RESIDENTS in Oxfordshire have just over a week left to have their say on plans to increase Thames Valley Police's share of council tax.

Last month the government announced an extra £450m for forces in England and Wales – but much of the extra cash will only be available if commissioner’s use newly given powers to raise their portion of council tax.

Thames Valley police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld launched a survey into raising the average household's annual payment by £12 the week before Christmas and it will run until next Thursday, January 11 on the PCC website.

In an introduction to the survey, Mr Stansfield said: "Raising council tax by £12 a year will enable me to balance the 2018/19 budget without the need for further budget cuts and will allow investment in priority policing services such as the protection of vulnerable people, increased detection capability and will also provide our police officers and staff with the right equipment to do their jobs efficiently and effectively."

He added: "Ideally I would not choose to consult over the busy Christmas and New Year period and particularly on such an important issue, however, the Chief Constable and I only received the provisional police grant settlement for 2018/19 from the Home Office on Tuesday, December 19."

The government also announced the overall grant for the 43 forces in England and Wales would remain the same in cash terms in 2018-19 at £12.6bn.

This move has been described as a ‘kick in the teeth to all hardworking police officers’ by the Thames Valley Police Federation, which believes funding is not rising sufficiently to meet levels of crime.