Hampshire residents will pay £24 more per year to fund 200 new police officers.
The rise was approved Friday, and Hampshire police expect £16m in new funding. People in band D households will pay £2 more per month, while increases for others will depend on the band their property is in.
Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane insists the tax increase will be used “in support of local policing.” Hampshire Police have faced pressure to cut £90m in costs since 2012 and have lost nearly a third of their employees.
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said in a statement: “Without the additional local funding, police numbers would be reduced to an unsustainable level.” The force is expected to hire 60 new investigators and fund training for several new PCSOs.
Southampton MP Alan Whitehead said declining police presence has made people feel “less safe”, adding “police spend more time reacting to crime than preventing it”. Winchester MP Steve Brine said: “Hampshire is a very efficient force, but it’s also one of the lowest forces in the country. My argument would be, Hampshire deserves to be safe as much as anywhere else.”
Police say thousands support the rise, after a public consultation.