How much we pay towards policing on the Isle of Wight is going up, but it could lead to more officers on our streets.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Panel agreed today (Friday) to increase the amount a Band D taxpayer pays for policing by £10 a year, or 19p a week.

The near four per cent increase will raise the precept to £261.46 a year for a Band D taxpayer, from April.

The increase will help bolster Hampshire and Isle of Wight's Police and Crime Commissioner's (PCCs') budget for police services across the region by adding another £7 million a year, bringing the total cash pot up to £462.2m.

Some of the things the rise of funding will bring across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight include:

  • 75 new officers including 30 sergeants and 20 constables to help local policing
  • 10 new police front counters across the region as part of a £73.2 million estate investment programme
  • Nearly £1.3 million reinvestment for improvement to intelligence functions after austerity cuts
  • An increase in support for offender management, which in some cases will allow ongoing monitoring of offenders who had committed serious crimes after they leave prison
  • Extra funding for vehicle replacements, totting the specific budget up to £4 million a year

In a public consultation, with more than 6,300 responses, 64 per cent of respondents were supportive of an increase to the precept, but 31 per cent were not.

The government has allowed PCCs to raise the precept by £13 which HIOW Constabulary's Chief Constable Scott Chilton did ask for.

Speaking today, Mr Chilton said: "It would be remiss of me to not ask for the full amount, that is what I need to protect the public the best I can.

"It is a case of how fast and how hard we go to make the reforms we need to make us one of the safest places in the country, although I do recognise the cost of living crisis and the pressures on the public purse."

HIOW PCC Donna Jones only recommended the average £10 increase, however, which she said was a tough decision but was conscious of the money troubles already affecting some communities and how they may not be able to pay any further increase.

She said the force was also looking at making savings in some areas which would go towards investment in others.

The PCC said residents got very good value for money for their police force.

How much will you pay as part of the police precept? Find out in the table below ...

Isle of Wight County Press:

Members of the police and crime panel did highlight how money from government had reduced over the years, creating a funding gap, which has meant the burden now falls to local taxpayers to fund investment.

With the increase, the public will now contribute 41 per cent of the overall funding for HIOW Constabulary with the other 59 per cent coming from government.

In 2010/11, the public paid 33 per cent of the police force's funding with the other 66 per cent from government.

Southampton City Council's Cllr Matthew Renyard did not support the increase to send a message to the Home Office, calling for more funding after a £50 million gap in funding for the force in the last 13 years.

The panel asked the PCC to lobby government for further funding to reduce the level of taxation for residents in the future.

The budget has also considered inflationary pressures across the service of nearly £15 million.