Derbyshire Police Authority chairman opposes tax hike

The chairman of Derbyshire Police Authority is opposing a request from the chief constable for more money to hire extra officers.

The final budget for the police force will be decided on Thursday.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon has asked for an extra £6.50 a year from the average household to allow more officers to be hired.

But authority chairman Philip Hickson said he opposed the proposal because it would hurt taxpayers.

The deputy chairman, Labour councillor Alan Charles, said he also opposed the request.

Councillor Hickson said he did not want to "place any further burden on the public at a time of economic difficulty".

He said: "We share the ambition of the chief constable to start recruiting officers again and we do want to stem the loss of officers from Derbyshire Constabulary, but I do not think that raising the council tax precept is the right way to do it."

Mr Hickson said the police authority should use its reserves to recruit some police officers, but stopped short of supporting an increase in their share of the council tax bill.

Mr Creedon also asked for a tax increase to hire more officers last year, saying the biggest portion of the police budget was spent on salaries.

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