Thames Valley PCC Anthony Stansfeld wants council tax rise

Anthony Stansfeld Anthony Stansfeld was elected on Friday

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The Thames Valley's newly-elected police and crime commissioner has warned council tax precepts will rise in order to protect police resources.

Conservative Anthony Stansfeld will start overseeing the largest non-metropolitan police force later this week.

Mr Stansfeld admitted he will support a 2% council tax rise next year followed by a 2.5% rise the following year.

He believes the move will protect the force's long-term resources.

The changes in funding will depend on approval by the police and crime panel for the Thames Valley made up of representatives from councils across the area.

Mr Stansfeld, from Kintbury, West Berkshire beat Labour's Tim Starkey on Friday after second preference votes were counted up.

Outlining his priorities for the job in an interview with BBC local radio, the former army officer stressed Thames Valley Police has already shown resilience in the face of stringent cuts.

'Long-term effect'

He said: "We would all like public services to cost less, but you can't reduce the resources and expect the service to be the same as it was before.

"The police have taken in effect a 20% cut in the last two years."

Thames Valley Police cut its budget by £12m in 2012/13. Next year, the force is looking to increase its budget by £9.4m depending on approval of a 2% council tax precept increase.

Mr Stansfeld added: "The government and the Home Secretary have to be aware of the long-term effect.

"With the police, once you go on cutting beyond a certain stage, you are going into areas that will seriously affect the ability to detect and cut crime.

"The police should be one of the last things that you cut. It should be ringfenced as much as possible."

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