1. ITV Report

Stark warning from Dorset Police about financial future

  • Watch the full interview with Chief Constable James Vaughan below

Dorset Police has issued a stark warning about its financial future following a loss of £25 million from its budget in the last eight years.

The Chief Constable of Dorset Police, James Vaughan, said it means they "may no longer be able to provide anything but the most basic services to the most vulnerable sectors of our community".

fewer officers and staff (the lowest it has been since the 1980s)

It follows the Chancellor's budget which offered no additional funds for police forces, only a one-off increase to support Counter Terrorism policing.

He added: "This, combined with the potential changes to employer pension contributions, and normal inflationary pressures will remove more than £4 million a year from the force budget in coming years."

The force has 500 fewer officers since the 1980s Credit: ITV Meridian

It comes as the demand for policing is on the rise at an "alarming rate".

Incidents across the county have increased by nearly 10% across the last year.

The types of crime have changed, with higher levels of sexual assaults, domestic assaults, child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and cyber crime.

These require more "specialised and time-consuming investigations in order to protect and safeguard victims, particularly those who are vulnerable."

Incidents across the county have increased by nearly 10% across the last year Credit: ITV Meridian

All of these pressures take their toll on my officers and staff who are working hard to deliver services in an increasingly difficult landscape. Their frustrations at being asked to deliver so much more with so much less are clear and the strain is beginning to show."

– Chief Constable James Vaughan, Dorset Police