Dorset and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioners Martyn Underhill and Angus Macpherson have cautiously welcomed the government’s new officer recruitment targets.

The target announced for Dorset is 50 new officers, in addition to those hired to fill existing vacancies. In Wiltshire, the number is 49.

The announcement covers the first stage of the government’s three-year drive to increase officer numbers nationally by 20,000.

Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset Police now has the lowest officer levels since 1981 and we may need to see a much more significant recruitment drive to take us back to pre-austerity levels.”

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