POLICE throughout the county should give more time to cracking down on anti-social behaviour on the internet and social networking sites, according to Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Martin Surl made the recommendation following a series of consultation exercises in which most people identified online crime as a priority and said that they would be willing to pay more tax to help combat the problem.

As a result, the commissioner will be asking the county’s police and crime panel to agree a two per cent increase in council tax at the next meeting on Thursday, February 6.

Mr Surl said that although some were sceptical that the problem is too big for one constabulary to tackle, every police force should be making a contribution.

“Both the Chief Constable and I have a shared responsibility to ensure that Gloucestershire Police are able to respond effectively to any form of cyber attack on a national scale and to develop our own cyber crime capabilities beneath that level of threat,” he said.

It is estimated that a two per cent increase in the police portion of council tax would result in a Band D householder paying an extra £4.05 a year, or eight pence a week.

Suzette Davenport, Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Police, said: “The internet presents huge opportunities for people both personally and professionally, but it also presents risks and we would be failing in our duty if we left members of the public and businesses in Gloucestershire expose because of a lack of expertise in this field.”