THE average household is set to pay an extra £15 for policing in the Avon and Somerset area in the year from April

The 6.6 per cent increase, which equates to £1,25 a month on council tax bills for Band D households, has been sanctioned by the Home Office, which has frozen its grant to police forces.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens has launched a survey seeking local people’s views on an increase in the policing part of the council tax.

She says the £15 increase would allow additional investment in the police service to tackle the crimes that affect victims the most.

If the policing part of the council tax is not increased, Avon and Somerset Police would have to make significant savings, leading to "a reduction of police services".

Ms Mountstevens said: "I know that any increase in household bills is felt by local people and after this extraordinary year, an increase in any bills is an even bigger ask.

"The pandemic has had a huge economic impact on our communities and has affected many people’s finances. The decision to raise the policing part of the council tax will not be taken lightly.

"Following a recent poll, 40 per cent of local people told me they would like to see officers enforce the coronavirus restrictions more.

"I understand local people’s frustrations with those who continue to flout the rules, but in order to improve visibility and results, we need to have resources.

"I have to balance the challenges facing policing, the increased threat from criminality, local people’s views and the safety of residents."

Ms Mountstevens is urging people to respond to the survey by its closing date of next Tuesday (January 26) - it can be found at

Avon and Somerset Police increased its Band D tax demand by £10 last year, which helped recruit 75 police investigators.

She added: "Following last year’s rise we are on track to recruit additional police investigators to improve outcomes for victims and ensure we continue to give victims a voice."