AN increase of up to 19 per cent in its Council Tax precept is being considered by West Mercia Police Authority.

John Cairns, of the authority, told Wednesday night's meeting of the Police Community Consultative Group that a raise of 13 per cent was needed just to keep services at their current level.

He told the meeting, at Malvern Girls' College, that the amount of money being given by the government to fund the police was not enough to maintain services.

He said three options had been outlined by the authority: a raise of 13 per cent, 15 per cent or 19 per cent. The second two options would allow the police to increase its resources.