No increase in Dorset Police taxes would create a £ 2.9million shortfall

Proposals to increase the policing element of the Dorset housing tax by £ 10 are needed to avoid a deficit of £ 2.9million, according to county police and the crime commissioner.

David Sidwick, who is seeking support for his first precept since taking office, said there would be a reduction of 63 officers in Dorset Police if the precept remained at the same level.

As noted, Mr Sidwick is seeking residents’ opinions for an additional 83 pence per month from the public in the precept police element of the council tax.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset David Sidwick

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Mr Sidwick said: ‘My message to residents is that no one likes tax hikes. I don’t like tax hikes, I will pay them too, but we value the safety of our riding.

“We want our county to be the safest in the UK, we can make it happen.

“Without that money, if we didn’t get £ 10 like we do, 83 pence a month, if we didn’t increase the precepts, we would actually reduce by 63 officers, so that money is much needed.” and I will make some residents get their money’s worth and this place will become safer.

“If we didn’t do that we would have a shortfall of around £ 2.9million.

“This £ 10 allows us to do what we need to do, but it also allows us to do the new things.”

If the proposed increase is approved, the Dorset Police precept would be £ 77.2million in 2022/23, up from £ 73.5million in 2021/22.

Mr Sidwick said: “In order to keep the people of Dorset safe, in order to keep the promises I made in the election, I have to put the precept in place. This precept will not just be about inflation . It allows us to do important things, things that need to happen. ”

Launching a consultation earlier this month, Mr Sidwick said the increase would allow him to endow Dorset with a new County Lines Task Force, put more officers on the Counter Team rural crime, improve service 101 and emergency response and provide community policing surgeries.

“Something I was aware of, but obviously you don’t fully understand until you get the job done, is the amount of money we get from the government versus the amount we get. of precept, ”said Mr. Sidwick.

“Dorset is the second least funded by the national government grant. We are 40 out of 41 forces. This means that a greater proportion of police funding must come from the precept.

“I wish I didn’t need to put it in place and I would like to get to a situation where that doesn’t happen, but I can’t do it yet.

“My job now on this is twofold. First, to extract the maximum value from what we have and make sure that leads to those priorities.

“But also to lobby, so I spoke over the last few months with local MPs and they spoke to the government, I spoke to the government and made it clear that the national funding formula has to change.

“It’s under review which is an absolute bonus, but that review will take some time and until then we are in a situation where we are the second most funded force in the country in terms of the national money. ”

Mr Sidwick commented on the area where increasing precepts would help improve

Anti-social behavior

“One of the areas that people were very concerned about, one of the areas in which we have been quite critical is the fight against anti-social behavior. The police now have priority. This £ 10 increase will also be used to integrate the neighborhood police teams in the community and expand new neighborhood law enforcement teams, so this will help tackle anti-social behavior and mass crime.

County lines

“I make sure we are tough with law enforcement around drugs, violence and county lines.

“We’re a net importer of crime. About 80% of our counties are from London, 15% from Merseyside and 5% from the West Midlands, so basically we have to do more and more.

“The specific county line working group will allow us to do that.”

Rural crime

“We had two excellent officers from the Rural Crime Team, absolutely superb, but we only had two. My ambition was that we increase that and significantly increase that and that is shared by the new head of the police.

“We’ll be making more announcements about this in the New Year, but to do it right and make sure they have the resources they need, we needed to include that in the precept as well.


“It’s a complicated thing. My experience, about three and a half years ago now, was 45 minutes. The average now for 101 is 10 minutes, but part of the problem is how people can communicate. If you have something to report and it’s not an emergency, it’s much easier to do it online or use Email 101.

“All of that information is taken into account. You can have the color of a car doing something fishy. Someone else can have a registration number. It’s all tied together.

“There’s also what those numbers are for. The absolute classic is the fact that there was a 999 call that I listened to when I was at the force command center and it was someone. who was calling because he had an emergency. The emergency was — he had locked himself out of his apartment. Forgive me, but you need a locksmith, they are not ’emergency.

“There is education, there is consistency in how to call and who to call, and there is a technological point to address it.

“It is an absolute tragedy to me that we are one of the last forces in the country to get something called Single Online Home, which is a much more efficient web-based way of filtering demand. We should have been there much sooner. , but we’ll get there and we’ll get there next year.

“The precept allows me to move forward with some of this.”

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