“The time for talking is over” says the police and crime commissioner for Dorset in a scathing assessment of the policing of violent crime in Bournemouth.

David Sidwick has described Bournemouth as “a town in mourning” following the alleged murder of Cameron Hamilton, an 18-year-old who died on Saturday.

Dorset PCC Mr Sidwick told the Echo he would be sitting down with the Chief Constable, Amanda Pearson, to review policing in the town centre as a matter of urgency and would lobby local MPs for more funding.

He said: “Firstly, my thoughts are with Cameron Hamilton, and his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

Bournemouth Echo: Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, David SidwickPolice and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, David Sidwick (Image: Hampshire Constabulary)

“Bournemouth truly is a town in mourning.”

Dorset Police previously said it had 28 officers on foot patrols in the town centre at the time the incident occurred.

Mr Sidwick continued: “This week, I will be sitting down with the Chief Constable to review the policing of Bournemouth town centre to ensure everything that can be done, when it comes to policing the night-time economy is being done.

“However, Dorset Police cannot tackle the problem on its own. For the past two years, I have been asking the local authorities to support setting up a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

Bournemouth Echo: Floral tributes left for Cameron Hamilton in Bournemouth.Floral tributes left for Cameron Hamilton in Bournemouth. (Image: Daily Echo)

“The unit would bring together essential partners to reduce local violent crime and address the underlying causes.

“And now I am asking again for the local authorities to reconsider their position and support this proposal. I will also be seeking the support of the local MPs as I will need their help in lobbying government to secure further funding for what I now consider to be an absolute necessity for Bournemouth and our county.

“The time for talking is over – we must now all work together and act together to get this diabolical, heinous crime under control.”

Thomas Betteridge, 18, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on August 8 charged with murdering Cameron. He did not enter a plea and the case was sent to Winchester Crown Court for a further hearing on August 10.