FRUSTRATION has grown over police investment as a Dorset MP, senior member of the region’s crime panel and leading police federation official have called for more support.

Police resources remain stretched in times of austerity and as reported by the Daily Echo there are concerns from within the force that officers are at “breaking point”.

Anna Harvey, of Dorset Police Federation, said there has been a 20 per cent decrease in police constable numbers over the last 10 years.

“It’s had a major impact on the service we can deliver,” she said.

“Officers want to deliver a good police service and they are doing the best they can.

“We have seen a massive increase in demand on the frontline, but we haven’t had an increase in resources.

“This has an impact on the community intelligence and that’s vital building public confidence and maintaining relationships.”

Cllr John Adams, vice-chairman of the Dorset Police and Crime Panel, said he felt Mr Drax’s comments were “very truthful”.

He added residents across the county in both rural and urban areas often say to members of the panel that they want more police officers on the beat.

“It’s not the what we would like to have but with the money the commissioner has its difficult. We know people are not happy

“I have been looking at policing for eight years and there seems to be less money all the time and it is different crimes. We have looked at all the funds and what savings can be made, but there is not a lot of money to the jobs at hand.

“It seems to be Government policy to make residents pay for all the services.”

Backbench South Dorset MP Richard Drax told ministers on Wednesday there were “clearly issues with police funding” after Labour accused the government of putting “the public at risk”.

However MPs voted through the 2018/19 police grant, with minister Nick Hurd insisting funding was on the rise and accusing Labour of being in the “scaremongering, fake news business”.

During the debate, Mr Drax shared his concern that “new crimes” such as modern slavery, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and cyber crime were “taking officers off the beat”.

He said: “I am a former solider and that’s where information and intelligence and holding the land if you like, or certainly dominating it in the case of Northern Ireland, patrolling in very troubled spots, that’s where the information came.

“That’s where the deterrent was formed on the streets and while all these other crimes are being investigated and the police officers, I give all credit to them, we must not lose sight of the fact that we do need, in my humble opinion, more officers the ground.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd earlier said the proposed measures would see more money for every police force.

Money from the Government would be maintained at its current levels, he said, while police and crime commissioners will have greater flexibility to raise council tax precepts, which Martyn Underhill is set to do in Dorset.