SUSSEX’S police and crime commissioner has warned 480 officers and staff will lose their jobs if the police portion of council tax does not go up.

Katy Bourne has said she will be asking the Police and Crime Panel to support a rise in the police precept to help the force protect 480 officer and staff posts.

Arguing that the public want to see investment in more visible, local policing, Mrs Bourne will be arguing for the rise paid for by residents’ council tax.

She said a rise in public demand for police services, increasingly complicated criminal investigations and public concerns about changes to neighbourhood policing had helped her reach the decision.

She said: “I have been lobbying hard to secure the best possible funding arrangements for policing.

“The Government has agreed to provide the same level of funding to local forces as last year, as well as providing more for counter-terrorism and national policing priorities.

Sussex Police is facing a £26.5 million funding gap which will cost around 480 posts by 2022.

Mrs Bourne added: “As part of the policing grant announcement, the Government made it clear that an increasing proportion of policing costs will have to be met by local council taxpayers and so they have allowed PCCs to raise the amount you pay through the police precept above the previous limit per household.

“I have, therefore, decided to raise the precept by £12 per year for an average band D property.

“Combined with the £17 million I have already authorised from our reserves, this substantially reduces the previously planned savings requirements up to 2022.

“This is not a decision that I have taken lightly but I believe it is the right one to sustain the local policing which is so important to all our communities.”