Residents in Kent and Medway will be paying more to cover the costs of policing the county next year after crime commissioner Matthew Scott unveiled plans for a 3.3% increase in council tax.
Average household bills for the police element of the tax will rise to £157 for homes in Band D – the equivalent of an additional £5 a year. Mr Scott said he did not want to impose an increase but not doing so would mean fewer police officers on the streets. He also revealed plans to dip into the force’s reserves to the tune of £5m.
The commissioner said the proposed rise would contribute to the county’s safety against terror threats and he believed the spending plans were “fair and reasonable.” A further 24 firearms officers are being recruited under a government edict to forces to boost their numbers.
“This year’s rise in the council tax will help Kent Police go a little further and be even more readily able to respond in the event of a terrorist attack, such as those we have seen in Europe over Christmas. It also means I can fund the proposed increase in police officer numbers that residents have told me they want to see and we can keep PCSOs in the county as I promised, whereas other forces consider their future.”