Essex’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston, has announced a rise of 3.5% for the force’s share of next year’s council tax charges.

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The figure represents an increase of just under £5 a year for a Band D property and is in response to cuts in funding from central government of £4.8million.

Mr Alston said he has “thought long and hard” about the decision, which will generate enough funds to pay for an additional 57 police officers around the county.

He said; “I believe that the majority of people in Essex will be prepared to pay a little more in council tax, around 10 pence a week, to help ensure that we have a strong police force. But, of course, I recognise that for some finding even this modest amount will be difficult.

“I realise that families and ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet, and facing their own particular financial challenges. However, I firmly believe that increasing the portion of council tax to fund policing by just under £5 a year will reduce the risks to the effective delivery of policing services in Essex.”

The proposal will be discussed by the Police and Crime Panel at their meeting of Wednesday January 29 at County Hall in Chelmsford.

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