A PROPOSED tax hike could recruit more police officers in Hampshire, it is claimed.

Now residents are being asked if they want to contribute more towards the cost of local policing.

The Government has given Police and Crime Commissioners the flexibility to set the policing precept of the council tax for 2021/22.

New Forest Post:

It means people across the county could pay an extra £15 a year for a band D property - a 7.1 per cent increase from £0 at present.

This would enable the force to “take the fight to criminals and to start to reduce crime”, says the police commissioner.

A survey in 2020 showed that 58 per cent of those asked across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight support an increase, according to county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane.

A statement from PCC Lane, who is up for re election in May, said: “Keeping you all safer is clearly important and has been a priority for me over the last four years.

“Keeping you safer is partly funded through your local council tax.

“ For the policing element of the council tax next year there are some options I am considering during these difficult and exceptional times.

“I need your support and your voice to inform my decisions which need to be made early next year.

“I would like your views on the level of increase in the policing element of the council tax 2021-22.

“The Government has given me flexibility to increase the policing precept by up to a maximum of £15 per year (based on Band D*).

“In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight 68% of households will pay less than this.

“A significant number of local residents have already told me they would support an increase in council tax to maintain police services.”

To voice your opinion visit the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner website.