As you know, every year I’m required by law to set the Force’s budget and consult on the level of the precept – the part of your council tax bill that pays for policing.
This year is unlike any seen before. Because of the General Election’s unusual timing we don’t yet know how much central funding, which provides more than half of the Force’s budget, we’ll be getting from the Government.
I know many of you expect me to take a prudent approach to finances and so, rather than rush this consultation through at a later date, I’m asking for what the Force requires now.
An extra £1.25 a month – based on an average band D property – will deliver a prudent budget and achieve our ambitions of recruiting 50 extra officers to help keep people safe.
My online consultation is open now and I’m asking anyone who lives in Dorset to spend just two minutes taking the survey and letting me know what they think. It’s important I get the views of as many people as possible so please click on the survey here and pass this on to friends and family so they can have a say.
How will the money be spent?
We’ve all heard the national announcements about extra officers. Of course I welcome this, and it does provide a great opportunity for Dorset, but the investment is long overdue and there is still uncertainty as the announcement only covers the first of a three-year recruitment cycle.
Recruiting and training additional officers comes with a significant extra cost, which is not being met by the Government, and it’s essential we make sure the Force can pay for this.
Meanwhile Dorset Police continues to be affected by the impact of nine years of austerity. As well as real-terms cuts to funding, there have been cost increases to UK policing, including nationally agreed salary increases and pension liabilities, while levels of demand have soared.
So, to enable Dorset Police to maintain its current service, invest in extra officers, and ensure they can protect the county’s residents from emerging risks, I am asking for an additional £1.25 a month.
Once again, please complete my survey below and tell me what you think.