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Public invited to ask questions about plans to raise police precept

Dorset residents are being invited to ask the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner about proposals to increase the amount people pay for their police service during an online event.

Martyn Underhill is asking the public to pay an extra £1.25 a month to enable the Force to provide an enhanced service and recruit new officers.

A survey is now taking place and residents are being asked to have their say on the proposed increases by visiting DorsetPoliceFunding.uk or by clicking here.

A virtual event, giving members of the public the chance to find out more about the proposals and to put their questions to the PCC, will take place from 5.30pm on Thursday January 14.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I ask the public about plans to increase the precept every year, and I always get an excellent response from Dorset residents.

“As part of my consultation, I always go out with my team to towns across the county to talk to people face to face. Sadly, as a result of the pandemic, I won’t be able to do that this year, so this online event is an opportunity for people to put their questions to me, find out more about why I want to raise the precept and what they will get in return.”

The session will take place over Microsoft Teams, and anyone who would like to be in the audience is asked to email pccmedia@Dorset.PNN.Police.uk.

Anyone who would like to ask a question during the session is asked to send it to the above email address, making it clear whether or not they would be happy to have their name mentioned.

Invitations will be sent out to audience members’ e-mail addresses, featuring a link they need to click in order to take part.

The proposed increase to the precept, the element of a monthly council tax bill that funds policing, will enable Dorset Police to deliver a balanced budget, recruit extra officers and pay for additional costs, some of which have been created as a result of the pandemic.

If approved, the figure would see those living in a Band D property paying an additional £15 a year for policing in the county.

Dorset Police is now predicted to recruit an additional 64 new officers by the end of March – over the target for this financial year – as part of the Government’s three-year ‘uplift’ programme and plans to recruit further new officers in 2021/22.

Martyn Underhill said: “An additional £1.25 a month will allow the Force to meet unavoidable costs, provide an enhanced service in the face of a global health emergency and allow the further recruitment of additional officers.”

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