KEIGHLEY people are being asked to pay about 16 per cent more for their policing.

The West Yorkshire Police budget for the next year will see the precept increase by £24, to £186.95, on a Band D property.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said the budget would enable an extra 264 officers and specialist staff to be taken on.

And he added that Police Community Support Officer numbers would be maintained.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “In the context of almost ten years of sustained cuts to policing, preparing this latest budget has been one of the most challenging in terms of priorities to make a real difference to policing and the public.

“I have been placed in an almost untenable situation, with clear expectations from government that Police and Crime Commissioners should raise their precept levels to the maximum amount allowed under new flexibilities announced in December.”

Councillor Alison Lowe, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, said members had “reluctantly” agreed to the increase.

“The panel remains committed to growing police numbers across West Yorkshire but we are concerned that this growth is at the expense of local taxpayers rather than central government grant,” she added.