HOUSEHOLDS in Barnsley are set to pay more for police after a council tax precept hike was agreed by force bosses.

The two per cent increase for 2020/21, which will come into effect from April, is equivalent to a £3.88 increase for a Band D property to £198.04 for the year.

Although it is an extra cost, it’s much less than last year’s 14 per cent hike which allowed the force to recruit more officers, but South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said he kept the latest rise ‘to a minimum’.

“I am very aware that residents face difficulties in meeting the rising costs of day-to-day living and am conscious that the council tax precept is an added financial burden on them,” he added.

“This year the government settlement has been sufficient for us to keep the precept to a minimum. However, I do note that there are ever increasing demands on the police force and that in future years they will have to make efficiency saving to keep the precept down.

“Public consultation on the precept has taken place over the past few months both online and at public meetings, events and engagement days. More than 2,600 residents were asked if they would be willing to pay more council tax for policing and 81 per cent said they would.

“However, it was clear that people do expect to see a more visible police presence within local communities and they would like to see the force focus on priority areas of tackling serious violence and gang activity and to reducing burglaries.”