THE average household will be paying just shy of £20 extra for policing from April - but cuts will have to be made to the force.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel has rubber-stamped plans to raise the council tax precept for policing in mid and west Wales by 6.2 per cent.

This means the average band D property will pay an extra £19.38 from April.

Announcing the news, a statement from the Police and Crime Commissioner's office said: "In November 2023 and, as a consequence of severe financial challenges, Welsh Government announced that their manifesto pledge to fund 600 Police Community Support (PCSOs) across Wales, was no longer possible.

"All forces were requested to immediately pause recruitment. This will mean significant reductions in future grant funding.

"Clearly, PCSOs are an integral and important part of neighbourhood policing and much valued resource by communities.

"The cuts raise a number of operational risks and financial concerns.

"Furthermore, Welsh Government also notified policing in mid-December 2023, that the totality of funding for the All-Wales Schools programme (£0.3m) would be withdrawn from 1 April 2024.

"The decision to cease funding for this program, as well as significant reductions to PCSO funding would leave an exceptional void that should be addressed locally to ensure the safety of our communities, ensuring positive engagement of our children and young people.

"This decision to raise the precept level by 6.2 per cent aims to address the pressing need to safeguard vital aspects of community policing initiatives and to counteract the impact of withdrawn government funding.

"As part of the last HMIC PEEL inspection, a number of observations were made in relation to the force’s call handling arrangements which also reflected community concerns.

"The precept increase will allow the force to address some of the concerns, by investing in staff and technology within the Force Control Centre, so that Dyfed-Powys Police are able to respond effectively and efficiently to growing demands.

"This area of business, which for many is the first point of contact, is assessed as being the priority of the Force, and is critical to ensure the accessibility of services for the public.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, added: “We understand the burden that any increase in precept places on taxpayers.

“However, this decision is driven by the critical need to sustain essential services, ensure accessibility and visibility, particularly in the face of reduced government support.

“Our commitment to community safety remains to be the priority, and we are confident that this increase is a necessary investment, safeguarding the safety and well-being of our neighbourhoods.

“It will allow for essential investments in our Force Control Centre, addressing the urgent need for increased staffing and upgraded technology systems, ensuring that the force has the ability to respond promptly and effectively to the needs of our communities.

“The operational and financial landscape continues to be both unpredictable and challenging. "This level of funding will enable the force to focus on the delivery of my Police and Crime Plan for 2021-2025 and the objectives that I have outlined for the Chief Constable to improve performance and outcomes.

“I would like to thank the public for providing their views through the consultation, and to the Police and Crime Panel members for their continued support.”