Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has launched a consultation asking for public views on increasing the part of the council tax that funds local police. He is suggesting an extra £2 per month. This follows a government decision to enable Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to increase their part of the council tax up to a maximum of £24 per year.
Mr Underhill says that he is “immensely frustrated that the financial burden has, once again, been passed to local taxpayers and it is important that members of the public are under no illusion: this is a short-term fix that barely covers the need.”
He adds: “The government’s latest funding settlement does not address the considerable, and mainly unfunded, police pension issue, new training regime, plus inflationary and pay pressures, all of which have been thrust upon national policing. Nor does it reverse the eight years of austerity that have left Dorset Police with the lowest number of officers since 1981.
“Nevertheless, the flexibility that an extra £2 per month on the precept provides would leave Dorset Police in a much better position than was feared just a few months ago, and the Chief Constable is confident that this would allow him to make improvements in a number of areas of emerging demand.”
Consultation meetings are being held this month in 14 Dorset locations, though not in Lyme Regis. But you can complete a short online survey here. More information is available on the PCC website, which also contains details of the public meetings: the nearest is in Bridport, at Morrisons, on Tuesday 15 January, 10am-12noon.