John Dwyer , Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Nantwich homeowners face a near 2% hike in the police element of council tax to help fund 21 new officers.

Cheshire’s new Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer (Pictured) is set to turn down the Government’s council tax freeze grant of 1%.

He says accepting it would mean the force agreeing to a further £1.2million of cuts further down the line.

The force has lost 37 officers through retirement and leavers, and 35 police staff posts have gone.

But former Crewe & Nantwich councillor Mr Dwyer claims to have the backing of 80% of people questioned on whether they would support a rise in the police council tax precept.

The force has had to make £8.3 million in savings to balance its budget.

The police element of council tax will rise by 1.99% – an increase of 6p per week for Band D homes.

Mr Dwyer saidd: “I was overwhelmed by the support shown by the people I spoke to who said that they did not think that cuts should be applied to policing.

“Unfortunately, these are difficult times for all public sector services and savings must be found.

“I am determined that cuts will not come from the front line.

“This has not been an easy task to accomplish in just 10 weeks in office but I am confident that I am proposing a budget that will minimise the impact of the reduced Government funding for policing.”

He believes the budget will allow recruitment of 21 new officers in 2013-14.

“This will mean we do not face a problem further down the line when we have no young in service officers coming up through the ranks,” he added.

The total gross budget will be £205 million compared to £207 million last year.

“I made it clear I would not cut the front line and that Special Constables would be recruited to bolster numbers of neighbourhood officers,” he added.

“I will also be asking the Constabulary to look to increase the number of volunteers and cadets to provide opportunities for the public to give something back to their police service.

“These volunteers will not replace regular officers in our communities but will go some way to providing a visible and responsive service, something which the public has asked for.”

Mr Dwyer’s “Police and Crime Plan” includes reducing crime, protecting vulnerable people, dealing with antisocial behaviour, tackling re-offending, policing roads and addressing rural crime.

One Comment

  1. I anybody understands this gobbledy-gook, I would be pleased to hear from them.

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