POLICE bosses are encouraging Dorset residents to attend a virtual event to find out more about a proposal to increase the amount people pay for their police service.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill is asking Dorset residents to pay an additional £1.25 a month to enable the force to recruit additional officers and provide an enhanced service.

Ordinarily, the Police and Crime Commissioner would go out to Dorset towns to speak with residents in person, however, he is unable to do that this year with current lockdown restrictions.

Instead, he will be holding a virtual event on January 14 to give the public the opportunity to find out more about the proposal and ask him questions.

He said: "I ask the public about plans to increase the precept every year and I always get an excellent response from Dorset residents.

"As part of my consultation, I always go out with my team to towns across the county to talk to people face-to-face.

"Sadly, as a result of the pandemic, I won't be able to do that this year, so this online event is an opportunity for people to put their questions to me, find out more about why I want to raise the precept and what they will get in return."

The proposed increase to the precept, the element of a monthly council tax bill that funds policing, will enable the force to deliver a balanced budget, recruit extra officers and pay for additional costs, some of which have been created as a result of the pandemic.

If approved, the figure would see those living in a Band D property paying an additional £15 a year for policing in the county.

Dorset Police is predicted to recruit an additional 64 new officers by the end of March as part of the government's three-year uplift programme and plans to recruit further new officers in 2021/22.

The session will take place at 5.30pm on January 14 via Microsoft Teams.

Anyone who would like to be in the audience and those that would like to ask a question at the meeting should email pccmedia@Dorset.PNN.Police.uk

Invitations will be sent to audience members' email addresses with a link they need to click on to take part.