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Last chance to have say on police funding

Residents are being reminded this is their last chance to have their say on paying an extra £1.25 a month to provide an enhanced policing service in Dorset.

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, pay for additional costs and recruit new officers.

People across the county have been asked to have their say by taking two minutes to complete a survey which closes later this week.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “An additional £1.25 a month will allow the Force to meet unavoidable costs and allow the further recruitment of additional officers.”

If approved by the county’s Police and Crime Panel next month, the figure would see those living in a Band D property paying an additional £15 a year for policing in the county.

Dorset Police are now predicting they will recruit 64 new officers by the end of March – more than had been planned. Now, in the second year of the Government’s three year ‘uplift’ programme, the Force plans to recruit further officers in 2021/22.

Martyn Underhill said: “I am fully aware that many people across Dorset are worried about their livelihoods at the moment, and it’s with a heavy heart that I have to go out once again and ask cash strapped families to contribute more.

“I remain immensely frustrated that the financial burden for policing is being passed to local taxpayers once again. I have consistently argued that the funding settlement is unfair to smaller forces like ours, which has to make up almost half of its budget through local taxation.

“Although I have already said I will not be standing in the next PCC elections, I will use my remaining months in office to continue demanding a fairer settlement for Dorset Police, which remains one of the lowest funded forces in the country.“

Please take two minutes to complete the survey here to say what you think.


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