HOUSEHOLDERS across Dorset will pay around £2 a month extra to fund police in the county from April.

Police and Crime Panel members approved the increase after a six-week consultation into proposals to raise the precept.

The money is paid as part of the council tax bill and the £24 per year increase is based on a Band D property.

Seven out of ten people who took part in the consultation supported the increase.

The panel consists of 17 members and all 15 of those present at yesterday's meeting voted unanimously to approve the increase.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "I’m extremely grateful to all of those people who took the time to respond to my survey, and to panel members for supporting the proposals.

"I’m well aware that many households in the county are struggling financially, and the fact so many have said they would be prepared to pay this extra amount demonstrates how important an effective police service is to them."

The decision will amount to £7.8m in extra income for Dorset Police, going some way to offset cuts in central funding.

But Mr Underhill warned: "Our financial troubles are far from over and I will continue to press the government for a fairer settlement in the new funding formula."