Police freeze tax bill

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A POLICE force which is preparing to axe 300 jobs in four years, is to freeze its Council Tax precept for next year.

Suffolk Police is expecting to have to cut two thirds of those jobs in the next two years as it grapples to make £13.5 million of savings.

But on Monday, Suffolk Police Authority, which sets the force’s budget, decided to freeze its part of the Council Tax bill that county residents will receive next month.

Colin Spence, chairman of Suffolk Police Authority, said: “Our challenge now is to ensure that our reduced resources are used in the most effective manner to ensure that our communities remain safe and that we have the correct staffing and skills to meet the demands placed upon us.”

The force, already the second cheapest in the country, faces a 14 per cent cut in Government funding over the next four years. Monday’s budget means that Suffolk Police will have £115.4 million to spend over 2011/12.

Chief Constable Simon Ash said: “The policing service is facing a period of unprecedented change as it adapts to work within a drastically reduced budget.

“Our priority is to continue to provide the high quality policing our communities expect, with a workforce that will be reduced by around 300 people over the next four years, and with significantly fewer resources.”