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Public to pay extra to protect frontline police in Cleveland
TAXPAYERS will be paying an extra 5p or 7p a week to help keep frontline officers on the beat.
Barry Coppinger, Cleveland Police’s commissioner, successfully got his proposal for a 1.99 per cent increase in council tax contribution being approved by the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel.
The increase falls just below the two per cent rise which would have needed a referendum before approval could have been granted, a step which Mr Coppinger said could cost the force £600,000.
Defending the decision to recommend the biggest increase possible without the need for a referendum, he said: “I don’t think the public would want to cover the cost of a referendum and the government has made it quite clear what they want to do is an increase of two per cent is asked for.
“I hope the public will recognise that for a very small increase we will be able to protect neighbourhood policing across the Cleveland area.”
Independent panel member Geoff Baines said: “I think the public would fully support the tax increase if it means more police on the beat or slows down decrease in officers.
“It’s small beer in the grand scheme of things – 7p a week.”
The increase was approved by ten votes for, one vote against and one abstention.
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