Roadshow seeks public views on £1.25 for extra officers

A roadshow is being held throughout January to ask members of the public for their views on paying £1.25 a month to enable the Force to recruit new officers.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has launched a consultation to ask the county’s residents for their views on paying a slight increase in their precept – the part of a council tax bill that funds local police – in order to deliver a prudent budget.

The commissioner, along with members of his team and volunteers, will be visiting supermarkets and shopping centres across Dorset – but anyone who won’t be able to attend will be able to ask questions online during a special webchat.

Martyn Underhill said: “It’s important I get as wide a range of views as possible and find out what the people of Dorset feel about these proposals. I’m asking everyone to take a couple of minutes to complete my survey online but we’re also going to be out and about to talk to people face to face.”

The team will be at the following locations:

  • Christchurch, Waitrose, Monday 6 January 9.30-11.30am
  • Bournemouth, Tesco Extra (Riverside), Monday 6 January, noon-2pm
  • Poole, Dolphin Centre, Monday 6 January, 3-5pm
  • Ferndown, Tesco, Tuesday 7 January, noon-2pm
  • Wimborne, Waitrose, Tuesday 7 January, 3-5pm
  • Blandford Forum, Tesco, Wednesday 8 January, noon-2pm
  • Dorchester, Tesco, Wednesday 8 January, 3-5pm
  • Bridport, Morrisons, Thursday 9 January, 10am-noon
  • Weymouth, Asda, Thursday 9 January, 1-2.30pm
  • Portland, Tesco, Thursday 9 January, 3.30-5pm
  • Sherborne, Waitrose, Friday 10 January, 10am-noon
  • Gillingham, Waitrose, Friday 10 January, 1-3pm
  • Swanage, Co-op, Monday 13 January, 10am-noon
  • Wareham, Sainsbury’s, Monday 13 January, 1-3pm

Anyone who wants to ask the Police and Crime Commissioner about the precept proposal during a webchat held from 6.30-7.30pm on Monday January 13 can do so by visiting www.dorsetpccwebchat.com.

The consultation is being held in the face of uncertainty as Dorset Police’s annual settlement from central government – which provides the bulk of funding for the Force – has been delayed following the General Election.

Martyn Underhill said: “Although this situation is far from ideal, it is essential I take a prudent approach and make sure the Force is able to deliver a balanced budget.

 “While of course I welcome recent announcements of extra police officers, I need to make sure the Force can pay for them in the long term and that has also been taken into consideration.

“In order that the Force can not only maintain its levels of service, but also enhance it with new officers, additional funding is required and – although I would love to be surprised – I fear this will not come from central government when the settlements are announced.”

Complete the consultation online here.

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