SEE VIDEO: Norfolk police commissioner defends plan to increase council tax

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Almost two thirds of people who have voted in an online poll support a rise in council tax to help pay for police services, a meeting in Lynn has heard.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett is running a public consultation on whether to raise the policing element of the tax by just under two per cent.

If imposed, that would add around £4 to the annual bill of an average band D householder.

Participants in a consultation session held at Lynn’s town hall on Wednesday were told that 63 per cent of people who had voted in an online poll on the commissioner’s website had backed the proposal. More than 900 people have voted so far.

The meeting also heard that more than £17 million of savings had been set out in a five-year plan.

However, without a tax rise, the meeting was told, it would still be facing a £15 million deficit by 2020.

Mr Bett said he had repeatedly voiced his concerns with local MPs and the government, but to no effect.

He added: “I’m doing my utmost to protect the front line but we are going to struggle, without doubt.”

Chief constable Simon Bailey said he was trying to deliver the best possible police service but had “no choice” about making cuts or seeking more money from taxpayers.

The consultation came as politicians and police chiefs in Lincolnshire, including Sutton Bridge MP John Hayes, met ministers to discuss their fears over policing there.

The poll can be found at www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk.