A consultation has started on proposals for a ‘modest’ increase in the police’s share of council tax in West Mercia, which is says will ensure a good service for local communities now and in the future.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is recommending a rise of £7.58 to the annual bill in 2018/19 for a band D home, equivalent to four per cent.

Rising inflation, which has now reached almost four per cent, and increased demand on police are the main reasons given behind the proposal.

John Campion said: “The government has listened to our communities and the issues I have raised on their behalf.

“It has delivered a very fair settlement, with more money available to every police force nationwide. It ensures a stable financial base to build from in terms of central funding, as well as extra flexibility and accountability for PCCs around council tax, both of which are very welcome.

“I have started the long and complex, but necessary, work of reforming our police force. We have seen some good progress in the past year, with all officers now able to work on the move, and equipped with body-worn video. More improvements will also follow next year.

“This proposal ensures all necessary work can continue to deliver a modern, agile police force that can cope with future challenges. This is balanced with making sure levels of service are protected today. My budget plans protect our numbers of PCs.

“They ensure policing is visible and accessible to communities. They continue funding for projects that will tackle the root causes of crime and help reduce demand on our force.

“I am conscious money is still tight for our communities. I am not recommending the maximum possible council tax rise because I do not believe it is necessary. West Mercia Police is still capable of significant efficiencies which need to be delivered. I will make sure the force has the resources it needs, but I will also continue my drive to ensure public money is used responsibly and efficiently.”

The PCC is now consulting with local communities on whether they support the proposals. People can take part on the PCC’s website until January 19.