HAMPSHIRE police are hoping to raise their cut of the council tax by about £5 a year per household to tackle a funding shortfall.

Government cutbacks mean the constabulary will this year receive £41m less than four years ago, and police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes says this is risking public safety.

He said: “These are very, very difficult times for policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“It would be wrong of me not to tell the public the truth about the impact of Government cuts.

“It is getting more difficult to keep up the level of neighbourhood policing people want and, quite frankly, should expect.”

The force is currently faced with finding a further £25m of savings and Mr Hayes said raising the precept by just three per cent would generate £2.9m a year, ensuring the force can deliver the savings required.

Mr Hayes said: “I believe that we must maintain a safe level of neighbourhood policing, including PCSOs on our streets, and this is why I am left with no option but to propose a precept increase.

“But I want to hear the public’s view on this. Our short online survey is an easy way to let me know whether you agree with this or not.”

Go to www.hampshirepcc.gov.uk to take the survey, until January 22.

The Police and Crime Panel will be debating the proposal on January 24