Dorset Police seeks public views on £1.25 for extra officers

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill have launched a consultation to ask the 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.

The ‘Road Show’ won’t be visiting Verwood but it will make its way to Tesco at Ferndown on Tuesday 7th January from noon till 2pm.

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 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 added: “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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