West Norfolk residents have been invited to have their say on whether they are prepared to pay more for policing in the wake of government funding cuts.
A public consultation is being launched after it was revealed last Friday that funding for the Norfolk force will fall by four per cent in the financial year 2014-15.
And, despite increasing collaboration with Suffolk Police, the Norfolk force is likely to face a funding shortfall of £21 million by 2017.
Now, the county’s police and crime commissioner, Stephen Bett, has called for the public’s views on how the force should cope with the financial problems and whether he should increase the portion of the council tax given to the police, known as its precept.
He said: “There is simply no getting away from the fact that these are tough times.
“No-one can be in any doubt that we face extremely difficult decisions over the next few years. That is the reality of the situation.
“Against that background I have to set the police budget for 2014/15 and in turn set the level people pay for policing through their council tax.
“Before I make any decisions on whether to raise the precept I want to hear people’s views.
“I would very much welcome opinion and we will be consulting throughout January.”
A public consultation event on the issue will be held at Lynn’s town hall on Thursday, January 9, at 10.30am. A similar session will be held later the same day in Norwich.
Residents can also have their say by visiting the commissioner’s website, www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk, email ing OPCCN@norfolk.pnn.police.uk or writing to Building 8, Jubilee House, Falconers Chase, Wymondham NR18 0WW.
The results of the consultation are expected to be discussed at a county police and crime panel meeting on January 31.