Council tax rise agreed to pay for Dorset Police

Council tax rise agreed to pay for Dorset Police

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:17am 7th February 2020.

Dorset residents will be paying an extra £10 a year to fund Dorset Police.

The Police and Crime Panel approved plans to raise the police's share of the Council Tax precept to the maximum amount.

This is less than the amount Dorset residents said they would be prepared to pay during a public consultation, and the force say the additional money will enable them to deliver a balanced budget and recruit an additional 50 officers.

Police night

This survey was held before the Government funding settlement was announced, because of a delay due to the General Election, and was based on assumptions that PCCs would be expected to raise the precept by £15 a year or £1.25 a month.

A total of 5,152 people responded, either online or during a series of face-to-face events, with 87.21% saying Dorset Police required additional funding and 74.52% saying they would be willing to pay the higher amount.

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said:

"Following a decade of austerity, this is the first Government funding settlement in years I can feel positive about, and will mean not only that Dorset Police can deliver a balanced budget but that new officers will be recruited to keep people safe.

"However, the funding always comes with strings and disappointingly once more I have been given no choice but to ask for some of the money to come from local taxpayers

"I go out every year to ask Dorset residents what they think about plans to raise the precept, and this year had to take the unusual decision to do this without knowing what we were getting from the Government."

Martyn Underhill
Martyn Underhill

Mr Underhill added:

"The 50 officers starting in Dorset represent the first of a three-year recruitment cycle, and the Government needs to provide much more clarity about how the Force will pay for new recruits over the next two years.

"Forces urgently need a much more long term funding system, allowing chief constables to plan, particularly at a time when they are being asked to deliver huge numbers of new officers."