A TWO per cent increase in council tax to pay for more specialist policing in Gloucestershire including cyber crime has been widely supported by the public.

The results came from a series of consultation exercises conducted by Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl as he prepares his policing budget for the next three years.

An independent market research and analysis company carried out the research last year and found 74.1 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposal of a two per cent increase while 16.5 per cent disagreed.

If the Commissioner does opt for an increase, it is likely the extra money would go towards improving the force’s capability for tackling crimes and anti-social behaviour carried out on the internet and social network sites.

“There is no doubt the internet is a wonderful resource but it has made people vulnerable in their own homes," said Mr Surl.

"The research bears out what people have been telling me - this is a critical area of concern for many of them.

“If I do raise council tax, I hope it will be the last time before the next election, but cyber crime is an issue we all have to face up to."