The specialist police unit, which was earmarked for closure, will remain open but cuts to the provision will be made

Following a review of its provision, Dorset marine police force will not be disbanded but the number of full-time staff will be reduced.

Dorset Police Marine Section is responsible for policing 89 miles of Dorset coastline out to the territorial limit of 12 miles.

To meet government budget cuts, the current provision of four full-time constables will be reduced from four to two and at least eight special constables will be deployed, who will be fully equipped and trained by the force.The Dorset Police Marine Section will be run in partnership with Poole Harbour Commissioners, and the new structure will come into effect in late May.

Speaking to Jack FM, Martyn Underhill, the Police and Crime Commissioner, insisted that the reduced cost service would actually serve boaters better. He said, “More man power, more coverage – 800 hours of water control under the harbour commissioners is far more than the marine section were able to deliver this time last year. We’ve saved 50% of our costs and we’re going to have a bigger police presence.”

Underhill said he is in talks to introduce similar partnerships in Hampshire.

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