Bedfordshire police and crime commissioner Olly Martins has announced plans to hike the amount taxpayers give to the force by 16%
The move, which would see Beds Police’s council tax precept increased by 15.85%, is designed to balance the books after a number of government cuts.
Due to the scale of the increase the plan needs public support, with a referendum planned to be held alongside the general election on May 7.
Mr Martins said: “I appreciate that many people have suffered financially over the past few years and understand that they may not welcome an increase in the council tax, however modest when considered on a weekly or monthly basis.
“But on the other hand, everywhere I go people tell me that they think we should have more police officers and the evidence from the crime per officer figures shows that in Bedfordshire they are right.
“And it really is the peoples’ decision. A referendum will provide a safety mechanism to ensure that I am not setting a precept increase that the majority of people oppose.”