THE new police and crime panel for Essex has agreed to raise council tax.

The part of council tax which goes towards policing the county will increase by 3.5 per cent.

Police and crime commissioner Nick Alston asked for the increase to protect jobs and allow for more crime reduction initiatives.

The rise will cost a band D taxpayer £4.77 a year.

See the full story, reaction, and find out how each district council voted in Monday's Gazette.