A BOSCOMBE councillor has written to the Home Secretary calling for the police to be better funded.

Councillor Andy Jones, who represents Boscombe East and Pokesdown, says in his email that his ward is struggling with an "alarming increase" in crime, and the police are ill-equipped to cope.

The email, seen by the Echo, was dispatched to Amber Rudd MP on Thursday.

"Over the last few years there has been an alarming increase in the rate of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Bournemouth area and particularly in the ward that I represent, Boscombe East," Cllr Jones' missive states.

"Most alarmingly has been the increase in commercial crime along the main high street and ongoing concerns relating to drug activity.

"Residents and business owners are angry and frustrated beyond belief with what is happening as am I in seeking to help address this on their behalf."

He said he had been alerted to the problems faced by police at quarterly meetings held with the Bournemouth East Policing Team, where numerous concerns related to crime and antisocial behaviour are aired.

"The police are working extremely hard to address these but are doing so with one hand tied behind their backs due to their being so few of them.

"Year-on-year we are seeing a reduction in officers on the ground due to funding cuts.

"I have had numerous discussions about this with senior officers over the last 12 months or so with them all raising serious concerns about officer levels now and moving forward."

Cllr Jones said the lack of officers had also led to a decline in the number of visible 'bobbies on the beat', "a vital reassuring presence to local people".

Calling cuts to police budgets "savage", Cllr Jones said: "Why is this? What is the government doing to address this problem and protect our communities to the level that they should be? Along with many others I fear for the resource that is going to be able to be put into neighbourhood policing in the future.

"I would be very interested to hear your views on this matter and why Dorset Police receives the pitiful funding that it does given the nature and type of area that it covers."

Last month South Dorset MP Richard Drax raised concerns about a lack of "officers on the ground" and called for more Government funding.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has said the force "loses out" under the current Government funding formula, and called for it to be changed.