A POLICE force in the region will be asking for more money from tax-payers this year.

Cleveland Police will go to the four councils in its area requesting an increase of nearly two per cent in the council tax precept.

That will about to about 20p a month for council tax payers in most Band A properties and about 32p a month for Band D homes.

Barry Coppinger, police and crime commissioner, said he also wanted to restructure the Force partly to improve efficiency and reduce senior and middle management costs.

Other cost-saving measures being considered include a voluntary redundancy and early retirement programme, selling the police headquarters at Ladgate Lane and working more closely with other police forces and agencies.

Mr Coppinger complained the Government had not left much time to consider the precept. He said: “There has been little time for consultation. As late as Friday, January 31, when I was due to finalise proposals under the Government’s timetable, there was no confirmation from them as to what the precept limit was to be.”

Coun Norma Stephenson, who is chairwoman of the Police and Crime Panel, which scrutinises the work of the commissioner, said: “Whilst supportive of the overall approach the commissioner has taken the panel has asked that we be kept updated regarding future plans and progress regarding the various actions to be taken to realise savings.”