The new county police chief’s salary revealed as residents asked to pay more for services (From Dorset Echo)
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The new county police chief’s salary revealed as residents asked to pay more for services
DORSET’S new chief constable will receive a salary of £146,000 a year, as residents are asked to pay more towards services.
At a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel yesterday, acting chief constable Debbie Simpson was appointed to the role permanently.
Police and Crime Commiss-ioners can increase or decrease a chief constable's salary by up to 10 per cent when making a new appointment. The position was advertised as paying £146,370 a year, plus removal/relocation ex-penses and a lease car.
The previous chief constable Martin Baker’s salary was £142,533, topped up with a bonus of £13,169 and car allowance of £4,309.
Some panel members raised concern about the salary hike, including Coun David Smith who said he couldn’t understand why the decision had been made when the rest of the force had had a pay freeze.
Mr Underhill said the decision was a ‘one off’ to attract the best possible candidates that shared his vision for Dorset.
He said: “When I was up for election, I was always asked what my key priority is and I said the chief constable.
“If I don’t have a chief constable who shares my vision for Dorset, then the plan isn’t delivered and the people of Dorset don’t get the policing they deserve.”
Later in the meeting, panel members supported an in-crease in the precept which will see a Band D property pay 7p a week extra – an average increase of £3.51 per year.
The precept is the part of council tax which goes to pay for Dorset Police.
Mr Underhill said it would be a ‘penny a day to keep crime away’, despite calls to reconsider by some members of the panel.
Bournemouth councillors gave a joint statement to the meeting in which they called the rise ‘avoidable and unnecessary’ and rejected the plan.
But Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor Geoff Petherick said he had been impressed with the work already underway in Littlemoor since the commissioner’s appointment and ‘fully supported’ the precept.
The precept was voted for by a majority.
TWELVE new police officers will be appointed between now and June.
No new officers have been taken on since 2010 and staff have had a two-year pay freeze.
The force will lose a further 50 officers between now and 2018, all of whom have served 30 years or more with the force.
With government cuts expected to last until 2018, Mr Underhill said a recruitment freeze could have meant no police officers with less than eight years service and the force would be unrepresentative of the community.
The appointment of 12 new officers will mean a net reduction of 38.
He added that the new officers will be appointed from those already approved and waiting for a job.
DEBBIE Simpson has been in the police force for 28 years and leads nationally on some policing issues.
She started her career in Bedfordshire in 1984 and rose through the ranks to become head of CID.
She transferred to Devon and Cornwall Police in 2008 and to Dorset Police in 2011 as deputy chief constable. She was appointed acting chief constable in October last year.