BUDGET cuts and police pressures has resulted in talks to increase council tax by 2019 and 2020 in the Thames Valley Police (TVP).

The TVP budget has been cut by £101 million this year and the government is encouraging Police Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to raise the policing element of the council tax by an average of £2 a month for Band D properties.

It is hoped that increasing council tax will reduce the further damage to police cuts and restore frontline police officers.

The extra cash generated from increasing council tax by £24 a year will increase frontline policing, improve investigations and improve management to recruit staff to deal with the additional demand.

Thames Valley PCC Anthony Stansfeld hopes to follow Government advice and raise the council tax accordingly.

The increase in council tax will raise an extra £509 million so that forces can continue to provide an effective service to fight crime and protect the public in the Thames Valley area.

Demands on police forces has risen significantly in the last few years as a result of higher crime and the increasing reach of criminals both physically and via technology. This includes reporting of high harm, child sexual abuse and modern slavery.

Serious and organised crime is also growing both economically and geographically, whilst nationally there has been a spike in violence, knife crime and gang culture.

Anthony Stansfeld said: "My focus will continue to be on delivering strong neighbourhood policing for all of the communities across the Thames Valley.

"We remain efficient and effective but having already taken out £101m of cash savings and cuts from our budget since 2010/11 the process of identifying new cash savings is becoming ever more challenging.

"However, we are committed to making policing even more efficient and have already identified over £4m of new savings in 2019/20.

"Increasing council tax by £24 for a Band D household will ensure that all the extra cash generated from council taxpayers will be spent on operational policing.’’