The Taxpayers Alliance have criticised Dorset Police for consulting the public on an increase in Council Tax to offset central government cuts.
John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance: “Council Tax already hits the poorest hardest and a tax increase will only make matters worse for families struggling to make ends meet. Instead, the Dorset Police must wage a war on wasteful spending and prioritise essential services.”
Mr O’Connell added that “Council Tax in Dorset has risen by about 80% in the last twenty years and local residents will want to know where all that money has gone.”
However, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, has said there was a “fantastic response” to the consultation over police funding.
The survey, open to any residents of Dorset, asked whether taxpayers would be willing to add £3.80 to their annual council tax bill to offset central government cuts.
Police forces in England and Wales are funded by Central government grants as well as money from local Council tax payments.
Mr Underhill added:“Dorset Police has experienced Central government cuts of £19m in real terms over the last five years. These cuts will continue at a rate of £1m per year for the next three years. A £3.80 rise in Council Tax would amount to £1.07m, offsetting these cuts.”
Dorset Police have said that an increase in last years council tax bills allowed them to keep 23 frontline officers in the force. These extra resources were used in areas such as “child protection, drug prevention and multi-agency strategies.”
The report will now be analysed by the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to determine the next steps.
See below for stats about Dorset Police & Council Tax.