£146,000 a year: new police chief’s salary as residents asked to pay more for services (From Bournemouth Echo)
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£146,000 a year: new police chief’s salary as residents asked to pay more for services
8:30am Friday 8th February 2013 in News
DORSET’S new chief constable will receive a salary of £146,000 a year, as residents are asked to pay more towards services.
At a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel yesterday, acting chief constable Debbie Simpson was appointed to the role permanently.
She was recommended for the post by Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill, who defended his choice to increase her salary.
Police and Crime Commiss-ioners can increase or decrease a chief constable's salary by up to 10 percent when making a new appointment. The position was advertised as paying £146,370 a year, plus removal/relocation ex-penses and a lease car.
The previous chief constable Martin Baker’s salary was £142,533, topped up with a bonus of £13,169 and car allowance of £4,309.
Some panel members raised concern about the salary hike, including Coun David Smith who said he couldn’t understand why the decision had been made when the rest of the force had had a pay freeze.
Mr Underhill said the decision was a ‘one off’ to attract the best possible candidates that shared his vision for Dorset.
He said: “When I was up for election, I was always asked what my key priority is and I said the chief constable.
“If I don’t have a chief constable who shares my vision for Dorset, then the plan isn’t delivered and the people of Dorset don’t get the policing they deserve.”
Later in the meeting, panel members supported an in-crease in the precept which will see a Band D property pay 7p a week extra – an average increase of £3.51 per year.
The precept is the part of council tax which goes to pay for Dorset Police.
Mr Underhill said it would be a ‘penny a day to keep crime away’, despite calls to reconsider by some members of the panel.
Bournemouth councillors gave a joint statement to the meeting in which they called the rise ‘avoidable and unnecessary’ and rejected the plan.
But Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor Geoff Petherick said he had been impressed with the work already underway in Littlemoor since the commissioner’s appointment and ‘fully supported’ the precept.
The precept was voted for by a majority.
Mr Underhill said this was his ‘one and only’ opportunity to secure a decent budget for Dorset Police, which must still find £10m savings in the coming years.
He said: “At the end of the day, we are the worst funded force by the government in this country and we have received the highest cuts in police officers and staff.”