Working collaboratively to make Dorset the safest county
It is the role of every Police and Crime Commissioner to be the voice of local people in policing, to hold the Chief Constable to account and ensure the delivery of an effective and efficient police service within their force area.
My role as PCC carries many responsibilities, including being responsible for the ‘totality of policing’, enabling the police service and Chief Constable to operate independently as well as working in partnership with a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime – and it is that last responsibility that I would like to expand upon a little in this newsletter.
I spend a great deal of my time meeting with stakeholders and partners, not just to talk about how we can work together to make Dorset one of the safest counties in England and Wales – but to take action and make things happen. The fact of a Police and Crime Plan based on what the Dorset people want and the close conformity of the operational vision for Dorset Police allows a strong strategic and operational foundation from the policing point of view.
When it comes to working collaboratively, I am a firm believer that the police cannot ‘do it all’ and they must work alongside other agencies to ensure there are a broad range of effective and efficient partnerships in order to get the best results for the people and communities of Dorset. By working together we reduce costs, prevent duplication and tackle issues using a joined-up approach. For example with the local authorities and community safety partnerships which also fit closely with the Police and Crime plan.
And I am delighted to say that this ‘working together’ approach is really paying dividends for Dorset.
You will have seen many examples of this in police operations such as Viper and Scorpion, which both tackle drug crime and criminality and Relentless, which tackles Anti-Social Behaviour across the county. Only this week, you may have seen reports of how BCP Council, Dorset Police and town BIDs have been successfully reducing anti-social behaviour and low-level crime and this isn’t a ‘one- off’ this is an everyday occurrence in policing - since becoming PCC, I have ensured that we are talking to and working with a much broader range of partners in order to tackle the issues and concerns you have.
A really good example is the new Rural Crime Reduction Board that is bringing together stakeholders from across Dorset to help drive down crime in our rural areas and will focus on reducing wildlife crime at our next meeting.
In more urban areas we are seeing the effect of the police, councils, councillors and communities all working together. There are many examples but here are links to two in the press recently.
- Why crime and anti-social behaviour is dropping in Bournemouth | Bournemouth Echo
- Antisocial behaviour in Littlemoor falls 50 % from last December | Dorset Echo
Last year, I was delighted to attend an event hosted in Parliament by the MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Michael Tomlinson, where I and other local MPs got to talk about policing priorities for Dorset. This was in addition to our regular monthly meetings where we discuss county wide issues and how best to lobby to get the best for the people of Dorset.
Lobbying for Dorset and working in partnership is an important part of the work I do and I will continue to keep raising awareness about our funding situation here in Dorset. We are currently the 42nd lowest government funded force out of 43 and that simply cannot continue. I want the new policing minster to come to Dorset and see all the good work we are doing and what having a better funded force would mean to our residents and communities - I hope to be able to update you on that soon.
We also had the chance to talk about the Fix the Future fund and the opportunities that will bring for our younger people as well as national issues, such as routes into policing and how I and other PCC’s want there to be a broad range of entry routes so as to give more options and opportunities to those considering a career in policing - I believe we have to go beyond a ‘graduate entry’ route to ensure police officers truly reflect the people and communities they wish to serve.
One of the most important parts of my role is to engage with you, so that I understand your concerns and priorities when it comes to policing and the criminal justice system. Your feedback is crucial in enabling me to represent your views - so I would like to invite you once again to complete the Precept Survey to tell me more about what you think on funding the police.
Let’s keep this partnership and community working going and we will make Dorset the safest county.
Dorset Police and Crime Commisisoner