A COUNCIL tax rise is needed to help replace 60 police officers due to retire from the South Yorkshire force.

Commissioner Shaun Wright said the increase of about one pence per day would 'keep police on the beat', and allow officers due to retire to be replaced.

He suggested a rise of 3.6 per cent to generate about £1.6m in additional income for the force. That would work out as a £5-a-year rise, to £142.55, for the average Band D property.

Mr Wright said the planned £43m government budget cuts between 2010 and 2015 was 'exasperating' and represented a 20 per cent reduction for policing in the county.

He said: "I recognise that people want to see a greater police presence and to know that not only local petty crime, but also serious and organised criminal activity is efficiently and effectively reduced. Rather than just sit back and complain, it is my intention to get out there and get on with it'."