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Rise in Dorset Policing Precept will Pay for New Officers

Martyn Underhill

8:47am 18th December 2013

Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner wants to increase the amount we pay for policing in the county.

Martyn Underhill is suggesting a rise of 1.95%,  that's an increase of 7p a week to the average Band D council tax payer.

Mr Underhill says that will help pay for 16 new police offices, 300 body cameras to gather eveidence and rural vehicles to help patrol more remote parts of the county.

Martyn Underhill said: "It is right that we invest in the future to create an efficient and effective Force. I have sought to balance the needs of our police service with the demands on families across Dorset. I am proposing a rise of 1.95%. This produces a challenging but achievable budget for Dorset Police that will enable us to protect service to the public whilst minimising demands on taxpayers.

 "My priority is to keep people in Dorset safe. Everywhere I go, people tell me that they want a more visible Force. Before I was elected, police officer recruitment in Dorset was frozen. I reversed that decision and recruited 12 new officers this year. This proposal will secure another 16 officers for Dorset, adding fresh leadership and skills. If we don't recruit, the profile of the Force will become unbalanced and we will begin to be unrepresentative of the communities that we serve."

"This budget also allows the much needed investment in new technology such as body worn cameras. This proposal will fund around 300 body worn videos for officers across Dorset which will result in better policing, more accountability and will lead to more convictions. These cameras aid evidence gathering, such as statements from domestic abuse victims. With the video you capture the atmosphere. There is nothing lost in translation."

"It will also fund a cyber-crime awareness campaign to help residents and businesses in Dorset identify and protect themselves from online threats. This prolonged awareness campaign is necessary to improve public knowledge of online security. Knowledge is the best defence against this crime."

"Over the last year, I have also dedicated resources into tackling rural crime in Dorset. This proposal will fund rural vehicles to patrol our more remote communities enhancing the ability to patrol and respond off road."

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