PCC Martyn Underhill plans council tax rise to recruit officers

Martyn Underhill Mr Underhill said the increase was needed to sustain front-line services

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Dorset's police and crime commissioner (PCC) wants to increase the policing element of council tax by seven pence a week.

Martyn Underhill said it would go towards recruiting an extra 12 police officers.

The increase would make the annual bill for a band D property £183.51, a rise of £3.51 on the current year.

The proposal will go to the county's PCC panel on 6 February. If approved it will come into force in April.

'Unbalanced'

Mr Underhill said: "People want a more visible force. I am asking people for an extra penny a day to sustain front-line policing, to help cut crime."

The PCC said Dorset Police could become "unbalanced" under government spending cuts to police budgets and force numbers.

Mr Underhill, a former detective, said: "Dorset Police could be faced with not having any police officers with less than eight years service.

"There is a danger that we will begin to be unrepresentative of the community that we are policing."

Recruitment in Dorset has been frozen since June 2010.

Clare's law

Mr Underhill has also pledged to introduce Clare's law in Dorset "as soon as possible".

Named after a woman who was murdered by a former partner she met on Facebook, it allows people to check if their partner has a violent past.

He said he had written to Home Secretary Theresa May asking her to consider Dorset for the scheme.

Mr Underhill also said there would be a considerable increase in the number of special constables.

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