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Neighbourhood Alert Reports

These reports are as received from the Police Cooordinator, and not edited by me
January 3, 2020

Roadshow Seeks Public Views on Funding For More Officers

I’d like to thank all those of you who have completed my survey into whether you would pay an extra £1.25 a month to provide more police officers in Dorset.

Myself, along with members of my team and volunteers, will be visiting supermarkets and shopping centres across Dorset from next week to seek the public’s views.

If you’re not able to make it to any of the locations, and if you haven’t had the chance to complete my two-minute survey yet, please click below to have your say.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dorsetalert

The team will be at the following locations:

• Christchurch, Waitrose, Monday 6 January 9.30-11.30am
• Bournemouth, Tesco Extra (Riverside), Monday 6 January, noon-2pm
• Poole, Dolphin Centre, Monday 6 January, 3-5pm
• Ferndown, Tesco, Tuesday 7 January, noon-2pm
• Wimborne, Waitrose, Tuesday 7 January, 3-5pm
• Blandford Forum, Tesco, Wednesday 8 January, noon-2pm
• Dorchester, Tesco, Wednesday 8 January, 3-5pm
• Bridport, Morrisons, Thursday 9 January, 10am-noon
• Weymouth, Asda, Thursday 9 January, 1-2.30pm
• Portland, Tesco, Thursday 9 January, 3.30-5pm
• Sherborne, Waitrose, Friday 10 January, 10am-noon
• Gillingham, Waitrose, Friday 10 January, 1-3pm
• Swanage, Co-op, Monday 13 January, 10am-noon
• Wareham, Sainsbury’s, Monday 13 January, 1-3pm

What is the precept for?

As you know, every year I’m required by law to set the Force’s budget and consult on the level of the precept – the part of your council tax bill that pays for policing.

This year is unlike any seen before. Because of the General Election’s unusual timing we don’t yet know how much central funding, which provides more than half of the Force’s budget, we’ll be getting from the Government.

I know many of you expect me to take a prudent approach to finances and so, rather than rush this consultation through at a later date, I’m asking for what the Force requires now.

An extra £1.25 a month – based on an average band D property – will deliver a prudent budget and achieve our ambitions of recruiting 50 extra officers to help keep people safe.

My online consultation is open now and I’m asking anyone who lives in Dorset to spend just two minutes taking the survey and letting me know what they think. It’s important I get the views of as many people as possible so please click on the survey here and pass this on to friends and family so they can have a say.

How will the money be spent?

We’ve all heard the national announcements about extra officers. Of course I welcome this, and it does provide a great opportunity for Dorset, but the investment is long overdue and there is still uncertainty as the announcement only covers the first of a three-year recruitment cycle.

Recruiting and training additional officers comes with a significant extra cost, which is not being met by the Government, and it’s essential we make sure the Force can pay for this.

Meanwhile Dorset Police continues to be affected by the impact of nine years of austerity. As well as real-terms cuts to funding, there have been cost increases to UK policing, including nationally agreed salary increases and pension liabilities, while levels of demand have soared.

So, to enable Dorset Police to maintain its current service, invest in extra officers, and ensure they can protect the county’s residents from emerging risks, I am asking for an additional £1.25 a month.

Once again, please complete my survey below and tell me what you think.


www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dorsetalert

Kind regards


Martyn Underhill
Police and Crime Commissioner


Message Sent By
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

December 29, 2019

Would You Pay To Provide Extra Police Officers?

The presents have been unwrapped, the last of the mince pies polished off and those turkey sandwiches are starting to lose their appeal.

I hope you all had a great Christmas. And I hope, if you’re lucky enough to be spending time relaxing with your families before New Year’s Eve, you might have a couple of minutes to complete my survey on police funding in Dorset.

The survey below is asking whether you would pay an extra £1.25 a month to deliver a prudent budget and ensure Dorset Police can recruit extra officers in 2020. Please note - could you kindly use the link below rather than one in an earlier e-mail you may have received.

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dorsetalert

Every year, I’m required by law to set the Force’s budget and consult on the level of the precept – the part of your council tax bill that pays for policing.

This year has been incredibly unusual. Because of the General Election’s unusual timing we don’t yet know how much central funding, which provides more than half of the Force’s budget; we’ll be getting from the Government.

I know many of you expect me to take a prudent approach to finances and so, rather than rush this important piece of engagement through at a later date, I’m asking for what the Force requires now.

An extra £1.25 a month – based on an average band D property – will deliver a prudent budget and achieve our ambitions of recruiting 50 extra officers to help keep people safe.

My online survey is open now and I’m asking anyone who lives in Dorset to spend just two minutes taking the survey and letting me know what they think. It’s important I get the views of as many people as possible so please click on the survey link above and pass this on to friends and family so they can have a say.


What was last year’s precept spent on?


The additional income from the precept has allowed Dorset Police to invest additional resources in some of their capabilities and to modernise aspects of their functions. It is important to emphasise that the majority of the additional income from the precept was needed to meet anticipated increases in existing costs, many of which were decided by the Government.

Over the last couple of years, additional precept monies have allowed the Force to develop the work it does with young people, allowing them to safeguard the Safer Schools provision by enabling ten officers to deliver educational and preventative activities to young people across the county.

Last year also saw the implementation of a Police Cadet Scheme, which has been a long held aspiration for both me and Chief Constable. The scheme, which aims to build the confidence of young people in Dorset, was launched in September with two Cadet Units in Bournemouth, due to the scheme being so heavily over-subscribed. Dorset Police has recruited a Cadet Co-ordinator and are looking forward to extending the Cadet scheme into other communities across Dorset.

The Rural Crime Team (RCT) has been bolstered by an additional Police Officer and capacity has been created to develop the skills of an existing PCSO to support the current RCT PCSO during the current year. This enhancement to the size of the team allows it to engage more fully with Dorset’s rural communities. Further, ways to improve the effectiveness of the team by examining best practice elsewhere in the country is taking place – learning from our peers is essential to bring the best service to our rural communities.

Similarly, the size of the Marine Unit has been increased this year by an additional Police Officer. This officer is based in Neighbourhood Policing and has been heavily involved in both crime prevention and engagement with the marine community whilst working alongside a dedicated Marine Neighbourhood Engagement Officer.

The precept increase in the current financial year has also been used to develop and commission the Bobby Van initiative. The Bobby Van is a mobile unit that provides home security, crime prevention advice and reassurance for vulnerable members of the community and it is about to go live in Dorset. The van operator is able to provide practical help and support to people. The long term plan is for the Safer Dorset Foundation charity to raise sufficient funds each year to fund this service on a sustainable cost neutral basis.

So I hope you will see that your contribution to local policing is being put to good use and we intend to keep going in that direction.


How will the money be spent?


We’ve all heard the national announcements about extra officers. Of course I welcome this, and it does provide a great opportunity for Dorset, but the investment is long overdue and there is still uncertainty as the announcement only covers the first of a three-year recruitment cycle.

Recruiting and training additional officers comes with a significant extra cost, which is not being met by the Government, and it’s essential we make sure the Force can pay for this.

Meanwhile Dorset Police continues to be affected by the impact of nine years of austerity. As well as real-terms cuts to funding, there have been cost increases to UK policing, including nationally agreed salary increases and pension liabilities, while levels of demand have soared.

So, to enable Dorset Police to maintain its current service, invest in extra officers, and ensure they can protect the county’s residents from emerging risks, I am asking for an additional £1.25 a month.
Once again, please complete my survey below and tell me what you think.

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dorsetalert

Kind regards


Martyn Underhill
Police and Crime Commissioner


Message Sent By
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

December 19, 2019

An Open Letter To Dorset Residents from PCC Martyn Underhill

Dear Dorset Constituent,

I am today announcing that I have taken the difficult decision not to stand for re-election in May 2020 for a third term as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset.

Why am I standing down? Well, after 40 years of public service, I now feel that a change of direction is called for in my life. After two terms as the PCC for Dorset I am moving on to pastures new. I am keen to identify new challenges and new opportunities at a local and national level, and to build on my local charity work, and my role as a Lay Canon for the Salisbury Diocese.

There is no doubt about it. My seven years working with Dorset Police has been eventful. I feel I can leave with my head held high. I was the first ever PCC for Dorset, and I took up the role at a critical time for policing. I am proud I kept my independence and was able to work across political parties for the good of the people of Dorset.

Sadly, I also took over the reins at the start of austerity and I oversaw the Force into sustained cuts. I am pleased to now be leading them back out again with the Chief Constable, James Vaughan.

In 2012, the Force’s youngest police officer was 25 years old, as the Force had not recruited since 2008. Austerity was bedding in. PCSO numbers were under threat, as were police officer numbers. The Marine Section was being disbanded. The Victims Bureau, Cadet Scheme, Rural Crime and Drone Teams were all still in the ether, as was the Strategic Alliance (with Devon & Cornwall Police), Cyber Dogs and Community Speed Watch. Mental Health dominated the policing landscape.

Seven years later, with reduced numbers, increased workload, and the Force well on its way to achieving ‘outstanding’ in policing vulnerability, the Force has achieved 10 out of 10 ‘good’ ratings from the HMICFRS Inspectorate. As austerity comes to an end, mental health demand is still there but has changed in nature.

None of us know what the new Government has in store for policing, but I do know I leave Dorset Police as a good organisation that punches above its weight. Having said that, I have six months of office remaining, and there is much more to do. I will continue to focus on the job at hand and will be publishing a review of my second term around April next year. Please look out for it, and in the meanwhile I thank my team for all that they do and you not only for your support over the past seven years, but also for your continued support of Dorset Police.

Kind regards


Martyn Underhill
Police and Crime Commissioner


Message Sent By
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

November 8, 2019

Burglary

A burglary has occurred at a property on Wharncliffe Road iin Highcliffe over the last few days, the offenders gained entry by smashing patio doors at the rear of the property.
A television was stolen but at this stage we are unable to confirm if anything else was taken

Police are also reminding residents to ensure that their property is secure, please ensure that where possible you secure any access to the rear of your property , also check lighting and alarms are in working order
Follow this link to the Dorset Police website for crime prevention advice - https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number I06:185. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Message Sent By
Karl Stark (Dorset Police, PCSO 5994, West Christchurch)

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Last Chance To Have Your Say on Action Fraud

This week is the last chance for Dorset residents to respond to a survey on the Action Fraud system.

The survey - which can be accessed below - closes this week. It is an opportunity for any Dorset residents who have used the national fraud reporting service to give their views to Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill, who will be lobbying the next government for improvements to the service.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5ZTM6RL

Read Martyn Underhill's comments below on why he is carrying out this survey.


I was extremely concerned to read reports in the media about Action Fraud.

Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud reporting service, overseen by the City of London Police, and victims of fraud across the country are told to log their cases with this service.

An undercover investigation by The Times recently found evidence that call handlers working for the organisation were trained to mislead victims of fraud into thinking their cases would be investigated when they knew most would never be looked at again.

Worse, some managers were reported to have privately mocked people who lost money to fraudsters, calling them ‘morons’ and ‘screwballs’.

This was incredibly distressing, both to me, and to the many dedicated officers and staff in Dorset Police who work hard to combat this ever-growing problem.

However, it is far from the first complaint I’ve heard about them. As the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) former lead for fraud, I listened to many heartbreaking stories from people who had lost tens of thousands of pounds – their life savings – only to feel ignored by Action Fraud, while officers working in this area expressed their own frustrations.

Clearly, there’s something going badly wrong in the running of this organisation, and to my mind there has been for a long time.

Now, I plan to do something about it by lobbying the next government for urgent improvements – and I want your help in doing this by responding to my survey, here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5ZTM6RL

I want to find out about Dorset residents’ experiences of Action Fraud, whether they were satisfied with the outcome and the service they received, and if not I want them to tell me what went wrong and what could have been done better.

This will give me a dossier of evidence I can take to ministers calling for improvements, rather than relying on anecdotal accounts.

It’s vitally important we get this right. Nationally, fraud is a problem of epidemic proportions, accounting for more than a third of all crime across England and Wales last year.

The service itself is overseen by the City Of London Police, but most of the call handling is outsourced to a private company called Concentrix.

They conducted their own investigation following The Times’ report, and some staff members were suspended, but serious questions need to be asked about them – including whether an American company should even have been involved in this work at all.

Ultimately, like many aspects of policing, it comes down to funding. With fraud being such a huge and rapidly growing area, should the Home Office be putting more resources into the national response and keeping a closer eye on how it’s managed?

These are all questions that need looking at, but first I need your help in responding to my survey.
Remember, this isn’t about complaining to Dorset Police or getting your case investigated – I can’t do either of those things in this space. What I can do is listen and take this to the government so I can tell ministers: “This is how many members of the public in Dorset feel let down by Action Fraud, what are you going to do about it?”

I need to know what experiences you’ve had, both good and bad, so I can lobby the government and try to make this better for everyone.

Again, please access the survey here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5ZTM6RL

Martyn Underhill
Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset


Message Sent By
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

November 1, 2019

Hang Up on Brexit Fraudsters

Hang up on fraudsters -
Don’t get caught out by Brexit scammers: If someone unexpectedly phones you claiming to be from a ‘Brexit team’, before asking for bank details to arrange advance payments for medications or other items, don’t be fooled. Hang up and make enquiries in your own time to check they are who they say.

Please report any suspicious incidents online here www.dorset.police.uk
via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk,
or by calling 101.


Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)


October 18, 2019

Dorset Police Recruiting 50 New Police Officers

Dorset Police to receive an extra 50 officers in year one of Operation Uplift programme

It has been announced that the recruitment target for Dorset Police is 50 new officers as part of year one in the 6,000 national Operation Uplift scheme.
This figure will be in addition to the existing planned recruitment for officers that Dorset Police already had in place.
On Tuesday 8 October 2019 the National Policing Board announced how year one of the Government’s officer uplift programme would be allocated across all of the forces in England and Wales.
The uplift numbers for both year two and year three of the scheme are yet to be confirmed.
Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “This is a good start and it will bring a welcome relief to our stretched workforce.
“These much needed extra officers are great news for the communities that we serve in Dorset. I would like to reassure them that the new officers will be carefully invested for maximum effect and we have already developed firm plans to recruit these officers.
“The extra officers will assist the Force in moving from good to outstanding in the way we deliver services.”
For anyone that would be interested in a career in the Dorset Police family please visit www.dorset.police.uk/recruitment/.


Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)


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Opportunity To Share Your Views on Policing In Dorset

A unique chance to share your views on policing in Dorset

Dorset Police has launched ‘Your Dorset. Your Police. Your View.’ – a new way to make your views heard to help shape the county’s policing in the future.

On 14 October 2019, Dorset Police launched an online priority setter to give the public the opportunity to put themselves in the Chief Constable’s shoes and decide what is most important to them.

Through a simple slider tool people will be able to make decisions about the resourcing of police priorities in Dorset. The aim is to increase people’s knowledge of the complexity of the work carried out by Dorset Police. The slider will show the potential impact that increasing (or decreasing) resources in any one area could have on the service provided across Dorset.

This information will help to inform the Chief Constable in shaping how the Force allocates its resources in the future.

‘Your Dorset. Your Police. Your View’ will be separated into two stages over the next four months. Each stage will allow Dorset residents to consider on two separate themes that are key to how the county is policed.

Activities during each stage will provide in-depth information about key themes. This will give the public a better understanding to accurately share their views about what is most important to them, and how the police should be approaching challenges in that area.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “The last few years have seen an unprecedented scale of change in policing. Every police force has needed to make large financial savings, while modernising and continuing to deliver essential policing services.

“Four years ago we asked the public for their views on our priorities. The findings from that piece of work have helped to shape the Force we are today.

“Through ‘Your Dorset. Your Police. Your View’ we are once again giving you the opportunity to learn more about the challenges and complexities of modern policing. We also want to know what is most important to you - so you can tell us how Dorset Police can continue to best meet your needs, and keep you safe in the future.

“I would urge everyone who lives, works or visits Dorset to take a look at the website and to take part.

To cast your decisions go to https://dp.budgetsimulator.com/


Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)

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