MONEY from a proposed council tax increase would be put towards strengthening police resources around child sex explotation, serious organised crime and terrorism, according to Lancashires police and crime commissioner.

Clive Grunshaw, is proposing to increase the police’s share of council tax by 1.99 per cent in order to ‘protect and strengthen’ the police’s resources.

The increase, which would equate to £3 extra per year for a Band D property, would also go towards combating cybercrime and investing in IT equipment for officers.

However Mr Grunshaw said that he ‘can’t guarantee’ that the extra funds would be spent on more police officers or PCSOs.

He will today tell a Police and Crime Panel meeting that 74 per cent of residents are prepared to see their council tax rise to protect policing levels.

Mr Grunshaw said his proposed rise would generate an extra £1.2m a year. More than 1,400 residents from across the region gave their views as part of a recent telephone survey.

He said: "I know residents want increased visibility on the frontline.

“I can't guarantee more police officers or PCSOs, but what I can do is invest this money into measures which will increase productivity and visibility.

“Investment in IT equipment for officers will vastly improve efficiency, reducing costs in the long-term and giving them more time to provide the visible presence the public so desperately want.

"I also want to use the money to invest in protecting our most vulnerable people and tackling those issues which are placing increasing demand on the force.

“That means investing to protect and strengthen our resources around child sexual exploitation and serious and organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism.

"We have already taken the decision to move some of our resources into tackling cybercrime, and we will in future have a dedicated team to tackle online child abuse.”

The police are currently part way through a programme to save £20.5million and needs to identify £19.7million of savings before 2017/18.

The budget will be discussed at the Police and Crime Panel meeting at Blackburn Town Hall from 10am.