of the shire forces in the country.
“We have tried hard to keep the precept down for seven years but all that has happened is the gap between our force and others has grown.
“A band D property in Cheshire currently pays £116 where in North Wales the same property would pay £178.
“We have tried hard to increase efficiency within the police force with major success. It is predicted this year we will see a 13% reduction in crime but we want to better that.
“There are still 80,000 crimes being committed in Cheshire and that is not acceptable, but in order to improve we need more than a 5% rise in the precept.
“If the Government doesn’t approve the proposed rise there will inevitably be job losses. I would try to make sure these won’t be on the frontline.”
The decision on whether the precept will increase rests with the Government. Cheshire police, with the support of the Police Authority, will make their case to the police minister to ask for the current cap to be lifted.
They are unlikely to know the outcome until February and until then will continue to take a presentation to all police forums to try to gather support from taxpayers.
Chairman of the Police Authority Councillor Peter Nurse said: “We are hoping the public will back us.”