RESIDENTS in Oxfordshire are being asked to have their say on plans to increase the policing portion of council tax.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has launched a survey seeking views on the proposed change, which he said would be focused on frontline policing and would come into force from this April.

It follows an announcement by the Government that the provisional police funding settlement is increasing by up to £703 million in response to the 'exceptional operational demands' due to the pandemic.

This is provided, however, all PCCs increase their council tax for a Band D household by £1.25 a month, £15 a year, in 2021/22.

ALSO READ: Millions paid by Oxford hospital trust in negligence cases

Collectively this will cover £287 million, or 40 per cent, of the £703 million increase in funding.

Mr Stansfeld 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.”

He added: “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.

ALSO READ: Men and woman 'threatened with crowbar' during burglary

“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."

He said it was important 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.

ALSO READ: Over 80s invited to mass Covid vaccination centres

Mr Stansfeld said priorities for the extra cash had been created in 'close consultation' with the Chief Constable and included recruiting more PCSOs in addition to the extra police officers being funded by the Government.

A Rural Crime Taskforce would also be set up in order to increase visibility, enforcement and prosecution of rural offences.

Continuing to tackle county lines drugs gangs would also be a focus, as would improving the response to fraud and cyber crime, and doing more on domestic abuse.

A final priority would be new equipment and technology to 'optimise the benefit of the additional police officers'.

Mr Stansfeld said: "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 survey can be completed at /

The survey is open until 5pm on January 20.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.