Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick has called on the Home Office to answer questions about the funding of extra police, ahead of the arrival of a barge housing asylum seekers coming to Portland Port.

He called on the government to "fully fund" the cost of extra policing, and that money should not come from the current policing budget or "the people of Dorset".

The Police along with the council have asked for further reassurances ahead of the arrival of the Bibby Stockholm barge in the coming weeks.

Both organisations have said they still have unanswered questions about the plans, claiming they are continuing to "seek clarity" from the Home Office.

David Sidwick, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I would like to reassure Dorset residents that Dorset Police have started the necessary and detailed planning required to ensure both asylum seekers and residents will be kept safe.

"Currently though, they also have detailed questions that need answering and that are necessary to ensure the safety of all concerned.

“I have been and remain in regular contact with both the Home Secretary and the Policing Minister, with regard to the funding that will be required to meet the extra policing needs that this project will entail.

“I am determined that the funding should not come from the current police budget or from the people of Dorset and I will continue to push the government to fully fund the necessary security requirements brought about by the decision they have made to site this barge here in our county.”

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council, said: “Dorset Council’s position has not changed.

"We still have serious reservations about the appropriateness of Portland Port in this scenario and we remain opposed to the proposals.

“However, like all local agencies, we have statutory responsibilities to fulfil and collectively we want to ensure robust arrangements are in place if this goes ahead.

“We still have unanswered questions which we are waiting for the Home Office and the barge operator to respond to.

"I want to reassure local people and businesses that Dorset Council, along with its trusted partners, is working to address concerns.”

A multi-agency forum (MAF) which includes representatives from national, regional and local public sector agencies and the Home Office, has been established and meets weekly.

The group meets weekly to discuss plans and arrangements.

Their collective aim is to ensure minimal impact on local services, communities and businesses.

Dorset Council and Dorset Police say they will continue to seek clarification from the Home Office on how it plans to operate the barge.