CASH-STRAPPED Dorset Police will ask the public to dig deep to boost its “disappointing” funding settlement.

Residents in the county will be asked to pay an extra £1 per month following the announcement by the government.

Police and Crime Commissioner(PCC) Martyn Underhill will be consulting the public on the level of police precept - the amount of council tax which goes towards policing - and will suggest an extra £12 a year.

He stressed the sum would not enhance services or recruitment but simply allow them to continue as planned.

Speaking after the Policing Minister Nick Hurd announced a settlement of £124.6 million for Dorset for 2018/19, Mr Underhill said: “I am disappointed that the government did not provide any additional finances for Dorset.

“While the genuine rise in crime being seen nationally shows no signs of abating. We have already had to make a number of incredibly tough decisions and this settlement does us all a disservice.”

Mr Underhill said “it cannot be right” that council taxpayers are asked to contribute more every year but fears it will be impossible to deliver an acceptable service without asking for more money.

He added: “The Government has forced the hand of all PCCs, but the police funding formula places rural forces like Dorset at a distinct disadvantage. Many forces receive around three quarters of their overall funding from central government while Dorset receives roughly half.

“I therefore have no choice but to ask whether residents are prepared to plug the hole left by the core funding settlement in order to protect frontline policing. I am taking this matter to public consultation with a heavy heart.”

South Dorset MP Richard Drax said Dorset Police has been “underfunded for years” and added: “Historically, we remain very poorly funded in Dorset.

“We have several large towns, which soak up most of the policing, interspersed with large, relatively unpopulated areas.

“This makes policing more, not less, difficult and expensive. I shall continue to press for a fairer allocation.”

Mr Drax called for more bobbies on the beat.

He added: “Although things such as cyber-crime are taking police officers off the streets, we need to keep a uniformed presence on the ground, because that is where the deterrent is most effective and the intelligence is gathered.”

n If you want to have your say on the policing precept go to