THE police precept for the Dyfed-Powys force area could rise by nearly 11% in April.
Police and crime commissioner Dafydd Llewelyn said the force and the police service generally were in “a critical and precarious position”, given the financial pressures they were facing
He has proposed a 10.7% hike in the precept, which would raise the average band D property by £24 to £248.56p, and generate £55.2 million.
Add this sum to the £50.3 million coming from central Government and the force would have a budget of £106.8 million for 2019/20.
In a report going before the Dyfed-Powys police and crime panel on January 25, Mr Llewelyn warned that the force needed to find £535,000 to cover a rise in pension costs.
He added that the £325,000 of capital grants available for things like fleet and IT upgrades were, in his view, “wholly insufficient”.
Dyfed-Powys Police covers the largest area of any force in Wales and England — with a population of 516,000 — and has around 1,200 police officers.
Mr Llewelyn said the force had faced a 22% cut in central Government funding since 2010 and had to make £24.7 million savings.
The report said officers were dealing with more and more safeguarding issues relating to vulnerable people, and that cyber crime, the exploitation of children, and serious and organised crime were more prevalent than 10 or 15 years ago.
It said the only source of extra revenue was via council taxpayers, and added: “In those circumstances the commissioner and the panel face a stark choice, either increase the precept or cut services.”
The report said Dyfed-Powys Police had high levels of public confidence and victim satisfaction, and deployed more of its staff on the front line than equivalent forces.
But it also said that crime data recording for domestic and sexual offences “causes concern”, potentially undermining the good work done by the force in these areas.
The panel can veto the precept proposal with a two-thirds majority, or accept it.
Plaid Cymru commissioner Mr Llewelyn raised the precept by 5% last year, and has carried out a consultation on this year’s proposed rise.
The report said: “I have considered these responses carefully in determining my precept proposal for 2019/20.”