UPDATED: PCC Martyn Underhill: Police cuts have put Dorset at "tipping point"

Bournemouth Echo: PCC Martyn Underhill: Police cuts have put Dorset at "tipping point" PCC Martyn Underhill: Police cuts have put Dorset at "tipping point"

DORSET'S new Police and Crime Commissioner will be lobbying government to review budget cuts which he says has put public safety at risk and the county at "tipping point".

The force has already made savings of £10 million and now has to achieve another £10 million before 2014/15. It has been warned to find a further £3 million of savings and the government has recently suggested it could be hit with even more cuts before 2018.

Martyn Underhill said he will be penning a letter to the Home Secretary and Chancellor to inform them that any further cuts past the £23 million mark “will put public safety at risk".

"These are dire times for Dorset and its residents. The potential of further cuts takes us to tipping point."

Mr Underhill said that Dorset Police has been subject to a recruitment freeze since 2010 and if that were to continue until 2018 the service would become “critically unstable”.

 

He said the force hopes to recruit new officers in the coming year or two to “redress the balance” of the mix of experienced officers with those with under 0-5 years service.

“We have come to the stage where public safety will be put at risk - that's how bad it's got.”

Mr Underhill and Chief Constable Debbie Simpson yesterday revealed their savings action plan - which they say will look at more innovative ways to police the county.

Ideas put forward include selling older police stations, replacing them with police hubs and giving officers tablets so they can work out and about in the community.

The force is also calling on the public to join the “Dorset Police family” as special constables, street pastors, mentors or through Neighbourhood Watch groups.

A public consultation on the changes will take place at the beginning of January and will finish at the end of February/early March.

Chief Cons Simpson said: “We have made significant savings over the past three years but these remain challenging times. We must find alternative, more cost efficient and cost effective, ways of delivery our services.”

Dorset now has 170 fewer officers than in 2010 and has lost 186 members of police staff and 24 Police Community Support Officers. She said the force has achieved this without cutting back on frontline services.

There are four main areas the force has identified for potential cuts brought about as part of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

These are:

  • territorial policing to save £3.8m
  • crime and criminal justice to save £2.3m by restructuring management
  • operational support to save £2.5m by closing some police stations, introducing a victim bureau in the call handling area, as well as introducing volunteers and collaborating with other forces to run some services such as the marine policing unit
  • support services to save a further £1m

Mr Underhill, who was elected as Dorset's first Police and Crime Commissioner in November on a £70,000-salary, said he is making his dent in the force's savings by refusing to hire a deputy - saving the force £54,000.

Here is his full statement from this morning;

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset open the meeting by announcing. “The very fact that this is our first joint conference suggests that we have something important to say.

“To put some context into our discussion, this Force entered into a two-phase system of implementing cuts called "One Team" some time ago and the first phase has now been achieved.

“The second phase could not be scoped or implemented until this Summer's Olympics had been delivered.  Now that the Olympics have been and gone, Phase 2 of meeting the cuts now needs to take place and it does so ON MY WATCH

“To bring us up to date, in the past few weeks we have been told by Government that the cuts will now continue until 2018.  In the Chancellor's Autumn statement we hear veiled threats of a further 2% reduction in 2014/2015 and on the horizon we have a future CSR which could deliver further cuts of up to 10%

“These are dire times for Dorset, and the potential of further cuts takes us to a TIPPING POINT.
“The Chief Constable and I are working together in partnership to establish a model of policing for Dorset that is both sustainable and scalable in the light of current and future cuts.

“We owe it to the staff of this organisation and to the public to create a model of policing that can grow or shrink according to the budget allocation from the Government in the next five years.

“Before we look in detail at what the Force is going to do to achieve the necessary reduction I want to point out 3 important issues:

“Firstly, whatever model of policing is implemented, we will deliver the MANIFESTO that the public voted for in the recent election.

“Secondly, the CONCEPT OF NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING and the vital role of the Police Community Support Officer in the Dorset Police family will be FUNDEMENTAL to our delivery of our services.

“Thirdly, I stood for election on the platform of tapping into "THE OLYMPIC SURGE”.  I knew from the cuts that were coming that we desperately needed the help of the public as volunteers, special constables, mentors and street pastors. This need for public engagement in helping us police this beautiful county has not diminished and we will be starting recruitment campaigns in the New Year to meet those needs."

Comments (17)

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10:48am Tue 18 Dec 12

HRH of Boscombe says...

Not to worry. He must have forgotten about the ‘town rangers’ who keep the streets of Bmth safe lmao.
Not to worry. He must have forgotten about the ‘town rangers’ who keep the streets of Bmth safe lmao. HRH of Boscombe

10:50am Tue 18 Dec 12

boyerboy says...

I am confused....the Echo also has the following(seperate) report...... "Dorset’s police and crime commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “The focus must remain to continue to protect frontline services, while minimising waste.

“It is true to say that frontline services may look a little different, but provided the public remain at the heart of policing in Dorset, we can ensure good service is continued.” "

So, which report is true ?????
I am confused....the Echo also has the following(seperate) report...... "Dorset’s police and crime commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “The focus must remain to continue to protect frontline services, while minimising waste. “It is true to say that frontline services may look a little different, but provided the public remain at the heart of policing in Dorset, we can ensure good service is continued.” " So, which report is true ????? boyerboy

10:51am Tue 18 Dec 12

manyogie says...

Good, thats why I voted for you, dont just advise them the cuts will put public safety at risk, serve notice telling that they will, and therefore, as the instigators, they will be accountable for any incidents that arise as a direct result of the cuts.
What is the point of appointing a manager, if the boss`s dont listen to him!
Good, thats why I voted for you, dont just advise them the cuts will put public safety at risk, serve notice telling that they will, and therefore, as the instigators, they will be accountable for any incidents that arise as a direct result of the cuts. What is the point of appointing a manager, if the boss`s dont listen to him! manyogie

10:53am Tue 18 Dec 12

rayc says...

How about doing away with County Police Forces which are a left over of a bye-gone age? Less Chief Constables and their staff and of course less PCC's.

I like the idea of " handing officers tablets so they can work out and about in the community" - presumably this should free up time in Doctors surgeries from those with a headache?
How about doing away with County Police Forces which are a left over of a bye-gone age? Less Chief Constables and their staff and of course less PCC's. I like the idea of " handing officers tablets so they can work out and about in the community" - presumably this should free up time in Doctors surgeries from those with a headache? rayc

11:22am Tue 18 Dec 12

BmthNewshound says...

It seems crazy that at a time when police budgets are being cut the government decided to add an additional layer of expensive management.
.
Lobbying the government for more money is a waste of time. Dorset doesn't get anywhere near its fairshare of government funding. Politicians see Dorset as a sleepy backwater where people won't complain so the country looses out.
It seems crazy that at a time when police budgets are being cut the government decided to add an additional layer of expensive management. . Lobbying the government for more money is a waste of time. Dorset doesn't get anywhere near its fairshare of government funding. Politicians see Dorset as a sleepy backwater where people won't complain so the country looses out. BmthNewshound

11:23am Tue 18 Dec 12

Gary Sherborne says...

Latest data from Home Office websites tell us that more than 80% of all reported crimes in Dorset go unresovled in 2011/2012. Fail.
Latest data from Home Office websites tell us that more than 80% of all reported crimes in Dorset go unresovled in 2011/2012. Fail. Gary Sherborne

11:44am Tue 18 Dec 12

HRH of Boscombe says...

Gary Sherborne wrote:
Latest data from Home Office websites tell us that more than 80% of all reported crimes in Dorset go unresovled in 2011/2012. Fail.
Hi Gary. How's the occupy thing going?
[quote][p][bold]Gary Sherborne[/bold] wrote: Latest data from Home Office websites tell us that more than 80% of all reported crimes in Dorset go unresovled in 2011/2012. Fail.[/p][/quote]Hi Gary. How's the occupy thing going? HRH of Boscombe

12:18pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Humf says...

"handing officers tablets so they can work out and about in the community." - not the verbal, laxative ones Marty takes on a weekly basis I hope.
"handing officers tablets so they can work out and about in the community." - not the verbal, laxative ones Marty takes on a weekly basis I hope. Humf

12:25pm Tue 18 Dec 12

ekimnoslen says...

Great. It would be nice to see a policeman now and again. We have of course the "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil brigade" cruising in their cars doing not a lot. I guess that's why we get more than our share of imported criminals. I can just see the recruiting posters: "Come to the UK. Easy pickings and no effective police force".
Great. It would be nice to see a policeman now and again. We have of course the "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil brigade" cruising in their cars doing not a lot. I guess that's why we get more than our share of imported criminals. I can just see the recruiting posters: "Come to the UK. Easy pickings and no effective police force". ekimnoslen

1:04pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Richard45 says...

Great, we have elected a new police spokesman. I thought the role was to represent the public, not the police force
Great, we have elected a new police spokesman. I thought the role was to represent the public, not the police force Richard45

1:55pm Tue 18 Dec 12

muscliffman says...

ekimnoslen wrote:
Great. It would be nice to see a policeman now and again. We have of course the "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil brigade" cruising in their cars doing not a lot. I guess that's why we get more than our share of imported criminals. I can just see the recruiting posters: "Come to the UK. Easy pickings and no effective police force".
'Nice to see a Policeman' that is easily solved, have a little bump in your car on Wessex Way.
You will not be able to move for some time - and neither will anybody else for that matter - as the scene will be swarming with high viz wearing Police Officers.
[quote][p][bold]ekimnoslen[/bold] wrote: Great. It would be nice to see a policeman now and again. We have of course the "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil brigade" cruising in their cars doing not a lot. I guess that's why we get more than our share of imported criminals. I can just see the recruiting posters: "Come to the UK. Easy pickings and no effective police force".[/p][/quote]'Nice to see a Policeman' that is easily solved, have a little bump in your car on Wessex Way. You will not be able to move for some time - and neither will anybody else for that matter - as the scene will be swarming with high viz wearing Police Officers. muscliffman

3:25pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Ebb Tide says...

manyogie wrote:
Good, thats why I voted for you, dont just advise them the cuts will put public safety at risk, serve notice telling that they will, and therefore, as the instigators, they will be accountable for any incidents that arise as a direct result of the cuts.
What is the point of appointing a manager, if the boss`s dont listen to him!
Agreed ! In serving the public, it is essential to manage expectations.

Governmental expectations should be managed as well as those of Joe Public.

It is understood that Joe Public can change governments, as well as police commissioners.

Joe Public is better informed than ever before and not easily misled so openness and transparency will be very helpful coming from our newly elected police commissioner. It is good to see that use of one-way mirrors is not accepted as adequate transparency !!
[quote][p][bold]manyogie[/bold] wrote: Good, thats why I voted for you, dont just advise them the cuts will put public safety at risk, serve notice telling that they will, and therefore, as the instigators, they will be accountable for any incidents that arise as a direct result of the cuts. What is the point of appointing a manager, if the boss`s dont listen to him![/p][/quote]Agreed ! In serving the public, it is essential to manage expectations. Governmental expectations should be managed as well as those of Joe Public. It is understood that Joe Public can change governments, as well as police commissioners. Joe Public is better informed than ever before and not easily misled so openness and transparency will be very helpful coming from our newly elected police commissioner. It is good to see that use of one-way mirrors is not accepted as adequate transparency !! Ebb Tide

6:08pm Tue 18 Dec 12

pete woodley says...

Richard45 wrote:
Great, we have elected a new police spokesman. I thought the role was to represent the public, not the police force
I did say in my earlier comments,that he would be supporting the police all the way,more than looking after the publics interest.He is now showing his true colours.
[quote][p][bold]Richard45[/bold] wrote: Great, we have elected a new police spokesman. I thought the role was to represent the public, not the police force[/p][/quote]I did say in my earlier comments,that he would be supporting the police all the way,more than looking after the publics interest.He is now showing his true colours. pete woodley

12:39am Wed 19 Dec 12

black_rat says...

Oh great so he refuses to have a deputy saving £54k.....

Oh but hasn't he employed a media manager for £38k and a public engagement manager for £26k + a new company car which the tax payer pays the fuel bill/servicing/insur
ance for:

Savings so far = MINUS £10k plus car (no doubt he will pay for 'private' mileage?)

Nice media coverage and even a recent photograph though !!!!!!
(oh but I am sure he doesn't live for publicty)
Oh great so he refuses to have a deputy saving £54k..... Oh but hasn't he employed a media manager for £38k and a public engagement manager for £26k + a new company car which the tax payer pays the fuel bill/servicing/insur ance for: Savings so far = MINUS £10k plus car (no doubt he will pay for 'private' mileage?) Nice media coverage and even a recent photograph though !!!!!! (oh but I am sure he doesn't live for publicty) black_rat

6:23pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Natasha_s says...

I know very little about Martyn's history within the police force and have no reason to suspect it was anything but a career that made a positive difference to the public, but giving your best friend a £38k role that simply isn't needed doesn't inspire confidence or gain trust.
I know very little about Martyn's history within the police force and have no reason to suspect it was anything but a career that made a positive difference to the public, but giving your best friend a £38k role that simply isn't needed doesn't inspire confidence or gain trust. Natasha_s

8:41pm Wed 19 Dec 12

pete woodley says...

Natasha_s wrote:
I know very little about Martyn's history within the police force and have no reason to suspect it was anything but a career that made a positive difference to the public, but giving your best friend a £38k role that simply isn't needed doesn't inspire confidence or gain trust.
Was it a friend ?.
[quote][p][bold]Natasha_s[/bold] wrote: I know very little about Martyn's history within the police force and have no reason to suspect it was anything but a career that made a positive difference to the public, but giving your best friend a £38k role that simply isn't needed doesn't inspire confidence or gain trust.[/p][/quote]Was it a friend ?. pete woodley

10:50pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Natasha_s says...

pete woodley wrote:
Natasha_s wrote:
I know very little about Martyn's history within the police force and have no reason to suspect it was anything but a career that made a positive difference to the public, but giving your best friend a £38k role that simply isn't needed doesn't inspire confidence or gain trust.
Was it a friend ?.
I have checked on this with my source before replying, and yes, they have been close friends for some years.
[quote][p][bold]pete woodley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Natasha_s[/bold] wrote: I know very little about Martyn's history within the police force and have no reason to suspect it was anything but a career that made a positive difference to the public, but giving your best friend a £38k role that simply isn't needed doesn't inspire confidence or gain trust.[/p][/quote]Was it a friend ?.[/p][/quote]I have checked on this with my source before replying, and yes, they have been close friends for some years. Natasha_s

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