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Police Commissioner makes public forum pledge
DORSET’S first Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill takes up his new post tomorrow and vows to have his public forums up and running within the next 100 days.
Mr Underhill will use the forums to gauge public opinion and learn what key areas the public want Dorset Police to tackle.
The former DCI in Sussex Police, who was second in command in the Sarah Payne case, was elected as Dorset’s first commissioner following a county-wide election on Thursday.
Speaking on the eve of his new job, Mr Underhill said: “In my first 100 days I have four things to do.
“My main priority is to recruit the chief constable. The second is to publish my police and crime plan and the third is to set a police budget dealing with the issue of a precept.
“The fourth one is to start community engagement with the public.
“We are already starting to create PCC forums and I have heard from 60 members of the public who want to sit on the forums. We will have them in place within the first 100 days.”
Mr Underhill said he will personally chair the PCC forums, which will take place quarterly around Dorset, and will also set up victim forums and PCC surgeries.
“There is a lot to be done and I am really looking forward to it,” he added.
Mr Underhill was sworn in at a ceremony in Poole on Monday when he signed the formal declaration accepting the office of Police and Crime Commissioner for the Dorset Police Area.
He will be responsible for holding the Chief Constable and police force to account on behalf of the Dorset public.
As part of his new role, he will also:
• Oversee how crime is tackled in Dorset;
• Ensure the police provide a good service;
• Meet the public regularly to listen to their views on policing.