RESIDENTS in the Thames Valley area are being urged to have their say on an increase to council tax in the area, the Thames Valley Police have announced.

The survey, once completed by residents before te deadline by mid-January, aims to influence the final decision on the raise of council tax in the Thames Valley area, including all of Berkshire.

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Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “The Government is encouraging all Police and Crime Commissioners to raise the policing element of the council tax precept for all households.

"The Government is providing additional funding for the second phase of the national Police Uplift Programme, which will enable Thames Valley Police to recruit an additional 179 police officers next year, which is over and above the 183 we have been funded for this year.

“Despite the increase in funding from government, there continue to be cost pressures on the force and the public rightly expect to see improving performance in order to keep us all safe and bring criminals to justice.

"Alongside the funding from the Home Office, the Government has also allowed Police and Crime Commissioners to increase council tax by up to £15 (for a Band D property) in order to make additional investments in policing.

"In Thames Valley that means that for less than 29p a week for the average household (Band D property) more than £13m could be invested in frontline policing.

“In previous years the support of local tax payers through their council tax has meant that we have managed to reduce the time it takes for the police to answer non-urgent 101 calls and to significantly increase detection rates, meaning that more victims of crime receive justice and more criminals are held to account.

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“It is important that any increase in council tax now, at a time when many families are struggling, is focussed on frontline policing to tackle the concerns of the public."

"I am proud of the work done by Thames Valley Police Officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers every single day, but there is always more that can be done."

PCC Stansfeld detailed that he intends to boost visible neighbourhood policing by recruiting more PCSOs in addition to the extra police officers being funded by the Government, create a Rural Crime Taskforce in order to increase visibility, enforcement and prosecution across Thames Valley’s rural communities, continue to tackle county lines drugs gangs by increasing the resources available to the Force, improve the response to fraud and cyber crime, continue to fight against domestic abuse to protect more families from harm, and implement new equipment and technology to optimise the benefit of the additional police officers.

PCC Stansfeld added: "Final decisions on council tax and budget priorities will be made in February and by contributing your views now you can help play your part in shaping how Thames Valley Police continues to improve and tackle crime across our community.”

The deadline to submit your suggestion ends on January 20. To complete the survey, visit