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.
Dorset's Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has been recognised for its openness and transparency, and received an award.
CoPaCC - the independent body that monitors police governance - presented the office with an OPCC Transparency Quality Mark, meaning it hits a high standard in having accessible information for the public.
Transparency is an essential part of the democratic process. For the public to be able gauge how successful their PCC is in delivering their electoral mandate, they need access to information that is accessible, easy to understand and fit for purpose.
Dorset was one of 25 OPCCs nationwide to pick up the quality mark. Find out more here >
How does the PCC scrutinise the police – and why?
When people ask the question 'what does a Police and Crime Commissioner actually do' one of the most common responses my colleagues and I often give is we're there to hold the police to account.
What does that actually mean? It's a good question, and an important one.
There are very good reasons why the police need to be scrutinised by an independent organisation.
New network launched on International Women’s Day.
I'm proud that Dorset Police is launching its new Women's Network today - on International Women's Day.
The new group is being called WIN - Women Inspire and Network - and is being set up to represent all women within the Force.
It aims to champion gender and equality within both policing and society as well as to provide a voice challenging practices and proposals in the Force.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset has won a prestigious gold national award for the quality of its independent custody visiting scheme.
The inaugural Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) Quality Assurance awards were presented at a ceremony at the House of Lords on Wednesday 15 May.
ICVA is the national organisation which supports, leads and represents locally-run custody visiting schemes. Schemes manage teams of independent volunteers who visit those detained in police custody.
Dorset took gold in the awards – given to schemes that could provide an excellent standard of custody visiting and volunteer management.
This is the second highest of the four levels, with only platinum above it.
The PCC writes to explain his view of spit guards, and how he intends to closely monitor their use as they are introduced by Dorset Police.
He writes: "It is quite clear that the people of Dorset, my constituents, support officers being protected from such attacks and spit guards will now form part of their kit, just like body worn video.
"That said, as the person elected to hold the Force to account, I give the people of Dorset my assurance that I, together with the independent "Use of Force Scrutiny Panel" will monitor and scrutinise the introduction and use of spit guards by Dorset Police as the roll out progresses."
Writing in Police Professional, the PCC and Dorset Chief Constable James Vaughan describe the need for an ambitious programme of reform across policing.
He writes: "Given the national picture we have described, the nature of the challenges faced by a good force such as Dorset, and the growing body of opinion that the system as it stands is not fit for purpose, it seems to us that we are led to an inescapable conclusion.
"To achieve the changes required, particularly when it comes to force mergers, the Government needs to provide leadership to achieve the Home Secretary’s objective of 'a smarter and better police system which is more collaborative'."
The PCC calls for a wide range of people from across Dorset to sit on a series of Independent Scrutiny Panels.
Martyn Underhill said: “These independent panels provide an absolutely vital job of assisting me to hold the Chief Constable to account and come up with suggestions for how they can do things better."