Residents in Somerset have backed proposals to raise council tax rates to pay for upgraded policing, according to a survey.

49.1% of people who responded to a survey run by Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford were in support of a 4.1% increase.

Over 5,600 people across the region compeleted the Police Tax Survey, which closed on 21st January.

Residents were asked if they would pay an increase in the policing part of the council tax, known as the precept.

The consultation asked if residents would be willing to pay either a 2% increase, which is equivalent to approximately 40p per month for the average band D household; a 4.1% increase, which is equivalent to approximately 83p per month for the average band D household or to not pay an increase at all.

This followed the Government’s announcement that PCCs could raise the precept for the next three years by £10 (83p per month) for the average band D household.

From those who completed the survey and had an opinion, 49.1% were in support of a 4.1% increase, 15.1% were in support of a 2% increase, and 35.8% were not in support of any increase.

PCC Mark Shelford says the views of local people will be taken into consideration when the PCC and Police and Crime Panel meet to discuss the precept.

Mark adds: “I want to thank all of those residents who took the time to complete the survey and tell me their thoughts on any potential increase in the precept.”

“As PCC, I will continue to balance the challenges facing policing with local people’s views in order to best resource an efficient and effective police service. The outcome of the precept discussion with the Police and Crime Panel will be published after I meet with them on 1st February 2022.”

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