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174 reasons for criminals to be wary

This week I am delighted to be able to tell you that Dorset Police has exceeded its target for the Government's national Police Uplift Programme and there are now 174 new reasons for criminals to be wary. This is the largest intake of trainee officers in Dorset since the creation of Police and Crime Commissioners back in 2012.

All of these new recruits will mean more officers serving the people and communities of Dorset and adding extra strength and depth to the service and I would like to wish each new recruit well in their chosen career as they go out in our communities to fight crime, put victims first and keep people safe.

Dorset’s residents have frequently told me that they want to see more police officers on their streets, and I want to be clear that these new officers are not filling vacancies left by those who have retired or left. These officers are in addition to the force’s baseline numbers. Each recruit is integral to the Police and Crime Plan’s priority of our police being more visible, connected and engaged with the community and in striving toward the ambition of making Dorset the safest county.

I would like to thank all the staff involved in working so hard to get so many new recruits enrolled. I know the work to recruit new officers is ongoing and if you are interested in joining Dorset Police, I encourage you to take a look on the forces website. The force is currently recruiting for Police Officers via both its Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and Degree Holder Entry Programme.

I would also like to thank the people of Dorset, whose contribution through the policing precept is helping to make Dorset Police better equipped, better resourced and more visible and connected to the communities they serve.

These new officers are just one part of the on-going work to increase the visibility and connectivity of Dorset Police. In recent months, the force has made the switch to the Single Online Home Platform for its website, including how the public can report crimes. When the public need to speak with the police, it is vital that they can do so in a simple and timely way that meets their needs. The police handle a considerable volume of complex calls and enquiries from the public – and it is by no means an easy job. Single Online Home has enabled the Force to update its website in line with the national offering, encouraging more online reporting, and improving ease and accessibility for those wishing to contact the police. 

I do, however, understand that sometimes the public want to speak to the police in person and that online reporting is not accessible for all. That is why, last summer, I supported Dorset Police as they ran a pilot programme that saw the introduction of a mobile police station front-desk and office. Using a police van, force Contact Officers set up at dedicated locations to provide a physical point of contact and reporting in areas without a police station.

In addition to the mobile police station, Community Contact Points have been established in several areas, including Swanage, East Dorset and Christchurch, with the aim of providing a range of dedicated events intending to increase accessibility and visibility in local communities. These contact points offer a facility to report crime and incidents as well as offering prevention advice and generic engagement.

In Dorset, Neighbourhood Policing Teams are at the heart of the force’s are at the heart of community policing and each team along with the Response Team are the very backbone of community policing. Their work has been boosted recently with the creation and strengthening of a number of specialist teams, including the Rural Crime Team, Neighbourhood Enforcement Team and Missing Persons Team.

Keep reading my newsletters over the coming weeks and months to find out more about how I plan to keep on ‘Making Policing More Visible and Connected’ to the communities it serves.

David Sidwick

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner

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