THE cost of policing Lancashire will rise by £10 a year for most of the county's households.

The annual charge on top of the council tax will go up by 1.99 percent to an annual £205.46 for a Band D home.

The 20p a week increase, the maximum allowed without a public vote, was approved by a meeting of the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel at Blackburn Town Hall today.

It will provide an extra £1.783million for the county force.

Last year its 'precept' on top of council tax rose by £24 a year (46p a week) on a Band D property.

This year's budget includes cash from the government for the recruitment of 153 new police officers.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, up for election in May, said: "Alongside the Chief Constable I have carefully considered the implications of the national settlement and what it means for policing here in Lancashire.

“Whilst I clearly welcome the funding for 153 additional officers, this is only the first step in addressing the enduring funding problems that exist and still leaves us with 600 fewer officers than in 2010.

" There remain significant financial challenges facing Lancashire Police.

“The core government grant has only marginally increased and there is no direct funding for last September’s pay award of 2.5 per cent.

"I am adamant more funding needs to come from government grant and not from further council tax increases."

Ribble Valley Conservative MP Nigel Evans said: "There will be a huge expectation from the people of Lancashire that they will see an increased and visible police presence across the whole of the county after this precept rise and extra government funding for more officers."

The police and crime panel will confirm their precept decision in writing by February 8.