DORSET’S Police and Crime Commissioner insists ‘huge steps’ have already been taken to involve the county’s police and crime panel in decision making.

In a blog responding to a Home Affairs Select Committee report advising the strengthening of police and crime panels, Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said the panel will have a key role in whether or not the county’s police force adopts a strategic alliance with colleagues in Devon and Cornwall.

He said: “Whether to go ahead with a strategic alliance is the biggest decision in my term of office and it is only right that the panel are involved in that process.”

Mr Underhill added that the PCC was facing ‘unprecedented times in policing’ and was engaging with thousands of people as it sought new ways of doing things.

He said: “We are expected to deliver more for less. We need to think creatively in order to protect frontline services.”

Mr Underhill added that the PCC was ‘narrowing the gap’ between the police and public by boosting volunteer numbers and using new platforms for communication.

He said: “The concept of Police and Crime Commissioners is still in its infancy.

“However, I do believe that we are changing the landscape for the better.

“PCCs across the country are giving victims a voice and working hard to improve their journey.”