Increase resources available to frontline policing
Despite the challenging financial environment and cuts to police funding and resources, the Police and Crime Commissioner has remained determined to ensure frontline policing resources are enhanced during the term of office, meeting the changing nature of crime and demand.
Savings achieved as a result of the Strategic Alliance with Devon And Cornwall Police, and the introduction of a new delivery model for frontline policing, have increased the resources available to frontline policing.
This has been achieved both through delivering savings in back office areas and by making the most of resources available to the front line.
Through this work, the overall level of resources available to Dorset Police has increased and the proportion of resources spent on back office functions has reduced from 10% to 9%, increasing the amount available for operational and operational support roles.
The Force have also continued to recruit during the Commissioner’s term, including Police Officer recruitment campaigns in July 2016, February 2017 and January 2019.
The PCC and Chief Constable await details from central government about Dorset’s allocation of the 20,000 new police officers promised by the new Prime Minister. Local preparations have been implemented to ensure that Dorset Police can make the most of this opportunity, with the PCC scrutinising those arrangements.
Other relevant initiatives include the April 2018 introduction of a new Police Community Support Investigator (PCSI) role to better meet the demands of modern policing. A total of 31 PCSIs are based around the county and deal with incidents deemed as posing a lower level of threat, harm and risk, such as criminal damage, shed breaks and vehicle crime.
They record crimes, carry out the initial investigations – such as locating CCTV footage and potential witnesses – take statements and provide reassurance and crime prevention advice to victims.
Changes as a result of the Force’s new delivery model will also free up officers’ time, generating increases in people and resources to teams dealing with cyber-crime, child sexual exploitation and sex offences, as well as other areas that generate significant demand.
A Dorset Innovation Fund was also established by the PCC – this fund has seen additional resources support key frontline initiatives and is monitored by the Commissioner’s Office to ensure that maximum value is achieved for Dorset’s communities.