Lobbying for Fair Funding

Lobbying for Fair Funding

The Commissioner and Chief Constable for Dorset Police wrote to the Home Office in January 2017 to formally express their disappointment with the funding settlement provided to the PCC.

The provisional grant report for 2017-18 represents a cash reduction in funding for Dorset Police.

The implication of this decision is that the Commissioner is expected to increase the local precept by the maximum available simply to maintain funding at flat cash levels compared to 2015/16. This reduces the local control he has while still resulting in a real terms reduction in resources once inflationary factors are accounted for.

A significant part of our approach is working in a Strategic Alliance with Devon and Cornwall Police to maximise opportunities for improved service delivery and increased efficiencies but the settlement presents continuing challenges.

The Commissioner has previously backed reports calling for fairer funding for rural forces.

Read the full letter

Dorset Police Website Overhauled

Dorset Police Website Overhauled

The Dorset Police website has recently been relaunched with a new, sleeker design to help users find information easier.

It is vitally important that Dorset Police continues to be an accessible, open and responsive force.

Dozens of menu options and unnecessary graphics have been removed to make the site simpler to use and it has now been optimised for smartphones and tablets so it is just as seamless when users are on-the-go as it is when being used on a desktop computer.

A key new feature of the website is the “Do it Online” section. You can now go online to report a crime, request a call back, message an employee, make a complaint, make a general enquiry, provide feedback, make a freedom of information request and email Dorset Police.


Do it Online

101 Service Improvement Panel

101 Service Improvement Panel

The 101 Improvement Panel was launched to review the service, identify ways to enhance processes and help make Dorset Police a ‘listening and learning’ organisation.

The independent Panel looks closely at a random selection of calls which have come into the 101 non-emergency number.They discuss whether the calls have been dealt with by the call handlers in a timely and appropriate manner. Feedback and suggestions for improvements are then passed onto the Force.

The panel is chaired by Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Colin Pipe, and panel members include councillors, voluntary groups and members of the public. The panel sits in rotation to ensure a wide selection of opinions are gathered to best inform the Force as to what improvements can be made.

The Panel also scrutinises the ways in which the Force encourage the public to contact them regarding non-emergency situations. With the re-launch of the Dorset Police website, the public are urged to use the “Do it Online” forms which are an alternative to using the 101 phone number.

By guiding reporting to other channels, 101 call handlers will be able to deal with calls in a quicker, more efficient way.

Read more

Police & Crime Commissioner's response to London attacks

Police & Crime Commissioner's response to London attacks

Sadly, we have seen three terrorist attacks in quick succession in the UK. Our thoughts go out to the innocent victims and to the brave first responders who lost their lives or were injured.

We need to try to better understand how we, as a society, can dilute the radical hate and come together as one. This is an important time, with the prize of any democracy, a general election, happening this week. Nothing or nobody must ever be allowed to deter, prevent or frustrate the inherent right of every UK citizen to vote in our free elections.

This is a complicated landscape and once the election is complete, we must address the factors that are feeding recurring terrorist attacks.

Firstly, we face greater online radicalisation, and I support the drive to hold social media companies to account for policing this.

Secondly, there appears to be a clear increase in home grown radicalisation. Police and security services cannot be everywhere all the time. The more people that become radicalised, the increased likelihood that terrorist incidents will occur.

The third challenge is that attackers can quickly change their modus operandi at will. Security services, policing and society must not only keep up but stay ahead of the curve. That is why the Chief Constable and I are examining the option and cost of offering Taser to every police officer who requests one and who successfully passes the training. 

Finally, a thorough review must be undertaken to establish whether the current counter-terrorism strategy is working.

Meanwhile, it is an undeniable fact that resourcing across the totality of policing has changed and reduced. During the last decade, the citizen to police officer ratio has increased by 23%, rising from 381 citizens per officer in 2006 to 461 in 2016. This is due to both an increase in the overall population of 7% and a decrease in police officer numbers by 12%. Coupled with this has been a loss of a third of the PCSO establishment. 

These numbers are eye watering – 70,000 policing posts lost in a decade, at a time of increased demand and the now omnipresent terror threat.

Irrespective of who takes power, the need to re-invest in the totality of policing, not just in counter terrorism or urban conurbations, has never been a higher priority. 

With current resourcing levels, most rural forces across the UK would struggle to respond as quickly and as fully as the Metropolitan Police did on Saturday night. Policing needs more money and more resources in order to build a safer and more secure future.

I would urge people to remain vigilant. If you have concerns about radicalisation, report this to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.

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Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

A report has been commissioned to inform the PCC and Dorset Police about what energy efficiencies can be made across the Force every year and to improve their carbon footprint.

Dorset Police has a responsibility to minimise the impact they have on the environment which they take very seriously. They work hard to balance the needs of the environment with operational obligations and available resources.

This report was commissioned in line with the 8 pledges that the Commissioner committed to achieving within his first 100 days in office.

This builds upon the good work which was started in July 2015, when Blandford Police station became powered by solar panels. The solar panels on Blandford Police Station save around £1,500 per year in electricity costs. We await the findings of the full report to guide future efforts to achieve further energy efficiencies.

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Body Worn Video for Firearms Officers

Body Worn Video for Firearms Officers

A targeted rollout of body worn cameras for Authorised Firearms Officers across the alliance will begin from 15 May 2017.

BWV is an audio and video recording device. The Commissioner pledged to introduce BWV to Dorset and provided funding for a large-scale trial involved 100 plus cameras at Bridport, Weymouth and Bournemouth from the summer of 2016.

While this roll out is limited to firearms officers, the cameras will also be used for general policing duties, which will increase the number of incidents and encounters where they can be deployed.

The Commissioner's goal is to eventually see cameras rolled out to all operational frontline officers.

The Commissioner is a strong proponent of BWV as a tool to increase the evidence gathering ability of the police, especially in domestic abuse and public order scenarios. They provide an unbiased record of what an officer has experienced, making the police more transparent and officers’ actions more accountable.

He has long argued that cameras can help diffuse difficult situations as people behave differently when told they are being filmed, as well as proving extremely useful in court to assist officers who have been assaulted and in cases of complaints against police.

Public surveys undertaken by OPCC have shown consistent support from the public in introducing this tactic to the policing of Dorset. Find out more on page 2 of the Your Dorset. Your Police. Your View survey report.

Read survey findings

PCC's local focus

PCC's local focus

A combination of factors has led Police & Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill to take a step back from his national commitments

This includes Deputy PCC Colin Pipe's decision, after much consideration, to retire from the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner due to ill health.

The OPCC is not seeking a replacement deputy commissioner at this time. Rather, the PCC has opted to reduce the number of national portfolio areas that he is engaged with in order to spend more time focusing on local issues.

Find out more


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