SURREY residents are again being asked to pay extra council tax to fund an increase in police officers for the county.

For the second year running, Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Munro is consulting the public on his proposals for the policing element of the tax.

The PCC is seeking views on whether the police bill should rise by 5% for 2020-21, which would allow further investment in more officers and staff, or a 2% inflationary increase, which would allow Surrey Police to maintain its current services during 2020-21.

A 5% rise would equate to around a £13 a year rise for an average Band D property, while 2% would mean an extra £5 on a Band D annual bill.

Last January, Mr Munro persuaded most of the 6,000 people who responded to his consultation to accept a 10% increase in the police precept for the current year. This paid for the recruitment of 79 new officers and enabled 25 other police posts to continue.

Mr Munro, who has said he is disappointed at the county’s allocation in the £750 million government funding programme, is to put his case for an above-inflation increase in the police precept at a public meeting in Woking tomorrow evening, Tuesday 21 January.

The Policing Your Community event, at The Lightbox museum and gallery, is one of a series of public engagement meetings being held across the county. There will be the opportunity to meet Mr Munro, Surrey Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp, and the Woking borough commander, Inspector Andy Greaves.

Subjects include the current challenges the force faces and future plans for the service in Surrey, as well as local policing priorities and issues in Woking.

Residents are asked to arrive from 6.45pm, for presentations starting at 7pm. The event is free, but those wishing to attend must book a place beforehand.

Members of the public can have their say at The consultation closes at noon on Thursday 6 February.

For the full story get the 16 January edition of the News & Mail