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Police Commissioner calls for people to pay more for policing
9:49am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, is proposing to increase the amount people pay for policing in Dorset by 1.95% for 2014-15.
He says the rise is essential to strengthen the Force by the recruitment of new officers and the investment of new technology.
The Commissioner claims the rise is needed to balance the need of providing an effective policing service, while minimising as far as possible the cost to taxpayers. This will partly offset the 3.3% reduction in government grant funding for 2014-15.
The proposed rise to the precept, the part of the Council Tax that pays for police services, is the equivalent of a 7 pence weekly increase or, a rise from £183.51 to £187.09 annually, for a band D household. This will take Dorset Police’s budget to £112.8 million for 2014-15.
The Commissioner will put his proposals to the Police and Crime Panel on February 6.
Once the Commissioner and the Panel agree a figure it will be implemented from April 1.
Mr 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 investment in new technology such as body-worn cameras. This proposal will fund around 300 body worn videos for officers across Dorset which he claims will result in better policing, more accountability and will lead to more convictions. These cameras are intended to 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.”
Details of the Commissioner’s precept proposals are open for public consultation until the end of January. The Commissioner is urging people to share their views on the budget which is available via his website: www.dorset.pcc.police.uk People can also contact the Office for the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner by email: email@example.com or tel: 01202 223966.
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