Create the Safer Dorset Foundation

Upon re-election, the PCC made a commitment to create the Safer Dorset Foundation (SDF) – a charity seeking to benefit the public and increase quality of life through crime prevention and community safety activity.

Three main initial aims of the SDF were to:

• Benefit all those affected by crime, including victims and witnesses, but also promoting rehabilitation of offenders.
• Benefit vulnerable people and our wider communities.
• Supporting organisations through knowledge exchange, guidance, advice and capacity building in support of our shared objectives.

It was an ambition of the PCC to have the SDF created within his first 100 days in office, and this ambition was achieved when it was launched in August 2016.

However, without a dedicated resource, the charity’s growth proved very challenging and as a result didn’t develop as anticipated.

In 2018 the SDF benefitted from an increased resource and began developing ideas as to how it could function, with one of the ideas being a bobby van scheme.

In summer 2019 the SDF was the recipient of a generous donation from the Police Innovation Fund which allowed it to start exploring introducing the bobby van scheme.

The bobby van scheme is to support vulnerable and elderly victims of crimes, such as burglary, distraction burglary and theft, providing practical support and offering key services, such as door and window repairs, key cutting, camera fitting and safety advice.

The SDF decided it would like to reinvest the funding into the Force and following discussions with Dorset Police’s Victims Bureau and Chief Constable, the SDF commissioned Dorset Police to manage and deliver the Bobby Van Scheme, with the SDF retaining governance and oversight.

Following a review of crime statistics, it has been agreed the bobby van will initially cover east Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

The pilot scheme is currently being developed and is due to be implemented in early 2020 to run for a two year period, with the benefits monitored on a quarterly basis.

Further opportunities to continue to establish the charity continue to be explored, including the potential for fundraising and income generation and opportunities to bid for further funds and grants.

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