Locals could face paying more in council tax to fund police as plans go to consultation.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd is consulting the public on a £13 planned increase in the police precept.

This would take the amount households pay in council tax that goes towards police services from £238 to £251 for an average Band D property for the 2024/2025 budget, with other bandings paying more or less according to property value.

Mr Lloyd said: “I am aware that many people are facing harsh financial situations due to the increases in the cost of living.

“Policing is not immune from these pressures either, with wage and energy costs meaning that total standstill costs for the next financial year are estimated to rise by more than £21 million.

“This year in Hertfordshire the Chief Constable and I have conducted an extensive joint efficiency and effectiveness review.

“This has identified cashable savings which will help to contribute towards bridging the budget gap without reducing the number of frontline officers.”

Running Herts Police is expected to cost £293 million next financial year, funded by a combination of £150 million from central government, £117 million from the council tax, and £26 million from other sources.

Watford Observer: Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.

The £13 rise would generate £6.1 million more and apparently help avoid cuts to frontline police services by bridging the budget gap caused by rising wage and energy costs.

The Police and Crime Commissioner highlighted that even after the boost it would be the fifth lowest precept in England and Wales.

According to government figures, the county also has the fifth lowest level of recorded crime, excluding fraud and cybercrime.

Mr Lloyd added: “Before I take any decisions on the budget, I want to understand from the people of Hertfordshire about what they feel the local priorities should be.”

An online survey, at bit.ly/HertsPrecept2024, opens today (December 20) and will run until January 14, 2024.

Comments in writing can be emailed to your.views@herts-pcc.gov.uk or sent as a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, 13 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ.