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Release: Agencies make a continued commitment to its communities in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to keep people safe

Dorset Police, supported by the Police & Crime Commissioner, and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council are reaffirming their continued partnership commitment to drive forward improvements to help keep people in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole safe and make them feel safer.

The agencies, alongside Police & Crime Commissioner David Sidwick, held an online Facebook LIVE public meeting on Wednesday 5 June 2024 to address concerns about community safety following the tragic incident on Durley Chine Beach in Bournemouth last month.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan and Chief Superintendent Heather Dixey, BCP LPA Commander, were joined by BCP’s Corporate Director for Wellbeing Jillian Kay, Sophie Sajic, Head of Public Protection, and Kelly Deane, Director of Housing and Communities, where they answered a range of questions from the public relating to violent crime, violence against women and girls, drugs, anti-social behaviour, CCTV coverage and monitoring, street drinking and begging, reporting intelligence and police visibility.

This online event provided leaders with the opportunity to listen to the public’s concerns, explain the work already taking place to tackle these issues and highlight initiatives set to be introduced over the coming months to make further improvements.

The message is clear: if you are intent on committing crime or anti-social behaviour, we will use all the powers we have available to target and apprehend you so we can ensure our communities can enjoy public spaces and feel safe.

These include:

Serious violent crime

  • The Serious Violent Crime Duty aims to ensure that agencies, including BCP Council and Dorset Police, are focused on activity to reduce serious violence in the BCP area. This work is heavily driven by the local Community Safety Partnership, which aims to prevent and reduce serious violent crime incidents through appropriate interventions, increased partner visibility and shared intelligence.
  • Dorset Police, with the full support of BCP Council, is currently running operations focusing on tackling ASB, violence, drugs and knife-related crime.
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner received Government funding to enable Dorset Police to introduce hot-spot policing, which is designed to deliver enhanced patrols to tackle violence and disorder and target areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour. This sees the neighbourhood policing teams, supported by wider resources, providing foot patrols to further increase our visibility.     
  • The authorities have started to launch Clear, Hold, Build (CHB) – a national initiative focused on reducing the activity of organised crime in an area to improve community safety and confidence in the police. It is a partnership project that has three delivery stages: targeted enforcement activity, preventing remaining or new criminals from coming to the area and introducing community driven interventions to increase public confidence in police and partners.

Knife crime

  • Dorset Police takes part in Operation Sceptre – a national policing week of action in which all 43 forces and British Transport Police come together for a coordinated period of intensification and awareness raising to tackle knife crime.
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner funded the purchase of knife wands for every police car and two knife arches, which are deployed in key locations to educate and for policing purposes.
  • Both agencies work with schools, colleges and universities to deliver talks to young people and adults about knife crime.
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has worked with the families of Cameron Hamilton and Tom Roberts, as well as Escapeline and Dorset NHS, to produce a suite of lived experience videos to be used in schools as part of the education and prevention work carried out by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • Ongoing and planned work includes intervention and prevention tactics with those identified as being most at risk of carrying knifes, developing a resource pack for concerned parents, analysis and development of offender profiles and working with Victim Support to develop an enhanced package of support for victims and witnesses of knife crime.

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has secured Safer Street 5 funding, which BCP Council is utilising for a range of projects in Bournemouth town centre aimed at reducing violence against women and girls, such as the installation of new CCTV at Horseshoe Common and West Cliff; expansion of the existing voluntary sector night time community guardianship scheme for Bournemouth town centre; work with the universities and students to develop a student-led peer community guardianship scheme to cover the Lansdowne area.
  • All partners have signed up to the Unity Promise women’s safety charter, which was launched in March and consists of seven commitments. It will support businesses with training on how to improve safety for women and girls.
  • All agencies supported Sexual Violence Awareness Week to increase reporting and training was delivered to professionals on identifying sexually harmful behaviour in young people, honour-based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • Both agencies are part of Town Watch where members recently worked with officers to promote a sense of security in licensed venues.  
  • Local policing teams actively work with partners on a range of initiatives to ensure the safety of women and girls in Dorset, including Operation Vigilant to identify potential perpetrators.
  • Dorset Police is part of a national programme to improve the response it provides to victims of rape and sexual offences and their experience of the criminal justice process.
  • Officers actively engage with universities in the run up to and during fresher’s fortnight, promoting a range of safety initiatives, including personal safety awareness and crime reporting options.
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is holding a VAWG Conference this summer, designed to raise awareness in schools and educational establishments of violence against women and girls.


  • Operation Viper is Dorset Police’s year-round approach to tackling county lines drugs networks, drawing together assets and skills from all departments. In the last three months the scheme has seen nine county lines closed, 31 arrests made and 174 safeguarding visits made to those vulnerable to exploitation.
  • The Force also works with partners and other forces across the region to combat the supply of illegal drugs in our communities. The latest Operation Scorpion crackdown saw thousands of pounds worth of drugs and a large number of weapons seized and removed from our streets, as well as 34 suspects arrested and seven charged.
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has introduced Dorset’s Combatting Drugs Partnership (CDP), where the partners and other stakeholders focus on four key areas – enforcement, treatment and recovery, prevention and joint analytics across the county.


  • The dedicated Bournemouth Town Team sees neighbourhood officers working alongside colleagues at BCP Council and other agencies to tackle criminality and engage with residents, visitors and businesses.
  • A range of other operations and initiatives are underway to target ASB, serious violence and knife crime in Bournemouth town centre, as well as tackling youth and vehicle related ASB in Sandbanks; working with businesses to tackle shoplifting and identify repeat offenders, and focusing on ASB relating to street drinkers, aggressive begging and shoplifting in Boscombe precinct and surrounding areas.
    • BCP Council’s dedicated Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) officers work within police stations and attend joint briefings with partners, including the voluntary sector (street pastors / pub watch), to ensure preparedness and shared situational awareness. They are also deployed on key bus routes and travel interchanges to identify intelligence.
    • Neighbourhood policing teams work with the licensing community to deliver Safer Spaces.
    • ‘100 days of summer’ will see officers on dedicated foot patrols at key locations and times for 100 days this June, July and August. Police constables and police community support officers (PCSOs) will be visible in key areas of Bournemouth and Poole on a daily basis and will be supported by special constables. They will also be carrying out regular joint patrols with CSAS and other designated officers from BCP Council.


  • As part of Op Relentless, Dorset Police continues to identify patterns and locations of ASB in the county so we can develop multi-agency action plans, including community engagement, to prevent and disrupt ASB early before it can take a grip on communities. Hot-spot policing patrols are carried out in those areas where the public have raised concerns.
  • The council has a dedicated anti-social behaviour (ASB) team. This includes officers that manage ASB in BCP Homes properties and officers that deal with ASB within the communities. Each area of the conurbation has a dedicated ASB officer.
  • There has been a six per cent reduction in reported ASB in Bournemouth town centre in the last year, with an overall conurbation reduction of 11 per cent.
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner funds two significant ASB initiatives – the Operation Relentless Community Fund. This funds projects and initiatives to reduce ASB and increase community safety and has supported more than 31 organisations across Dorset with more than £117,000 of funding so far. The Fix The Future initiative, also helps to create more prevention and diversion schemes for young people, to give more young people development opportunities. 


  • Dorset Police has been running an initiative to target prolific shoplifters who are causing the most harm in our business communities. Offenders can expect to be dealt with robustly, with potential banning orders and civil orders, on top of criminal convictions. Across Dorset this operation has seen a positive outcome rate of 42 per cent and since November 2023 it has targeted 23 prolific offenders in the BCP area, who have been charged with 312 offences.
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner created the Dorset Safer Business Partnership, which brings together BIDs and Chambers of Trade, major retailers and the police to improve reporting, police engagement and prevention.
  • Business Support Grants from the Police and Crime Commissioner has led to the creation of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership with Bournemouth, Poole and Coastal BIDs alongside UKPAC, who provide a crime reporting platform linked with Dorset Police.
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner has also provided funding to allow 200 retail businesses who sit outside BIDs in Dorset to join UKPAC.


  • There are 1,281 permanent cameras across BCP in public places and key local authority sites. All cameras are operational. There are also a number of deployable cameras that can be placed in areas where there is evidence of ongoing crime and disorder.
  • CCTV is monitored 24 hours a day.
  • All cameras have live recording.
  • In the last couple of years, there have been additional CCTV cameras installed in key underpasses across the conurbation and into the West Hill and Springbourne wards.


Published statistics without context 

Statistics have been published in the national media relating to rapes and knife crime in Bournemouth without the necessary context.


‘300 stabbings in Bournemouth town centre in 2023’

Last year there were 296 crimes across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Local Policing Area that had a knife flag linked to them. This statistic does not mean there were 296 stabbings, they include a range of offences from proactive stop searches in which a knife was located on an individual, a bag or within a car, a knife located on someone who was arrested for another matter elsewhere and was brought into custody at Bournemouth police station, to a domestic abuse incident inside a premises and assault.

To put this into context, across the whole of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the last 12 months there were 29 stabbing incidents with knives or a sharply pointed article and four of these were within Bournemouth town centre. The vast majority of these stabbing incidents involved individuals who were known to each other.

‘105 rapes in Bournemouth town centre in 2023’

This statistic relates to offences reported across the whole Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Local Policing Area, not just the town centre.

The offences detailed within this data include both male and female victims, are reported to have occurred within homes, business premises and other locations. A small number were reported to have occurred in public spaces. They also include offences where the suspect and victim were known to each other, as well as non-recent reports relating to offences that could have occurred many years ago but were reported during that time frame.

While Dorset remains the seventh safest county in the country for crime, all agencies are aware that when serious violent and sexual incidents occur it can impact on how safe people feel.

We rely on our communities to tell us what is happening across the county and information received helps to inform the policing and council priorities, alongside targeted patrols. You can report matters to Dorset Police online via Intelligence can be reported via the portal at or via Crimestoppers. Matters can be reported to BCP Council via

In addition, you can report locations where you feel or have felt unsafe and to identify the features on why that location made you feel unsafe via the national online tool StreetSafe:

If you missed the Facebook LIVE event and want to watch it back to find out more about what the partners said, you can watch it by visiting:





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