COLCHESTER MP Sir Bob Russell has questioned the attempt to charge taxpayers more for policing in Essex.

Sir Bob has urged Home Secretary Theresa May to explain why councils are being asked to freeze council tax but police and crime commissioners are apparently not.

His query comes after Nick Alston, commissioner for Essex, suggested a 3.5 per cent increase in council tax payments for policing.

Residents in Essex currently pay among the least of any in the country for its police force.

Mr Alston wants this to increase, by £4.77 for a band D taxpayer.

See the full story in Friday's Gazette.