POLICE forces across the region will still face financial challenges despite the government’s latest funding announcement, Crime Commissioners say.

This week the government announced that it will increase police funding by £450m nationally in the coming year, but frustrated Police and Crime Commissioners say much of that money will have to come from council tax rises.

The County Durham and Darlington force will receive a government funding increase of 2.12 per cent, while North Yorkshire Police will see a 3.13 per cent rise.

Cleveland and Northumbria police will receive amongst the lowest increase in the region at 1.79 per cent and 1.96 per cent respectively.

However, Durham PCC Ron Hogg says those figures do not paint the full picture as the funding will depend on raising the police council tax precept, meaning residents will pay the price.

Mr Hogg said: “It is putting a massive tax burden on people and this is typical of this government.

“They continue to slash grants to local government, the police etc and then transfer the blame on to local decision makers.”

Mr Hogg said that County Durham was one of the poorest areas in the country and the amount raised through council tax was already among the lowest.

He said it was unfair of the government to inflict an extra financial burden on residents to fund the police.

“We are pleased that we are getting a solid rate settlement – we had budgeted at 1.4 per cent – but if we are to realise the full benefits that the government wants us to realise, we have to put up the council tax by six per cent and that is taxing people that are in some of the most deprived counties in the country,” he said.

North Yorkshire PCC Julian Mulligan welcomed the funding announcement but said she was “under no illusion” that savings will continue to be made locally.

She added: “Everything I do as the elected Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire is to protect and support the frontline.”

The PCCs are currently consulting over changes to the council tax precept with proposals being drawn up in early 2018.