CHESHIRE Police Authority is asking Council Tax payers how much they are prepared to pay for policing because of a looming funding crisis.
The authority warns that bobbies will have to be taken off the streets to carry out behind-the-scenes work unless more money is forthcoming.
Latest figures show there were 4,000 fewer victims of crime in the county during the 12 months to autumn 2007 – representing a 16% decrease.
But authority chairman Peter Nurse warns this trend will only continue if investment in the police force is given a boost.
He said: “These latest figures show that the officers and staff of the Constabulary are really working hard to make Cheshire a safe place to work and live. They are tackling the issues that can really affect people’s lives and the Authority congratulates them on their hard work.”
But he added: “My colleagues and I in the Authority have supported investment and changes in the way the Constabulary works without large increases in Council Tax. We have taken tough decisions which have resulted in Cheshire having the one of the lowest Council Tax levels for policing in the country but this cannot continue.
“There are many areas of policing which require more investment if we are to deliver what the public tell us they want. Added to this, we need to sustain the excellent policing that we deliver now, some of the things we pay for at the moment such as witness and victim care and custody services, we have no choice about.
“Without extra money next year, we will have to take officers off the streets to do this essential work.”
People can tell the Authority how much they are prepared to pay for policing and what they would like to see improved by visiting www.supportcheshirepolice.com or visiting the Authority’s website www. cheshirepa.police.uk