Dorset MP's fears over police cuts for 2012 Olympics

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Aerial shot of harbour
Image caption,
Weymouth and Portland are hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events

An MP has raised concerns that Dorset Police will struggle to cope with security at the 2012 Olympics if it faces more cuts.

Richard Drax, Conservative MP for South Dorset, said an extra 600 officers would be needed to police the event.

Up to 50,000 visitors are expected to turn out to Weymouth and Portland which are hosting the games' sailing events.

Mr Drax told the House of Commons the force faced a budget shortfall of about £6.5m, which could cause "problems".

He said: "Every time they are told they are doing an excellent job, the chief constable has less money to do the job with.

"If we see a reduction in officers on the beat in Dorset we are going to have problems."

Last month the policing minister, Baroness Neville-Jones, said she could not promise the force the £30m it estimated was needed to fund security, due to wider policing considerations inside the Home Office budget.

Dorset Police said it remained firmly committed to working with all partners to achieve the appropriate levels of policing.

Chancellor George Osborne announced police funding would be cut by 20% over four years, as part of his Spending Review.

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