Since 2010, road death statistics in Dorset have varied year on year from 16 to 26 fatalities. The unpredictable nature of collisions underlines the importance of ensuring all road users get refresher education to reduce the likelihood of being involved in such tragedies.
The Commissioner pledged to work with local charities to raise awareness of road safety among the general driving population - not just those who have committed offences.
Dorset Police launched Community Road Safe in September 2016 - an initiative run in conjunction with Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Kwik Fit, in an attempt to improve road safety across the county. The sessions are free to the public and funded directly from course fees generated when motorists break the lawon Dorset’s roads.
Each session includes a hands on demonstration of simple car checks, what to do if you are first on scene at an accident and a road safety workshop covering the Fatal 5 causes of collisions.
Within his first 100 days of office, the Commissioner pledged to continue to educate residents and businesses on how to stay safe online.
A growing problem across the country, cyber-crime is having a huge impact on members of the public and organisations.
Businesses are being particularly hit and the effect of fraud is not only felt by the business, but also the staff who work there which is why tackling it is one of Dorset Police’s top priorities.17% of Dorset crime is business related.
The Dorset Police Cyber-Crime Unit is already focused on ensuring the Force provides a quality response to all forms of online crime in our communities. However, a significant amount of cyber-crime could be prevented in the first instance if members of the public were aware of how to protect themselves from becoming victims of online crime.
As such, Jake Moore, Dorset Police employee for 12 years, has filled the new role of ‘Cyber Crime Prevention Officer’. This role aims to enhance the education the Force already provides to members of the public and local businesses around cyber-crime prevention.
If you think your business, school or local community would benefit from a cyber-crime prevention presentation please contact Dorset Police's Cyber-Crime Prevention Officer by emailing email@example.com.
PCCs are responsible for setting the level of council tax residents pay within their county.
As the public’s voice in policing, the Commissioner was keen to consult with residents to ensure their views were taken into account when setting the value of the precept.
Six weeks of direct consultation with residents, online and through a series of face to face roadshows, took place across the county. Residents were asked to give their views on whether they would be prepared to pay an additional £3.80 per year to offset central Government cuts to local policing.
In the last five years, Dorset Police has had its budget cut by £19m in real terms by central Government and we will continue to be cut by £1m every year for the next three years. In Dorset, around half of the police budget comes from the Government and the rest is made up from local Council Tax
A total of 4,485 responses were received - 8.5% higher than our response rate last year. 80% of respondents supported the proposed increase.
Find out more about Dorset Police's funding, how last year's Council Tax was invested and the plans for 2017/18.
Within 100 days of office, a dedicated Rural Crime Team was implemented to provide a specialist approach to addressing the concerns of Dorset’s rural sections.
Rural crime accounts for a large proportion of Dorset Police’s demand and there are significant pressures on rural police forces. By introducing this team, more proactive work can be done to target this area of specialist criminality.
Business owners and residents who are victims of rural crime, often have their livelihoods destroyed due to the severe impact it can have. As a result, neighbours and those in the local area often live in fear of becoming a victim themselves and as a result, fear of crime is often high in rural communities.
The team will also educate residents and business owners, encouraging them to follow crime prevention advice to minimise their chances of becoming a victim of crime. This includes restricting access to their land and property by using locks, ensuring homes and outbuildings are alarmed, immobilising farm vehicles when not in use and marking equipment with postcodes.
During consultation with over 2,000 local people, 71% agreed that concentrating on road safety issues should be a focus for Dorset Police.
Many are addicted to their phone and think they cannot survive a journey without checking social media, sending a text or taking a call. The red thumb aims to act as a visual reminder to all motorists to not be tempted.
As the Association of Police & Crime Commissioner lead on road safety, the Commissioner is a passionate supporter of education campaigns like My Red Thumb.
The Commissioner sported a red thumb, conducted media interviews with press and took part in the social media campaign on 11 May 2017. Throughout the day, motorists were encouraged to paint their nail red, photograph it and share it online in order to remind drivers to put phones out of reach and stay safe on the roads.
The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner supported Rock Challenge this February 2017.
Rock challenge is a dance-drama performance competition that schools across Dorset compete in annually. Research indicates that the competition leads to improved relationships with teachers at school, a reduction - or even cessation - of substance abuse by team members and lower incidences of substance abuse generally within participating schools.
Throughout the day, the PCC engagement team surveyed hundreds of participants to find out more about young people's views on online safety. The engagement activity carried out generated statistics to support Dorset Police's ongoing efforts to effectively educate and keep young residents safe online.
Deputy Commissioner Colin Pipe, who attended to support the performances, praised the commitment, effort and dedication that participants put into the competition.
The Dorset Police website provides useful information on keeping children safe online.
The Dorset Police Cyber-Crime Unit has launched a new channel on YouTube that will host a series of short three minute videos in an effort to keep businesses safe from cyber-attacks.
More and more businesses are falling foul to cyber-attacks as a result of poor security. From April to September 2016 there were 2,406 reports of fraud in Dorset, 47% of which were from businesses. Cyber-crime has the potential to affect every house and business in Dorset.
The videos will offer information and advice on a series of topics and will be available to view whenever convenient.
The Commissioner's pledge to introduce a cyber-crime prevention officer was based on the concerns voiced by community members and businesses.
This new platform will inform businesses against the risks associated with cyber-crime in an accessible and engaging way. It will raise awareness of Jake’s role and the role of our forthcoming Business Crime Champion, among those who can most benefit from their expertise.
Search for 'Dorset Police Cyber-Crime Unit' on YouTube to subscribe to the channel and view all of the cyber security videos.
The Marine Section is based in the marine office at Poole Harbour and is supported by specially trained staff who patrol the 89 miles of Dorset coastline.
They are responsible for all inland waterways from Lyme Regis to Christchurch and use the police rigid inflatable boat (RIB) which has been in service since October 2014.
They can also be called upon for specific operations and patrolling. A new member of the marine section has been recruited which brings the section from a three person team to four, almost doubling the time they are able to be on the water as the boat requires two people to operate it.
They can now maintain coverage over two separate shifts, which will significantly increase the number of patrols the section can undertake.
The Commissioner continues to lobby the Government to lower the drink drive limit, in line with his electoral pledge.
We will soon have the highest drink drive threshold in Europe, but the Department for Transport remain unmoved on the issue, arguing that rigorous enforcement is more effective than changing the drink drive limit. The Commissioner questions the 'either, or' approach.
Summer events across the county provide fantastic opportunities for the Commissioner to speak with local residents and find out more about local policing concerns, views and ideas.
This year is particularly exciting as we have a brand new Police and Crime Plan to share with the community. This Plan has been written with the views of Dorset residents at the forefront.
This summer, the Commissioner and his team will be attending:
Bourne Free, Bournemouth, Saturday 1 July
Emergency Services Family Fun Day, King’s Park Bournemouth, Saturday 22 July
Shaftesbury and Gillingham Show, Motcombe Turnpike Showground, Wednesday 16 August
Melplash Show, West Bay Showground, Thursday 24 August
Bournemouth Air Show, Thursday 31 August – Sunday 3 September
Dorset County Show, Dorchester Showground, Saturday 2 September – Sunday 3 September
There are many opportunities to support public engagement efforts through volunteering. If you are interested in becoming a Community Volunteer to ensure that your own community has the opportunity to voice opinions, concerns or comments on the service provided by Dorset Police, please contact the Volunteers Team on 01305 226870.
The Safer Dorset Foundation, a new charity, has been launched by trustees, the Commissioner and Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan.
The charity will work with Dorset Police, its partners and individuals to keep people and property safe. The charity will support crime prevention and promote an improved quality of life for those living and working in Dorset.
Initially, money raised will go towards projects which aim to help children achieve, protect vulnerable people from abuse and fraud and further enhance the services for victims in the county.
The Safer Dorset Foundation will run completely independently from the Dorset PCC, his office and Dorset Police. It will, however, collaborate with these bodies, working to complement them with their work and grow investment in Dorset.
The PCC will match the first £10,000 raised by the charity which will be funded through a specialist grant from Government.
Dorset Police, in partnership with Get Safe Online and OPCC, hosted a cyber security event at the Dolphin Centre, Poole, giving advice and information to help keep local people safe online.
The event took place in the Dolphin Centre, Poole on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June 2017.
Many people brought their devices down and discussed online safety with the Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan, the PCC and experts from Get Safe Online, banking experts, Action Fraud and the Dorset Police cyber-crime unit.
Cyber-crime prevention officer Jake Moore said: "If recent events have taught us anything it's that cyber security is so important. We spoke to hundreds of people and gave out over 4000 leaflets to the public with information on how to stay safe online. "
The Commissioner said: "Jake’s role was introduced as part of my pledge to continue to educate communities in Dorset about the dangers of cyber-crime and the steps they can take to protect themselves.
“I’m pleased to say Jake has been doing a fantastic job, spreading the message of cyber-awareness to businesses and communities across the county. This was another great opportunity to make the most of Jake’s expertise, alongside a host of knowledgeable partners.”
You can follow the cyber-crime unit on Facebook (Dorset Police Cyber Crime) Twitter (@DP_CyberCrime) and YouTube (Dorset Police Cyber Crime) to get helpful hints and tips on all things cyber.
The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) hosted its inaugural Problem Solving Forum in partnership with Bournemouth Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), looking at the issue of homelessness.
Housing associations and a range of organisations providing support, mentoring and advocacy, emergency provision, drug and alcohol services, funding, outreach and specialist work with offenders and ex-offenders attended from across the county.
Participants took part in structured workshops on housing, support, finance and health to identify what each organisation could offer and what gaps remain in local service provision.
The PCC Innovation Fund is available for proposals borne out of the Problem Solving Forum.
The PCC said: “I pledged to set up problem solving forums to introduce multi-agency innovation to long-standing problems. We need fresh approaches to issues like homelessness.
"Rough sleeping has been a persistent and complex issue for centuries and it is unrealistic to think this can be resolved overnight. However, I am confident that we can capitalise upon the abundance of commitment that was evident at the forum."
In August 2016, the Commissioner's pledge to increase the availability of drug driving test kits across the Force was achieved.
The consequences of drug driving can be devastating. The Commissioner is commited to equipping as many officers as possible with the skills to test drivers and bring those who disregard the law to justice.
On 2 March 2015, changes to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 introduced a new offence of driving while over a prescribed drug limit.
Since that date, Dorset Police has trained all traffic and ‘No Excuse’ team officers to conduct roadside screenings for cannabis and cocaine using mobile testing equipment.
In support of the PCC’s pledge, Dorset Police has extended training to all special constables working with the ‘No Excuse’ team to carry out drug wipe testing. Special Constable, Simon Miller has already secured his first positive roadside screening for drugs during a recent operation.
To date, 48 per cent of drivers tested by Dorset Police officers have given a positive roadside sample, with illegal substances found to be present in the driver’s system.
When it comes to successfully identifying drug drivers, Dorset Police is the best force in the region. With more trained officers, Dorset Police's ability to crack down on offenders is now even stronger.
To mark national Volunteers Week, OPCC and Dorset Police volunteers visited Force HQ Winfrith to celebrate the contribution made to community safety, and learn about the 2017-2021 Police & Crime Plan for Dorset.
The Commissioner gave an overview of Dorset Police's four new priorities set via public consultation. The event enabled volunteers to gain a better understanding of what the Force is working towards and the challenges ahead.
Our volunteers carried out user testing of the new web function, providing valuable feedback to help us communicate effectively with local people.
We are grateful for all the do in helping to facilitate valuable public consultation and community engagement opportunities. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, find out more about the many opportunities available.
A new 20mph zone has been agreed by Dorset County Council’s Cabinet for Iwerne Minster.
PCC Martyn Underhill said: "When I was contacted by residents concerned about speeding in Iwerne Minster, I advised that setting up a local Community Speed Watch team could help the cause, in addition to a petition to establish how many residents shared concerns.
“The Iwerne Minster community has since admirably demonstrated its commitment to taking action on road safety and I am pleased to have been able to assist with lobbying efforts to deliver the new 20mph zone. This is about quality of life as well as safety; I congratulate all involved.”
The official signing of the Traffic Regulation Order is the culmination of five years’ work to raise awareness, local funds and carry out safety audits. The zone will reduce the speed of vehicles and make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
The PCC, OPCC staff and volunteers attended Bourne Free to consult with communities over the new Police & Crime Plan for Dorset.
Bourne Free supports the LGBT community and for the last 13 years has staged a three day festival in the centre of Bournemouth. People came from all across the county to take part in the celebrations.
The Commissioner has previously raised concerns that the LGBTQ victims of sex abuse and domestic violence often don't report offences to police.
Events like Bourne Free, of which the PCC Martyn Underhill is a trustee, provide a fantastic opportunity to engage with LGBTQ communities to understand any barriers to reporting that may need addressing.
The OPCC unveiled the new Dorset Police Pride vehicle, used at the event as a tool to encourage engagement between the police and local communities.
12 December 2017, PCC Martyn Underhill and Poole Harbour Watch supported the launch of a new South West Portwatch scheme, which took place at the Dorset Police Marine Unit in Poole.
The scheme has been rolled out across the strategic alliance, aiming to tackle the specific and unique challenges faced by marine communities. The scheme consists of a secure website and a phone application which sends push notifications out to members.
Inspector Derek McKerl of the Alliance Operations Department said: “Portwatch is a two-way regional messaging system that allows the police, partners and marine communities to share intelligence and manage threat, risk and harm more efficiently. The scheme allows members to report marine or ports related crime directly to those working in this specialised area, reducing demand on control rooms.
To find out more about the South West Portwatch scheme, visit www.maritimeportwatch.schemelink.co.uk. If you feel that your business could benefit from membership, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
A public consultation launched by PCC Martyn Underhill to gain an insight into Dorset residents’ views on the drink drive limit has found that a majority of people would like to see a lower threshold introduced.
2,098 people shared their views in a survey, with 72% supportive of legislative change to bring the current limit into line with standards seen in Scotland and Europe. This result is consistent with the national British Social Attitudes survey, which found 77% of people think the limit should be lowered.
Of the participants who stated that they currently consume alcohol before driving, 38% said a lower limit would result in them consuming less alcohol before driving, while 40% would no longer consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said: “These results clearly indicate that legislative change has the potential to not only affect drivers’ attitudes towards drink driving, but also their behaviour on the roads and ultimately the choices they make."
On Friday 16 March 2018, Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martyn Underhill joined Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team on patrol. The team conducted visits to rural locations across the county, including farms at Chantmarle, West Stafford and North Holworth.
PCC Martyn Underhill said: “Before the Rural Crime Team was in place, fear of crime was high among rural residents. Having met with a number of farmers, rural business owners and residents during my patrol visit, it’s clear to see that fantastic progress has already been made. Our rural communities are now more engaged with Dorset Police and confidence in reporting is up.”
The team has trained fellow officers, call handlers and radio operators to ensure that Dorset Police is dealing with reports of rural crime consistently and efficiently. Using their particular expertise, the team has provided guidance during investigations, conducted a number of targeted operations to seize property stolen from rural communities and worked closely with surrounding forces and enforcement partners.
PC Claire Dinsdale, rural crime co-ordinator, said: “Our focus is on crime prevention and we need the public’s help with this. The key thing we would ask rural communities to do is invest in early intervention alarms. Installing this wireless technology ensures any intruder on your property will trigger an alarm when invisible beams are crossed, immediately alerting you to their presence. This technology disrupts offenders and helps us bring them to justice.”
PCSO Tom Balchin, rural engagement officer, said: “We have a number of measures available to us to disrupt offenders’ activities, such as Criminal Behaviour Orders, but promptly reported intelligence is vital in the fight against rural crime. We encourage you to report any crimes or suspicious incidents with as much detail as possible online at dorset.police.uk and sign up to rural alerts at dorsetalert.co.uk.”
The PCC, OPCC staff and volunteers attended the Emergency Services Family Fun Day at King's park to engage with communities over the 2017-2021 Police & Crime Plan.
Despite poor weather, thousands came from around Dorset to witness this multi-agency event.
Visitors had opportunities to engage with different emergency service teams, watch displays and get a closer look at vehicles and equipment.
On the day, the OPCC surveyed 112 people on a number of issues, including how they would rate the quality of the 101 service, their views on upcoming changes to the police complaints system and prefered methods of contact.
74% of people agreed that changes to the police complaints system, whereby OPCC would be the first point of contact, would be positive. Further findings will be shared in due course.
Follow the link and search #Dorset999 to find posts from the day.
Fantastic day engaging with local residents at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show.
Thanks to all who came and we very much appreciated winning first prize for the best stand, alongside officers and staff from the Rural Crime and Safety Camera teams.
On the day, the OPCC surveyed 78 people on a number of issues, including how they would rate the quality of the 101 service, their views on upcoming changes to the police complaints system and prefered methods of contact.
Over half of respondents felt that legislative changes in relation to police complaints, which will make PCC Officers the first point of contact for complainants, would be positive
Follow the link to find out more about the day!
The police and crime commissioner encouraged people to make their voices heard by completing the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey.
The survey, conducted by the National Rural Crime Network, covered a range of issues facing rural communities.
Dorset respondents to the survey identified fly-tipping and speeding as the crime types they were most concerned about and work is already underway to tackle them.
For example, the police and crime commisisoner recently held a fly-tipping problem solving forum, bringing together muliple agencies to help address the issue. There are also a number of initiatives aimed at reducing speeding in Dorset including the work of Dorset Police's No Excuse team and various community speedwatch groups.
Dorset Police has had a Rural Crime Team since 2016 as a result of one of the police and crime commissioner’s election pledges. According to the survey approximately half (47%) of all Dorset respondents were aware of the specialist Rural Crime Team, compared to just 32% of respondents nationally who were of aware of their local rural crime teams.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Almost half of Dorset’s residents live in rural areas and it is important that they are engaged and their voices are heard. Having met with a number of farmers, rural business owners and residents on my patrol visit with the Rural Crime Team earlier this year, it is clear that progress has been made in reducing the fear of rural crime in Dorset.”
The team had a fantastic day alongside the Rural Crime Team, Cyber Crime Prevention Officer Jake Moore and the Safety Camera Team at the Melplash Show.
On the day, the OPCC surveyed people on a number of issues, including how confident people are in local policing and how good or poor a job people feel officers are doing.
Over 81% of those surveyed said that they had confidence in the police in this area. Taking everything into account, 32% of participants said that local police were doing an 'excellent job', while 49% rated local policing as 'good'.
It's really valuable to engage with local people - thanks to all those from West Dorset and further afield who came along and shared their views on policing.
The Police and Crime Commissioner held a Problem Solving Forum on fly-tipping in June 2018.
The forum brought together a number of statutory and non-statutory agencies together to dicuss how best to tackle fly-tipping in Dorset. It facilitated information sharing and generated a number of ideas to be explored further.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has awarded funding to Brake, the road safety charity.
The funding will help Brake provide support for those bereaved or seriously injured in road collisions. It also helps family and friends of those in road collisions as well as professionals who are supporting them.
Brake’s helpline and information booklets provide emotional support, practical information, and signposting. The charity also offers advocacy and appropriate referrals for helpline callers towards face-to-face or other tailored support.
The Police and Crime Commissioner responded to a Department for Transport consultation proposing easier methods for reporting road traffic collisions to the police.
Great day engaging with the public at this year's Dorset County Show!
Over the weekend, the OPCC surveyed over 90 people on a number of issues, including how they would rate the quality of the 101 service and prefered methods of contact.
The PCC can raise policing issues directly with the Chief Constable. 85% of participants thought it 'very important' that the issues raised reflect the views, concerns and ideas of Dorset residents, while 77% thought upcoming changes to the police complaints system would be 'positive'.
Click on the link to find out more about the day!
Upon re-election, PCC Martyn Underhill pledged to publish an annual engagement report outlining engagement activities carried out by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
In 2017/18, we engaged with over 3,000 people face-to-face at summer events, speaking engagements, conferences, community meetings and PCC surgeries.
We reached over 3.9 million people via our social media channels and delivered 4 formal public consultations receiving over 10,500 responses from local people in total.
The Annual Engagement Report allows for greater transparency, accountability and public scrutiny of the PCC’s current engagement approach, empowering residents to become more involved in generating new ideas to more effectively bring policing to the heart of all communities in Dorset.
National Volunteers Week is an opportunity to celebrate the huge contribution volunteers make to help keep their communities safe.
Every day there are people in our communities selflessly giving up their time to make things better for those of us who live and work in Dorset. Every year they collectively donate thousands of hours of their free time to make a real difference and help keep us all safe.
I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Dorset Police Volunteer Awards Ceremony. It was an opportunity to highlight the achievements of our special constables and volunteers and recognise the time, effort and dedication they give to policing and their local communities.
If it wasn’t for volunteers many community schemes would not operate, voices might go unheard and some police operations would not be possible.