Show Your Support and Help Secure Increased Police Funding for Dorset

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill is calling on Dorset residents to take part in a government consultation to highlight the imbalance in funding for rural forces.

Show Your Support and Help Secure Increased Police Funding for Dorset

The call to residents forms part of a national ‘rural policing matters’ campaign by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN).  The network of police and crime commissioners, their police forces and groups such as the NFU are urging the government to reconsider how police forces are funded, and specifically to take account of the higher costs of policing rural areas. 

Dorset has been hit with central government budget cuts of £14.8m since 2010, which is over 20% of the total money handed down from government.  When taking inflation into account the 20% cut becomes a 30% cuts in real terms. This has impacted the number of officers and staff with 16% fewer officers policing Dorset since 2010 and 9% fewer staff supporting operational teams.

Research from the NRCN, which will be released next month, shows trust in policing is much lower in residents in rural areas than residents of urban areas, and that only a third of people living or working in rural areas believe the police are responding to issues of concern to them (compared to two thirds nationally).  Rural crime is also significantly under-reported.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is vital the government takes into account the complexities of policing rural counties such as Dorset when deciding how to split money between forces.  Officers in Dorset patrol 1,024 square miles with only 6.3% of the county being classified as ‘urban’.  Rural crime is very different to criminal activities that take place in our major towns and it is vital this is recognised nationally.  I would ask all resident to take part in the consultation and I will continue to lobby government to ensure fair funding for Dorset. 

Julia Mulligan, Chair of the National Rural Crime Network, said: “Trust in policing is already very low, especially when compared to urban residents, and if the government doesn’t sufficiently recognise the needs of rural people, and therefore rural policing, that trust will only diminish.  We may then be in a vicious cycle of under-reporting, because of lack of trust and resources to deal with issues, which will then lead to further under-reporting.”


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Comments (48)

  1. Shirley Battie Sep 03, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    We need to see bobbies on the beat as before.

  2. John Trist Sep 03, 2015 at 01:03 PM

    As the Deputy Coordinator for the local Speedwatch Team, I personally witness every day speeding motorists through my village which gets reported to the local PC & PCSO as well as the Community Speedwatch Team on a regular basis, Unfortunately due to the totally unfair budget cuts the Police force is not able to cope with these incidents quickly and as a consequence of these cuts more and more Motorists continue to abuse the Law, Unfortunately, an accident will occur very soon ( I hope not ) as these cuts are stretching the Police to do their duty on a daily basis.
    So Please ensure that more Police ar recruited and increase the budgets now,

  3. DAVID MAY Sep 03, 2015 at 01:24 PM

    Any reduction in funding is utterly stupid and in fact should be increased.

  4. Maria Williams Sep 03, 2015 at 01:50 PM

    I have signed the petition as I do think it is ridiculous the level of officers per capita for places like London when compared to Dorset and other rural forces.

  5. Denis Carlton Sep 03, 2015 at 02:13 PM

    We can't go on in this fashion cutting budgets and reducing the force by consequence putting the lives of others including serving officers at risk.

  6. Roger Long Sep 03, 2015 at 02:22 PM

    Cuts have consequences.

  7. Samantha Bartlett Sep 03, 2015 at 02:30 PM

    Cuts costs lives. How can any one put a price on someone's life!!

  8. Major reg Hanbury Sep 03, 2015 at 02:45 PM

    Rural Policing is vital to ensure the safety and resourcefulness of rural business, which in itself is essential for the well being of an inwork rural population.

  9. Mrs P M Luhman Sep 03, 2015 at 03:10 PM

    More notice should be taken on the complexity of the Dorset rural urban and with highs of increased population of tourists now all year round

  10. Richard Walker Sep 03, 2015 at 03:39 PM

    The cuts to the police forces across the country are leaving the public in a perilous situation and and at greater risk of crime being committed against us, and also the inability for the police to enforce the laws of the nation. The cuts must be reversed, but at the same time the various police forces across the country must come together to make savings in their already top-heavy administrations leaving more funding for actual police officers on the streets...

  11. Iona Mary Williams Sep 03, 2015 at 03:41 PM

    there are too few police as it is, restricting our budget will only mean an increase in crime, as there will not be enough police to enforce the law.

  12. Geoff Cooper Sep 03, 2015 at 03:58 PM

    Adequate funding is absolute priority.Local government is not competent to assess Police requirements.

  13. David Sep 03, 2015 at 04:05 PM

    WE need more Police all round.

  14. Peter Moore Sep 03, 2015 at 04:13 PM

    This is a very bad situation for the people in Dorset. The cuts will seriously affect lives. The money is there but it is being spent on non essential projects. When will the government wake up.

  15. W.D.Proctor Sep 03, 2015 at 04:30 PM

    The police are too thin on the ground - so have less chance of catching rural criminals eg sheep stealing and equipment rustling.

  16. Brenda Atkinson Sep 03, 2015 at 04:52 PM

    You have our full support - local Neighbourhood Watch Group, Burton

  17. A cains Sep 03, 2015 at 04:56 PM

    With crime increasing in the coming winter country areas must have sufficient police presents to catch offenders last year farmers had equipment stolen and animals stolen they should be able to rely on suffice t police support funding should not be an issue.

  18. s talbot Sep 03, 2015 at 05:10 PM

    we have serious criminal activity in rural towns, with police cuts the criminal gets away with it longer !

  19. Lorna Sep 03, 2015 at 05:15 PM

    We need more police in Dorset and so much of it is rural which brings farm machinery and animal thefts.

  20. Paul Thackray Sep 03, 2015 at 05:15 PM

    I fully support the initiative. Unfortunately Ministers often appear to lack the knowledge of the realities of life in the real world, basing decisions on some contrived model dreamed up in Whitehall and acedemia.

  21. Mark Hanson Sep 03, 2015 at 05:51 PM

    I speak as a member of a generation aged 20-30yrs old. There are many individuals, including myself, that constantly apply to join Dorset Police wishing to provide only the very best service our county calls out for. Many of these individuals have gained police experience and skills within the organisation and are simply being prevented by a drastically low number of posts available per recruitment campaign, which we do understand is budget restricted. On average, when our Constabulary recruits, it is within the low range of 10-20 available posts for Police Constable. Between 1000 - 2000 apply.

    It is clear that funds are restricting Dorset Police. It worries me that other rural forces have disclosed on national television - specifically BBC News - that they may no longer attend Dwelling Burglaries, due to funding constraints. Does this not defeat the very purpose of providing a community with a Police Constabulary? Every tax payer deserves a Police Officer to attend their residence when falling victim to a burglary. I would believe this to be the view of all within our country, let alone county.

    Please provide our country's rural police constabularies with increased tax funding. I, amongst many other tax payers, would gladly oblige to pay.

  22. Michael Hardy Sep 03, 2015 at 07:15 PM

    There are not enough Policemen to do the job effectively.

  23. chris Wooliscroft Sep 03, 2015 at 08:00 PM

    We can't go on in this fashion cutting budgets and reducing the force by consequence putting the lives of others including serving officers at risk.

  24. Stuart Harris Sep 03, 2015 at 08:02 PM

    These dramatic cuts have taken the 'service' from the Police. It has become a reactionary Force rather than an all encompassing one.

  25. Natalie Frigieri-Williams Sep 03, 2015 at 08:10 PM

    Funding should be fair.

  26. TR Harvey Sep 03, 2015 at 08:16 PM

    Police funds and education are more important than any other spending (yes, even including the NHS) and the cuts have got to stop.

  27. Joan Bailey Sep 03, 2015 at 08:25 PM

    I am dismayed at the short sightedness of government in relation to funding - or rather lack of - for Dorset. It is, or was, a beautiful county but recently law breakers have been getting away with breaking the law and there just are not enough Police to stem the flow.

  28. John Whitlock Sep 03, 2015 at 08:35 PM

    I was a Special Constable in Dorset Police for 12 years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in this rewarding career. We need more Bobbies on the beat and Traffic Officers not less. The world is an ever changing place with ISIS and other Terrorist groups growing.
    We are a rural county who needs a well staffed and well stocked Police Force.

  29. Michael Kensington Sep 03, 2015 at 09:06 PM

    Our local police force do an excellent job with ever decreasing financial support. I, for one, would be happy to pay more to challenge the increasing problems of drugs, burglary, and traffic violations. ( I feel we have the worst drivers here in Bournemouth)

  30. Nick Wilson Sep 03, 2015 at 10:02 PM

    We should be increasing visibility not stretching human resources further.

  31. John Sep 04, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    For years Dorset had one of the lowest budgets in the UK. At one time it was thought that splitting Dor Pol between other Forces would reduce policing costs. If Dorset could no longer meet HMG targets. due to the imposed reductions ,that argument about Dorset Police could be reopened.
    The misconception of HMG was that if an area has reduced crime due to years of hard work by Officers of all ranks, then you do not need so many Police. So either redeploy them to higher crime areas or lose people. Reduced Policing allows criminals to restart their crimes. Less officers, along with the lack of money to replace them leaves the Police unable to attend 'Minor' Ciminal Damage , burglaries, RTCs Assaults etc. The duty of care seems to be lost and distraught victims are left to investigate their own crimes or forget it. Enter private security.[Group 4?]. Why? There are too few Police resorces available. Officers have to be held for serious crimes only, thanks to our friendly Home Office.
    The Police forces are fighting a losing battle due to under funding , which has led to the loss of public trust and confidence.

  32. Peter & Pat Lloyd Sep 04, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Hope you have success in your quest. We do NOT want police cars that are under powered and are not allowed to go over the speed limit or cross red lights in emergencies as is, apparently happening in certain parts of the country. This situation you will be well aware of. Yours faithfully. Peter Lloyd.

  33. Hazel Bancroft Sep 04, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    Funding for Police in Weymouth and Portland and many other areas is needed urgently!!! We need to see more presence on streets, manning stations and for quick response to calls! As the NW Coordinator for my area, I receive my fair share of complaints about the lack of help available. Increase budgets NOW.!

  34. John and Helen Bishop Sep 04, 2015 at 01:12 PM

    As further "car miles" must be involved in policing rural communities this should be taken into account when funding policies are made. This very much applies to Dorset and doubtless to other mainly rural policing areas.

  35. PAT PURKISS Sep 04, 2015 at 02:21 PM

    Police are badly needed in Dorset and funding for more is essential. Without Police Dorset will become a hot spot for thieves, fraudsters, vagabonds, etc.. MORE FUNDING PLEASE

  36. Christine Stone Sep 04, 2015 at 04:51 PM

    Rural Crime is increasing. We need more police and ways of contacting police. We cannot afford a reduced police force. Crime prevention needs to be controlled. The population is increasing daily and that means more police are needed. If the government need to build more houses and more roads then it need a bigger police force to cope with it all. This applies to the country as well as urban areas. Our country lives under serious threat we need more police and more investment in all our forces. Politicians shouldn't not give themselves pay rises when they are cutting public funding. It's hypocritical.

  37. Keith Page Sep 04, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    We need to maintain a strong rural force

  38. Beverley Palmer Sep 06, 2015 at 09:13 PM

    Our police officers do a brilliant job but if funding is reduced how can the officers do there job moral will diminish no one will want to join the force England will then be at risk etc etc. We should be giving a pay rise and encourage more to join. the police do a great job let's not lose them please.

  39. Douglas Ryder Sep 07, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    A reduction in funding is quite daft, this will equal less Police on the ground.
    Rural crime is on the increase, with less Police presence makes the crime easier to commit with no one to investigate or prosecute.
    Rural communities will have to carry the burden of increased insurance premiums.

  40. David Smith Sep 07, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    We are in a low crime area. By providing adequate funding for police it will remain that way saving resources spent on dealing with crime and criminals.

  41. Lee Davis Sep 07, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    It's now becoming vital for funding not reductions, with increases in population and housing the reality is we will see more crime which will impact on our living standards and security.

  42. Alan Churches Sep 08, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    Cutting funding can only reduce the help of police in the community and the security off the people.

  43. Andrew Bellars Sep 08, 2015 at 03:10 PM

    We need rural policing and strong recruitment

  44. Sandi Sep 11, 2015 at 01:27 AM

    My daughter is a PCSO and there is a possibility they will go with the cuts. She is so busy, every single day running from job to job and when an arrest is needed they have to wait for an officer as they are so busy. How would they manage if there were no PCSO's to field the mundane enquiries and how
    would the public react if there was no visible presence and then no response
    for hours. All officers are chasing their tales as it is, so further costs could be
    dangerous as one day, the wheel will come off.

  45. Laurie Powell Sep 12, 2015 at 06:11 PM

    It is indefensible that police funding is based on the size of the permanent population instead of the average actual population. We in Dorset suffer when our population doubles in the summer momthd

  46. Valeria Quinton Sep 12, 2015 at 09:11 PM

    I don't like what this country is becoming. With foreign people pouring into this country, schools overcrowded, not enough houses, national health over run and a criminal element coming with some of these people with no respect for the law, i despair. I am frightened that these people who behead anyone who displeases them will gradually make their way in our country and where will the police be? With the police force being cut and cut and cut I am already frightened that when called out and needed the police will have cut the jobs they go to as we read in the papers. I think the police ought to be very much increased or else who will deal with these problems. I don't like what the future is holding for us. I live in fear.

  47. Daphne Sep 16, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Conmen are on the increase, as are burglaries, an inevitable response to reduction of officers and support staff available. It is sometimes too difficult to find a police "station" open to report a crime immediately - I refer to telephone scams.

    There seems to be little or no awareness of living in country areas, which are rapidly becoming towns and bigger with housing development.
    Computer statistics are poor recipients of unwanted feedback.
    Farmers etc do their best to protect against rural crime which does not seem to enjoy importance in the eyes of urban administrators.
    This situation is an invitation to vigilante activity.

  48. ALISON CLARKE Sep 22, 2015 at 06:22 PM

    Any cuts in funding Dorset's police force is ridiculous, we need more police to cover the villages.

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