Tax rise cops’
beats revealed

Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins
Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins

Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner has announced where the 100 new officers will be stationed if plans to increase council tax get the go ahead.

Olly Martins said full-time constables will be stationed in Bedford town centre, Luton, and across the county, including Flitwick.

Seventy-five officers will be recruited to Neighbourhood Policing teams, which currently consist of Police Community Support Officers, with 20 in Bedford borough, 30 in Central Bedfordshire, and 25 in the Luton area.

The other 25 will join teams tackling cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation.

The proposed rise of 15.8 per cent in the policing precept represents about 10 per cent of the total council tax bill. It amounts to £24.80 a year for a Band D property and £16.53 for a Band A home.

But to implement the raise, Mr Martins needs the support of the tax payers and is running a survey to gauge opinon.

He said: “It’s important people understand the increase is in fact pretty modest, 48p for a Band D household and just 32p a week for a Band A property.

“I know in these tough financial times any additional outlay may be unwelcome, but when people know they will see extra officers on the streets in their area for such a small amount, there appears to be widespread support for the idea.”

Mr Martins said about 3,000 people have already completed the survey, with more than 50 per cent indicating support for the plan.

The increase would be implemented in April, while a referendum will be held on May 7 to ratify the decision.

Mr Martins added Government legislation has meant the referendum is held after the April bills are sent out.

To complete the survey, go to www.bedspcc.org. For a hard copy telephone 01234 842064.