A PROPOSAL to increase the amount Dorset residents pay for policing is currently supported by more than half the people who have responded to the consul-tation.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill is seeking to increase the amount people pay for policing in Dorset by 1.95 per cent for the forthcoming financial year, pledging to invest the money in new officers and new technology.

Dorset residents have until January 31 to have their say on this suggestion via an online poll on the Dorset PCC website.

Currently, 54 per cent of respondents say that a 1.95 per cent increase – around £3.60 a year – is “about right.”

However, almost a third – 29 per cent – say the police precept should be reduced, 11 per cent support a bigger increase and seven per cent say it should increase by less than 1.95 per cent.

Residents taking part in the consultation also have a chance to leave a comment for Mr Underhill.

Paul Thackray wrote: “Until we achieve the efficiencies and savings possible and deploy resources more effectively I do not think any increase is justified.

“Everyone has to recognise that the bonanza is over and we all have to start living within our means.”

But David Butcher wrote: “We are all struggling but cannot afford to limit what the police do.

“The government cuts and lack of funding for Dorset Police is madness and will cost us all more in the future.”

Mr Underhill said the increase would partly offset a 3.3 per cent reduction in government grant funding and would help them recruit 16 new officers, fund 300 body cams, allow him to launch a cyber crime awareness campaign and increase vehicle provision in rural communities.

But he is likely to face some opposition in his bid to increase Dorset Police’s share of the council tax.

Cllr John Adams, chairman of the Dorset Police and Crime Panel, has warned they will need to be convinced that all possible savings had been exhausted before they would agree to an increase.