Within 100 days of office, resources were allocated to the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT) to increase the number of officers proactively seeking out offenders.
POLIT is formed within CAIT (Child Abuse Investigation Team) and works as the Force’s specialist response to subjects who view and/or distribute indecent images of children (IIOC) - or who groom, incite and/or facilitate sexual activity with children through use of the internet.
Dorset is among a minority of police forces that were graded as ‘Good’ in the HMIC vulnerability inspection last year. It is important that the Force builds on this positive result to continue to ensure the best response in dealing with online child abuse.
ICVA has recently shared the benchmarking data for ICV Schemes nationally.
The Dorset Scheme managed to visit 5.1% of detainees held in custody suites in Dorset in the last quarter, ranking it second in the country.
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers drawn from all walks of life whose main role is to provide an independent check on the welfare of people who are detained in police custody. They do this by making random visits in pairs to police custody suites throughout the county and reporting their findings.
Recruitment is currently ongoing for new Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs). Could you take on this unique volunteering opportunity?
The Safer Poole Partnership hosted a conference at the Lighthouse in Poole on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking. The PCC closed the event.
Speaking afterwards, the Commissioner said: "Modern slavery is a brutal form of organised crime, in which people are treated as commodities and exploited. The conference highlighted the role we must all play to tackle enslavement and exploitation in our communities.
"The Modern Slavery Act, enacted in March 2015, sent a strong signal to criminals that involvement in this vile trade will not be tolerated. It unified and simplified previous legislation. It gave law enforcement new powers. It increased sentencing powers and strengthened protections for survivors. It established the first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and most important of all, it underlined the UK’s commitment to eradicating modern slavery.
"But modern slavery continues to plague us nationally. It’s taking place close to home and Dorset isn’t exempt. Great strides have been made in our approach to dealing with this crime, but there is still a long way to go."
You can read the Commissioner's full reflections, including specific pledges he has made, by clicking the link.
The Commissioner campaigned on the issue of animal cruelty and the implications for policing.
A recent report found than more than 92% of offenders avoided prison in the last decade following abhorrent acts of violence against pets. The PCC has urged the Government to consider the impact of these offenders slipping through the net.
In a blog, the Commissioner argued:
"Animal cruelty frequently occurs as a precursor or indicator of a tangled web of abusive behaviour. Researchers have found that perpetrators’ first target is often an animal living in the home, the second a spouse or child. Disturbingly, offenders often threaten to torture, injure or kill the victim's pets as a mechanism through which to emotionally control and coerce human victims.
"There are real implications here for policing. Campaigners are calling for the creation of a register of animal cruelty offenders – similar to the sex offenders register - to better monitor the most prolific perpetrators. This could be beneficial when it comes to protecting people at risk of harm, a key pillar in my new Police & Crime Plan for Dorset, by enhancing the intelligence picture available to officers when attempting to identify perpetrators of domestic violence."
"I support the Government’s commitment to reviewing the maximum sentence for animal abusers. But this review must go further and treat the relationship between animal abuse and domestic abuse with paramount importance."
Dorset Police publishes its Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan in support of the Commissioner's Police and Crime Plan objectives.
Protecting the public from harm is, and always will be, a core police duty. However, the demands placed on the police have shifted greatly in recent years and resources need to be effectively targeted on the basis of threat, risk and harm.
Tackling domestic abuse forms part of the Police and Crime Plan priorities under the pillar of 'Protecting People at Risk of Harm' and Dorset Police has published its Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan for the next year to demonstrate its commitment to tackling the issue, which is one of the Force priorities.