HAMPSHIRE residents will not see a rise in the amount they pay police through their council tax despite calls for an increase from the county's top officer.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall had backed an option to increase the police share of the tax by 3.25 per cent but Hampshire Police Authority has frozen their precept and reduced the budget by £8.5 million to £305.6m The decision means the police part of the council tax bill for a Band D household will remain £146.25 for the year and by freezing their share the county force will receive a £3m government grant, which is equivalent to a 3 per cent increase in council tax.

Hampshire Police are trying to save more than £50m by 2015 and a report had found that saving made by applying a council tax rise would be “available for investing back into frontline policing”.

After hearing the decision Chief Constable Marshall said: “My priority is to protect our local visible policing teams, to providing an excellent service, to reduce crime and make the most of our resources.”