A ROADSHOW will be held at various venues this month, to ask the public how they feel about paying extra to help bolster the ranks of Dorset Police.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has launched the consultation to seek views on charging an extra £1.25 a month on the police precept, the part of the council tax bill that helps fund police services.

This increase will be used to help finance the recruitment of new police officers across the county.

Mr Underhill said: “Although this situation is far from ideal, it is essential I take a prudent approach and make sure the force is able to deliver a balanced budget."

In September, last year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to recruit 20,000 extra police officers across the country.

However, the announcement of Dorset Police's annual settlement from central government – which provides the bulk of its funding – has been delayed because of the general election.

Mr Underhill, who has confirmed he will not be standing for re-election for a further term as commissioner, said: "While of course I welcome recent announcements of extra police officers, I need to make sure the force can pay for them in the long term and that has also been taken into consideration.

“In order that the force can not only maintain its levels of service, but also enhance it with new officers, additional funding is required and – although I would love to be surprised – I fear this will not come from central government when the settlements are announced.”

The commissioner, along with members of his team and volunteers, will be visiting supermarkets and shopping centres across Dorset but anyone who won’t be able to attend will be able to ask questions online during a special webchat.

Mr Underhill said: “It’s important I get as wide a range of views as possible and find out what the people of Dorset feel about these proposals.

"I’m asking everyone to take a couple of minutes to complete my survey online but we’re also going to be out and about to talk to people face to face.”

The team will be at the following locations:

n Christchurch, Waitrose, Monday, January 6, from 9.30-11.30am

n Bournemouth, Tesco Extra (Riverside), Monday, January 6,from 12midday-2pm

n Poole, Dolphin Centre, Monday, January 6, from 3-5pm

n Ferndown, Tesco, Tuesday, January 7, 12midday-2pm

n Wimborne, Waitrose, Tuesday, January 7, from 3-5pm

n Blandford Forum, Tesco, Wednesday, January 8, 12midday-2pm

n Sherborne, Waitrose, Friday, January 10, from10am-12midday

n Gillingham, Waitrose, Friday, January 10, from 1-3pm

n Swanage, Co-op, Monday, January 13, from10am-12midday

n Wareham, Sainsbury’s, Monday, January 13, from 1-3pm

Anyone who wants to ask the police and crime commissioner about the precept proposal during a webchat, scheduled for Monday, January 13, from from 6.30-7.30pmm can do so by visiting www.dorsetpccwebchat.com