1. ITV Report

People in Wiltshire to pay £2 extra council tax a month to fund more police officers

People living in Wiltshire will pay an average £2 extra a month council tax from April to provide more than 40 extra officers for the force.

The Police and Crime Panel voted unanimously to increase the policing part of council tax. Credit: ITV West Country

The Police and Crime Panel voted for the increase at Monkton Park in Chippenham.

Years of funding cuts from central government have affected forces across the country.

According to Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, they receive the fourth lowest funding per head in England and Wales.

Wiltshire and Swindon's PCC said that demand has increased, but funding has fallen. Credit: ITV West Country

The council tax increase, known as the policing precept, will provide more than £6 million extra a year.

It will go towards 41 extra police officers alongside two dedicated teams to tackle cyber-crimes, focusing on online fraud and child sexual exploitation.

Half a million pounds will be used to boost crime prevention, targeting those who are vulnerable and at risk of committing crime in the future.

Demand continues to increase, yet our allocation of the funding available nationally disadvantages us. The police are responding to more incidents whilst working with less.

– Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner

Nearly 70% of people who responded to a public consultation supported the increase.

The force hopes that more money will allow them to put more officers into community policing. Credit: ITV West Country

From April, the average band D property will now contribute £17.19 to local policing as opposed to the current charge of £15.19.

Some of the additional officers will be put into community policing teams to enable people to see more of their local police.