Pandemic puts Dorset Police £1.3m over budget

police car

By Local democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins

DORSET Police is more than £1.3million over budget in its day to day spending so far this year – largely due to the pandemic and a higher than average number of large police operations.

But the figure, until September, represents less than 1% of the annual £143million revenue spend of the force.

A report to this month’s Police and Crime Panel says if additional government support is not received it could mean dipping into reserves.

The force says it will develop an action plan to try and bring the budget back into line by the end of the financial year in April.

Among the figures is £500,000 in lost income from driver awareness courses which it has not been able to run, and other, smaller, income streams.

Pay costs are forecast to be 0.5% over budget partly because of recruiting new officers ahead of schedule and an overspend of £400,000 on overtime with additional costs of £230,000 for major operations so far this year.

On the capital budget the force is underspent with a predicted spend of £9.1million, against a revised budget of £10.46million. Almost all of this relates to projects which have slipped, also due mainly to the pandemic.

A report says that as a result of the £1.37million underspend in the capital budget, borrowing is now expected to be £1.5million less than predicted.

The largest expenditure in the force capital budget is for information and communication technology which accounts for 38% of the budget (£3.49m) , followed by 31% for estate works (£2.85m); 16% for equipment (£1.43,) and 15% for replacement vehicles(£1.32).

The force is reporting delays in obtaining replacement vehicles as some staff at manufacturers are still on furlough.

Woodmead Halls

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