One week left to have your say
Residents in Dorset have just seven days left to share their views in two consultations currently being run by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Commissioner is asking residents what their policing priorities are for the next four years, and whether they would be prepared to pay an additional £3.80 per year in Council Tax to offset Government cuts. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has received around 5,000 responses to the consultations so far.
To get involved in the Council Tax consultation visit www.dorsetpoliceprecept.com and to share your views in the policing priorities consultation visit www.dorsetpoliceplan.com.
In the last five years, Dorset Police’s budget has been cut by £19m in real terms by central Government and will continue to be cut by £1m every year for the next three years. In Dorset, around half of the police budget comes from the Government and the rest is made up from local Council Tax with the responsibility for setting the cost falling to the locally elected PCC.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “I’d like to thank those who have taken part so far, but I am extremely keen to hear the views of more residents. Both consultations will impact policing in Dorset and it is important residents’ views are considered.
“A maximum rise of £3.80 per year in Council Tax would generate £1.07m income, meaning we would have roughly the same amount of money as this year, taking into account our ongoing government cuts.”
If Council tax were to be raised in 2017/18, this would be invested in:
• Protecting adults at risk of harm: Including enhancing our ability to prevent and investigate abuse of older people, which is a trend in Dorset and nationally.
• Improving our response to common, non-emergency types of crime: Investing in Appointment Cars to visit victims and take details at prearranged times.
• Continuing to embrace new technology: Including further enhancements to Dorset Police’s website, such as the ability to make payments online rather than by post.
The Police and Crime Commissioner also has a statutory responsibility for setting a Police and Crime Plan to cover the duration of his term and is asking residents what is important to them. This plan sets the strategic direction for policing in the county and will go live from March 2017, running to March 2021.
Having met with thousands of residents during his first term in office, the four key areas Martyn believes should be the key priorities for Dorset Police are: protecting people at risk of harm; working with our communities; supporting victims, witnesses and reducing re-offending; and transforming for the future.
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Listening to the views of local people is one of the most important parts of my role and it is vital the new policing plan reflects the views of Dorset’s communities and the significant changes to policing over the last four years. Residents have a right to feel safe and this is your chance to let me know what is important to you.”
After collecting feedback from Dorset residents, the Commissioner will put his precept and police and crime plan proposals to the Police and Crime Panel for their comments.