Skip to content Skip to menu

PCC Newsletter: Working in Partnership

Earlier this week, I took part in a special Facebook Live event alongside Dorset Police and BCP Council. I asked for this to be set-up in order to listen to the concerns of the public, answer questions and provide information on the work being done to keep people safe in the BCP area.

This online event provided lead agencies with the opportunity to hear these concerns and answer 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.

There are further details below of all the partnership work being undertaken to police this area of Dorset. 

Firstly, I should say that we are three years into a seven-year Police and Crime Plan and three years is not a very long time to make the kinds of changes that you, the people of Dorset, asked me to make. There were some deep systemic changes that needed to be made and these are now very much in motion.

There have been, of course, some relatively straightforward actions that have made a difference, such as providing funding for each police patrol car across Dorset to have a hand-held metal detector so stop and searches and knife checks are more efficient, effective and safer, but the tougher, more complex issues always take longer to progress and often takes a partnership and community approach to make breakthroughs. We are, I am pleased to say, starting to see that approach work in certain priority areas, such as our work on tackling drug crime with transformative police operations such as Op Scorpion, as well as the work taking place in our rural communities through the establishment of the Dorset Partnership Against Rural Crime.

I know many of you want to see more police officers and last year, Dorset Police exceeded the national target for the Police Uplift Programme with 174 new officers coming into the force. However, I know that feelings of community safety are about more than just numbers and I want to assure you that I continue to work alongside the Chief Constable to ensure the public see and feel the difference as more of these new officers take up their posts in the community. Building trust and confidence with our communities is a top priority.

ASB is a priority for Dorset Police. I appreciate that for many Dorset residents, it is often nuisance incidents, which can cause distress and upset. I am pleased the Force has continued to implement Operation Relentless to tackle ASB, but I know enforcement alone is not the answer. This is why I have set up the Operation Relentless Community Fund. This funds projects and initiatives to reduce ASB and increase community safety, and I am pleased to say we have seen success in reducing incidences across the county. This project has supported more than 31 organisations across Dorset with more than £117,000 of funding so far. Alongside the work with the Fix The Future initiative, which helps to create more prevention and diversion schemes for young people, I want to assure you I am working hard to ensure you feel safer in your communities and young people are given more development opportunities.

I have long been a vocal advocate of taking the fight to the criminals especially when it comes to drug crime, and both Operation Scorpion and Operation Viper have been established to directly disrupt illegal drug supply lines, catch drug-dealers, remove their drugs and money, and close down their vile trade.

Away from enforcement, the prevention work undertaken by Dorset’s Combatting Drugs Partnership (CDP), in which I am the Senior Responsible Officer, has recently been highlighted nationally. Through the CDP in Dorset, we focus on four key areas – enforcement, treatment and recovery, prevention, and joint analytics across the county. Dealing with the issue of drugs is complex and requires a robust approach, but I am determined that tackling the problem of illegal drugs and drug-related harm is at the top of our agenda.

There is so much good work going on, often behind the scenes that doesn’t get reported in a more public way that I want you the people and communities of Dorset to know about. There are excellent examples across the county of strong partnership working and I would encourage you to find out more via my website, or that of our partners, including Dorset Police and BCP Council.

I would just like to say that I will never be part of the ‘negative’ narrative that has surfaced in the media recently especially when it comes to my hometown of Bournemouth. I am well-aware of my duty as PCC to the whole of Dorset, but this particular issue of the perceived ‘safety’ of Bournemouth needs addressing in terms of practical action, which has been outlined in this newsletter, but also I am determined to drive a change in that narrative now, talking about the positive improvements that are occurring, highlighting strong partnership working and being ambitious not only for Bournemouth but for Dorset as a whole. I am very clear that both safety and the feeling of ‘being safe’ is vital to all our communities and I am absolutely committed to taking the robust action needed to make our county a safer place for all.

I know that some of you would have seen that statistics have been published in the national media relating to rapes and knife crime in Bournemouth, this has been done without the necessary contextual information and explanation of the statistics being added. I have led on the rebuttal of such damaging inaccuracies – indeed the Daily Mail have been made to change their article because of it.

While I am always alert to concerns and open to discussion,  I remain positive about the town and our county, because I know that every town, village and city across the country has issues that are a cause of concern for its communities, but I am firm believer that by working together, taking positive action and never giving up, we can make the changes that we all want to see for the place we all call home.


David Sidwick

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner 


Working in Partnership with Dorset Police and BCP Council


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 Home Office 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 Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner funded the purchase of knife wands for every police patrol 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 wider education and prevention work.
  • 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 Home Office 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 Office of 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 Office of 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.




Confirmation Required