Police numbers in Dorset are being kept under constant review – after one of the busiest summers on record.

July was the busiest month on record for 999 calls, with June, August and September the busiest since the early 2000s.

A report to the county’s police and crime panel on November 13 says that the number of uniformed officers is currently slightly above establishment – while the number of civilian staff is lower than budgeted for.

“With this in mind, the force is seeking to keep its workforce numbers, and mix, under constant review,” said chief financial officer Alexis Garlic.

She says that a review of calls on police time has been undertaken with further work due on how resources can be optimised to meet the growing calls on police time.

A national study has discovered that significant amounts of frontline staff are being used for jobs which the public might not consider to be core policing activities – these include calls about concerns for the welfare of individuals and missing people, which amount to around 25 per cent of frontline time, compared to around 14 per cent on violent crime and 10 per cent on domestic incidents.

“Locally, a task and finish approach is underway to better understand and manage differently some of the calls for service that continue to be a challenge for the force. Within the force, this involves examining both capacity and capability issues, specifically, surge capacity (being able to meet demand across both the whole system and during peak periods), deployment (right resource, right place, right time) and capability (ability to flex and respond to changing and growing demand over time).”

The county’s police and crime panel is being asked to note the report with further findings due in December.

That meeting will also discuss budget implications for the coming financial year with current assumptions being for a further £12 increase for Band D properties for 2019/20.

The current share of the council tax for the police is £206.58 which amounts to between 10-12 per cent of total Band D council tax bills. This provided £59 million, 47 per cent of the funding for the total Dorset Police revenue budget of £126 million.