Warning over tax increase

SUFFOLK Police have warned the service will face a steady decline unless its tax rate is increased, it emerged today. Suffolk Police Authority has agreed a nine per cent increase in the council tax precept for 2008/2009 to fund the policing of the county.

SUFFOLK Police have warned the service will face a steady decline unless its tax rate is increased, it emerged today.

Suffolk Police Authority has agreed a nine per cent increase in the council tax precept for 2008/2009 to fund the policing of the county.

This means a Band B property will be charged a extra 18 pence a week - £9.59 extra a year - to pay for policing services. A Band D property will be charged an extra 24 pence a week-£12.33 extra a year.

Simon Ash, chief constable of Suffolk Police, admitted that the investigation of the five murders in Ipswich put a strain on their finances, and the increase will enable them to replenish their reserve funds.


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He said: “This unprecedented investigation into the murders of five vulnerable women in Ipswich did put pressure on our funding resources. A large proportion of those costs have been met by the Home Office, however, the budget agreed will allow us to replenish our reserve funds, in readiness for whatever extraordinary challenge the constabulary may face in the future.”

The money will also be used as extra investment in the county's Safer Neighbourhood teams.

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Police Authority chair Gulshan Kayembe said: “The government settlement of 2.5 per cent has left us with no choice. We either have to invest in the future of Suffolk Constabulary now, or face a steady decline in the policing of this county.

“The budget we have set will enable us to make the right investment in both frontline policing and the infrastructure to support it.”

Do you think this increase is fair? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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