Cheshire Constabulary has frozen its portion of council tax for next year, despite needing to make millions of pounds of savings.
Police and crime commissioner John Dwyer made the announcement last week, saying he was mindful the Cheshire public also faced ‘difficult financial challenges’.
The force has made £35m of budget savings since 2010, and needs to squeeze a further £34m over the next four years.
The financial plans also involve cutting 70 police staff posts.
But, he said, he was not prepared to let struggling taxpayers foot the bill.
“It has not been an easy budget to set as we are still facing cuts in funding from Government, but I have also been mindful that the public of Cheshire are also facing difficult financial challenges.
“Many have not received a pay rise in the last year and so I am not going to increase the amount they pay for policing.”
Since coming into post in 2012, the Commissioner has instigated a root and branch review of policing.
The 2014/15 budget – set at £189.8m – details how resources will be allocated to the Constabulary to deliver an efficient and effective police service.
It also seeks to meet the needs of local policing, to prevent re-offending, and continue to make Cheshire an even safer place to live.
A further £9.7m savings have been identified for next year, including a £1.4m saving made by reviewing all major procurement contracts.
However, 80% of expenditure relates to people and while there will be a managed reduction of officers through retirement and leavers, the budget will allow for 50 new officers. However, 70 police staff posts will be lost.
Mr Dwyer added: “The continuing financial challenges cannot be underestimated. The root-and-branch review has identified a clear way forward to achieving the required savings while maintaining and, where possible, improving services.
“I have set this budget to try, as far as possible, to meet the policing needs of the people of Cheshire without passing any costs directly on to them.”
Investment twill be made in key priorities, including piloting a new neighbourhood policing model, working with local communities to manage crime reduction, and victim support.
Additional resources will also be made available to tackle cyber crime, including safeguarding children.
The Police & Crime Panel will consider the proposals and, subject to agreement, set the budget on Friday.