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Neighbourhood Alert Reports

These reports are as received from the Police Cooordinators, and not edited by me


May 22, 2024


CCTV appeal following theft of handbag in Christchurch


Officers investigating the theft of a handbag in Christchurch are issuing CCTV images of a woman they would like to identify.

It is reported that at around 4.10pm on Sunday 5 May 2024 a handbag was stolen from the staff office of the King’s Arms Hotel in Castle Street.

The handbag contained a pair of trainers, headphones and cash.

Police Community Support Investigator Mike Cannings, of Bournemouth police, said: “An investigation is underway to try and recover the victim’s property.

“As part of my enquiries, I have obtained CCTV images of a woman I would like to identify and I would ask anyone with information regarding her identity to please come forward.”


View images here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/98505892-b016-ef11-9d65-6045bdd24049


Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240067132.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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When to report ASB to BCP Council not Dorset Police

Not sure when to report ASB (anti social behaviour) to BCP rather than Dorset Police?

* You can contact the council to discuss concerns about ASB: asbteam@bcpcouncil.gov.uk;

* What to do if you find a needle or syringe on the ground:
bcpcouncil.gov.uk/discardedneedles - BCP Council will then remove it if on council-owned land -
Do not: • put yourself or others at risk • hide it • separate the needle from the syringe • put the cap back on the needle • play with the needle or syringe • put in a dustbin, down a drain, down the loo or in a litter bin;

* Issues of an environmental nature, for example: fly tipping, dog control/fouling, bins, should be reported to the council: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/report;

* Noise complaints should be reported to BCP Council:
online.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/services/?returnurl=nuisance
;
BCP Council Customer Services: 01202 123456





Message Sent By:
Alyson Moore
(Dorset Police & NHWN, Resilient Community Co-ordinator, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole)





May 18, 2024


Update in relation to fatal collision in Christchurch


A woman is due to appear in court in connection with a fatal road traffic collision in Christchurch.

Dorset Police received a report at 8.50am on Friday 30 September 2022 of a collision involving a grey Suzuki Swift and a black Kawasaki motorbike in Barrack Road, at the junction with Avenue Road.

Very sadly, the rider of the motorbike - a man aged in his 40s from Bournemouth - was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following a detailed investigation by the officers from the Roads Policing Team, a 27-year-old Bournemouth woman has been issued a postal requisition to appear at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Friday 17 May 2024 for an offence of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Appeal for information following theft of horse trailer in Christchurch


Officers investigating the theft of a horse trailer in Christchurch are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to come forward.

It is reported that at around 9pm on Tuesday 7 May 2024 a silver Ifor Williams HB511 horse trailer was stolen from a property in the Bockhampton area. The horse trailer contained equine rugs and tack items, large slabs of dried oak wood and a flat-pack chicken run.

It is reported that the horse trailer was last seen being towed in the direction of the Bransgore area.

Police Constable Kate Schofield, of the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, said: “I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the horse trailer being towed around the relevant time in the Bockhampton and Bransgore areas to please contact us.

“I am reaching out to residents or motorists driving in those areas to please check their home CCTV cameras and dashcams to see if they have captured anything of relevance.

“I would also like to hear from anyone who has witnessed the above items being offered for sale in suspicious circumstances.”


Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240070048. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.

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Attachments
952df0ab-b912-ef11-9d64-6045bdd24049.jpg




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Dorset Police donate seized cars to Bournemouth and Poole College


Dorset Police has donated 10 unclaimed cars to staff and students of Bournemouth and Poole College to help them with their automotive studies.

Bournemouth and Poole College contacted Dorset Police earlier this year to explore the possibility of utilising recovered cars to enhance the learning experience of automotive students.

Road Casualty Reduction Officers at Dorset Police identified 10 vehicles, that were seized for various reasons and never re-claimed, to donate to the automotive department at Bournemouth and Poole College.

On Friday 3 May 2024, these cars - with a range of specifications - were delivered to the college, including a VW Touran, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Tuscan, Toyota Avensis, Audi A4, and a Chevrolet Tacuma.

Inspector Joe Wheable of the Roads Policing Team said: “These vehicles have been seized for a number of reasons, such as no license or no insurance.

“Working in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College allows us to give the vehicles a new purpose and contributes to a better learning experience for automotive students.

“At Dorset Police, we’re dedicated to working with young drivers and providing essential road safety education. This initiative is a fantastic opportunity for the team to build and strengthen relationships with young drivers and we’re looking forward to continuing this valuable work.”

James Hills, Director of Learning for Engineering at Bournemouth & Poole College, said: “It’s really good for the college to partner with Dorset Police as our students get both the variety of vehicles needed to train on and also crucial training links with the police to help keep them safe on the road in their own vehicles.

“This partnership will help build our students curriculum to give them the best opportunities for their futures.”

Dorset Police recover up to 4,000 vehicles each year and the introduction of this initiative will allow the force to re-direct cars from the scrap heap to the classroom.

The Road Casualty Reduction team will continue to collaborate with Bournemouth and Poole College and are currently in discussions to explore further opportunities.





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Police and partners work hard to educate the public on the dangers of knife carrying

Dorset Police is once again taking part in a national campaign, raising awareness around knife carrying and knife crime, including enhanced enforcement, engagement and education.

The campaign, led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), will run from Monday 13 May 2024 to Sunday 19 May 2024.

A key focus of the week will be to raise awareness around the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife. Some people think they will be safer if they carry a knife, when actually they may be putting themselves in more danger and may even end up being injured by their own knife.

During the week, various education activities will be taking place to raise awareness around knife crime and knife carrying, including the use of knife arches in schools, colleges and public spaces.

Test purchases of knives will be taking place with local retailers. The Force will be engaging with retailers, ensuring they are aware of who they are selling knives to and confirm they are following the appropriate safety guidelines for legal selling and distribution.

Knife surrender bins will also be provided at Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth Police Stations during the week of activity. Those who carry knives are encouraged to surrender them without question or repercussions from police, to help keep themselves and others safe. To find the address and opening hours of these police stations, please go to dorset.police.uk/PEO.

This national campaign also falls within the Safer BCP eight weeks of action against knife crime campaign, taking place in memory of Cameron Hamilton and Tom Roberts who were both victims of knife crime and tragically lost their lives in Bournemouth. Various activities are taking place across the county until 15 June 2024 which are being supported by Dorset Police.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/4b065620-2a11-ef11-9d64-6045bdd24049


If you have any information or concerns about someone carrying a knife, please report it to Dorset Police online via the website dorset.police.uk/tua.

You can also report any information anonymously at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111. Your information could help save a life.

Retailers can visit this website for guidance on selling knives: www.nbcc.police.uk/knifeguidance







Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Fraudsters Pushing Fake Diet Pills with 'Dragons' Den' Endorsement Scam


Going back to the 1800’s it was travelling snake oil salesmen pedalling fake treatments. Today Dorset Police are warning the public about a new phishing scam where fraudsters are sending emails promoting fake "clinically proven" diet pills endorsed by stars of the TV show Dragons' Den.

The scam begins with an email with a subject line like "Summer is almost here, jump start your weight loss now." The email contains before and after photos claiming users can lose "15-20 pounds in a month" with the pills. It creates a false sense of urgency by stating supplies are limited.

If you click the link in the email, you are taken to a spoofed website mocked up to look like the Daily Mail. A fake article claims a Dragons' Den contestant secured investment from all five Dragons for their revolutionary diet pill. The article links out to an order form where you are asked to enter payment details to purchase the bogus weight loss supplements. However, any money submitted goes straight to the scammers.

Dorset Police also report a spike in emails pushing sham weight loss supplements derived from the diabetes drug Ozempic, using language like "unlock the power of Ozempic" to mislead victims. Dorset Police urge the public to be cautious of any unsolicited emails selling weight loss products, especially those using celebrity endorsements, free trial offers, or high-pressure limited supply tactics. Do not open links or enter personal information.

To avoid falling victim, verify any health product claims with legitimate sources before purchasing. Be wary of products promising miraculously fast results and remember it it seems to good to be true then it is.


The Snake Oil Shuffle


In dusty towns of old frontier, They came with remedies to sell.
Tonics, elixirs, magic cures -
The snake oil salesmen spun their spell.


With silver tongues and hollow claims
They promised health in bottled lies.
The desperate drank their charlatan brews,
While snake oil fortunes grew in size.


Though horse and wagon faded away
Their hustler's spirit never died.
In digital seas, they prowl today -
Deceit has just been digitised.


Through spam and scam, the game's the same
Get rich by preying on our hopes.
No longer snakes, but diet fads -
The modern snake oil simply mopes.


With Photoshopped physiques and fake reviews,
They promise slimming shortcuts galore.
But part with cash for "miracle" pills?
You're simply snake oil'd once more.


From carnival barker to phishing mail,
The medicine shows have just gone online.
The lure of quick results still sells,
If you let greed make reason blind.


So guard your wealth from their false schemes,
And trust in healthful, honest ways.
The snake oil's slick, but you'll stay slick
By pressing "delete" to phishing email.



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)

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Investment Fraud & a new Self Help Tool Centre


Dear resident,

Investments are a favourite trick used by fraudsters to steal your money … either funds you’ve put aside ‘for a rainy day’ or life savings to be used for a dream holiday or your retirement.

Between 2020 and the end of 2023, nearly 100,000 people in the UK fell victim to investment scams, totalling £2.6 billion or £13 million every week. These figures refer only to reported scams, so are likely to be considerably higher.

To learn how to invest wisely and avoid being a victim in this way read the latest tips and advice from Get Safe Online, either in the leaflet attached or in the below link:

https://www.getsafeonline.org/investments/

Finally, Get Safe Online has this week launched a new ‘Self Help Tool Centre’ - nine free, easy-to-use to use tools to help keep you and your family safe, secure and confident when using the internet. It can be accessed here:

https://www.getsafeonline.org/selfhelpcentre/

We hope you find these useful.

With kind regards

The Get Safe Online team

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Attachments
May24_Investment_Leaflet.pdf






Message Sent By:
et Safe Online





May 11, 2024


WhatsApp group chats are targeted by fraudsters

WhatsApp group chat members are being warned they could be targeted by criminals, as Action Fraud reveals it has received 636 reports from victims of the messaging app this year.


The fraud often begins when a member of the group receives a WhatsApp audio call from the fraudster, pretending or claiming to be another member of the group. This is done to gain the individual’s trust, and often the scammer will use a false profile picture and/or display name, so at first glance it would appear to be a genuine member of the group.

The fraudster will tell the victim they are sending them a one-time passcode which will allow them to join an upcoming video call for group members. The criminal then asks the victim to share this passcode with them so they can be “registered” for the video call.

In reality, the criminal is asking for a registration code to register the victim’s WhatsApp account to a new device so they can take over their account.

Once the fraudster has access to the victim’s WhatsApp account, they will enable two-step verification which makes it impossible for the victim to regain access their account. Other members of the group, or friends and family in the victim’s contacts, will then be messaged asking them to transfer money urgently as they are in desperate need of help.


How to secure your WhatsApp account:


Set up two-step verification (2SV) to give an extra layer of protection to your account. Tap Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable.

CALL. If a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, always call the person outside of WhatsApp to confirm their identity.

Report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp. Press and hold on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.


If you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
In Scotland, victims of fraud and cybercrime should report to Police Scotland on 101.


Find out how to protect yourself from fraud: https://stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk






Message Sent By:
Action Fraud
(Action Fraud, Administrator, National)





May 6, 2024


David Sidwick confirmed as Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner.


David Sidwick has been confirmed as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.

The declaration was made today (Saturday May 4) by Graham Farrant, Police Area Returning Officer, following Police and Crime Commissioner elections on May 2.

David Sidwick will take up office as Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday May 9.

Dorset Police Chief Constable Amanda Pearson said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to David Sidwick in being re-elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.

“We look forward to continuing the progressive and productive relationship we have developed in the last three years and will be ready to assist in the further delivery of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.”

Graham Farrant, Returning Officer for the Dorset Police Crime Commissioner election and Chief Executive of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) Council, said:

“On behalf of BCP Council, I would like to extend my congratulations to David Sidwick on their success in the Dorset Police Crime Commissioner election.

“BCP Council looks forward to working alongside David Sidwick as we strive to deliver a safer BCP area and wider Dorset for all our residents, businesses and visitors.”




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





May 5, 2024


Dorset Police warn of fraudsters claiming to be banks or police officers


Police are urging residents in Dorset to take extra precautions, following a flurry of telephone scams.

Dorset Police received several reports of suspected courier fraud between 23 April and 30 April 2024.

Courier fraud typically sees a victim receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be a police officer or bank. The caller may be able to confirm some basic details about the victim such as their full name and address.

Callers tell the victim that their account has been subject to fraudulent activity and will apply pressure to convince the victim to hand over their bank details or withdraw cash, which may be passed on to a ‘courier’ who will collect the cash from their home.

Recent reports received by Dorset Police show that victims have received telephone calls from people claiming to be their bank or police officers, encouraging the victims to withdraw or transfer large sums of money for ‘safe-keeping’ following ‘detected fraudulent activity’ on their account.

Damian Cranny, Fraud Protect Officer at Dorset Police (pictured), said: “People committing courier fraud typically target the elderly or vulnerable people who may live alone or suffer from age-related illnesses.

“Courier fraud can seem convincing, and callers often reference personal details to make them seem legitimate. Police officers will never ask you to make a payment or purchase, withdraw or transfer money, or ask for your bank details.

“These incidents have a huge impact on victims, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to warn residents about signs of courier fraud to prevent further cases in Dorset.”

Dorset Police has shared advice for anyone who suspects a call may be fraudulent:
Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN.
Neither the police nor the banks will send a courier to collect money from you.
If you're asked to telephone a bank, always make the call on a different phone to the one you were contacted on.
Do not rush into complying to the scammers demands.
If you have already given your bank details over the phone or handed your card details to a courier, call your bank straight away to let them know and request that they cancel the card.

The Fraud Protect team are keen for residents to share advice with friends and members of their family and local community to ensure they are aware of these scams and feel confident spotting the warning signs.

If you suspect you may have been a victim of courier fraud, report the incident to Action Fraud UK online: www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phone 0300 123 2040.


For more information about fraud, click here.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Courier Fraud Scammers Posing as Bank or Police.


Latest reports indicate that criminals are contacting people saying that the victim's bank card has been compromised and asking if they have they been in a certain shop.


They then state that their bank is under investigation and that staff are handing out counterfeit money. They get the victim to withdraw money for someone to collect from their home as part of the investigation.

Please pass this alert onto as many people as you know and help a vulnerable victim by spreading the word. A copy is attached in case you are able to print and display.


Attachments
Courier Fraud.png

If you suspect you may have been a victim of courier fraud, report the incident to Action Fraud UK online: www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phone 0300 123 2040.




Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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Home Improvement Scams




www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phone 0300 123 2040




Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)





May 2, 2024


Appeal to locate owners of recovered bikes in Christchurch


Officers who recovered a number of suspected stolen bikes in Christchurch are issuing an appeal in a bid to reunite them with their owners.


On Tuesday 23 April 2024, officers attended an address in the Walkford area of the town and recovered 25 bicycles which are suspected to have been stolen.

The bicycles that were recovered include:

White and blue Carrera Vengeance bike
Black Carrera Vengeance bike
Black Trek Evo EX8 bike
Black Forme Curbar bike
Red Voodoo bike
Grey Calibre Point bike
Black and white Specialized Hardrock bike
Black CUBE bike
Yellow Carrera Vengeance bike
Green TREK Three series bikes
Black and orange Voodoo Bizango bike
Red Carrera Kraken bike
Black and blue Carrera Titan bike
Grey and red Specialized Hardrock bike
Black Carrera Kraken bike
Blue Carrera bike
Red Raleigh Chopper
Red Raleigh Chopper
Blue Ridgeback bike
Black Raleigh AT40 bike
Grey and green Saracen Tufftrax bike
Blue Raleigh Train bike
Blue Frame for a Claud Butler 1.3 Trailridge bike
Silver AM2 bike


A 52-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy from Christchurch have been arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. They have been released on police bail as the investigation continues.

Police Constable Luke Booth, of Dorset Police, said: “I am really keen to hear from anyone who believes they have had a bike matching one of the descriptions given stolen recently.

“If you suspect one of the recovered bikes is yours, please get in touch with a full description of the item, including serial number and any other distinguishing marks. If the item matches one we have recovered, we will be in touch."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email at scit@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240052077.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)





April 28, 2024


Do you know how to spot a fraudster?


Dorset Police have received reports of suspected fraudulent activity.


If you receive a request to share personal or financial information, remember that your bank or the police will never:

• Ask you to transfer money out of your account
• Send someone to your home to collect cash, cards, PIN numbers or cheque books
• Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
• Call to ask for a PIN or banking password

To learn more about fraud, and how to protect yourself, visit: https://stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk/


If you suspect you may have been the victim of a scam or fraudulent activity, report it to Action Fraud online www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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"Tell The Fraudsters to Get Knitted!!" campaign:

Dear Local Knitting and Craft Groups,


We are launching an exciting new community initiative called "Tell The Fraudsters to Get Knitted!!" to raise awareness about common fraud schemes that target vulnerable populations like the elderly and those with dementia.

For this campaign, we are asking knitters, crocheters, and other crafters to create knitted, crocheted or other craft friendly police officer figures with this important message: "The police and banks will never ask for your bank details and never to transfer or withdraw your money."

You can then donate these crafted police officers to elderly residential homes, dementia care facilities, and other places where they can serve as a warm reminder by their phones to be cautious about providing personal financial information. Not only will this allow you to use your creative talents for a great cause, but it's also a chance to spend time crafting something meaningful that can make a real difference in protecting those most at risk of being defrauded.

If your group would like to get involved, please let us know! The more crafted police officers we can distribute to sit by people’s phones as a reminder, the more people we can help protect from devastating financial fraud. Send you photos of your officers with your name/name of group and where you have donated it to. It can be to someone you know or a home to fraudprotect@dorset.pnn.police.uk.


Thank you for considering being a part of this important community campaign.


KNITTING PATTERNS LINK



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)





April 24, 2024


National Stalking Awareness Week: 22-26 April


Dorset Police is supporting National Stalking Awareness Week 2024 with a stalking awareness campaign on radio and online.


From 22 April you will hear advertisements on the Greatest Hits digital radio network in Dorset which raise awareness of the “F.O.U.R.” mnemonic which you can use to identify stalking.

Stalking is a pattern of Fixated, Obsessed, Unwanted and Repeated behaviour that can escalate to leave you feeling anxious or distressed, even though on their own the actions may seem insignificant.

You should record what’s happened and report it before it escalates. You don’t have to be threatened with violence to be a victim of stalking.

The campaign also features a video, filmed in the style of a trailer for a romantic comedy film or “romcom”, which warns against normalising what at first appear to be insignificant acts. In the video these seemingly small, seemingly harmless gestures escalate to something far more sinister…because life isn’t like the movies. You can watch and share the video from the Dorset Police You Tube channel at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlOZqbTIik&t=17s

The video link will be further promoted on the Greatest Hits digital network.

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Deakin from the Dorset Police Public Protection Unit said: “We hope that our video, online and radio campaign will provide some recognisable examples of stalking behaviours so that you, or the family or friends of someone who has an abusive ex-partner, can recognise the signs at the earliest opportunity so that it can be reported to the police.”

“Remember the F.O.U.R. mnemonic. If what you are experiencing or seeing happen to someone else fits this pattern, it’s stalking."

Dorset Police can investigate the stalker and support and protect victims. Powers include the use of a Stalking Protection Order, up to and including arresting and charging an offender. Offenders do not need to have committed an act of violence to end up in court, and should not be under any illusions that their obessesive behaviour is in any way romantic or reciprocated by the victim.

You can also be referred to an Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC), who is not a police officer, and who can provide practical and emotional support alongside any investigation and subsequent legal proceedings if the person is charged. The ISAC for Dorset is provided by Paragon. For further information and to make a referral please go to https://paragonteam.org.uk/teams/dorset or call 0800 032 5204

Find out more about stalking and harassment and how to report it to the police on our website: www.dorset.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/sh/stalking-harassment

You can also get advice from the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 and get help and support from the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service here www.paladinservice.co.uk/get-support

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers an online personal assessment tool to help victims identify stalking, which you can find at this link www.suzylamplugh.org/am-i-being-stalked-tool and the Alice Ruggles Trust provides guidance on stalking, including information about phone hacking, here: https://alicerugglestrust.org/aware




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Calling All Storybook Scribes! Last Chance to Win Big in Dorset Police Fairy-Tale Fraud Fest


Ye writers of Dorset, lend me your quills! With just one week left until the deadline, the race is on to submit your fairy-tale masterpieces warning of fraudsters' wicked ways. The judges have been spellbound by the creativity already on display, but there's still time to prove your literary prowess and claim glory (and Amazon riches!)

For those wise wanderers who have yet to spread ink upon the page, here's a refresher on the stakes: Five brave winners, one from each age category, shall receive a £100 Amazon gift voucher to treat themselves to whatever tomes or treasures they desire. But that's not all! The judges will also crown one Grand Champion whose work reigns supreme, securing an additional £100 prize.

Visit https://competition.mysaferdorset.com/ to review the full guidelines, from permitted fairy-tale inspirations to word count restrictions. But don't dally, ye bards! The clock is ticking, and all entries must find their way to us before the stroke of midnight on 30th April 2024.

Whether you're a seasoned scribe or a blossoming writer, your unique voice and perspective could make all the difference in raising awareness of con-artists' trickery through the timeless tales we cherish. Will your happily ever after include Amazon's vast rewards? There's only one way to find out!

Squash those pencils and prepare your pixie dust - the judges await your spellbinding sagas. The quest to become the ultimate Fairy-tale Fraud Fest Champion ends in just one week's time!



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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UPDATE - MARINE MARKING EQUIPMENT EVENT


PLEASE SEE UPDATED LOCATION FOR THIS EVENT


As part of the Harbour Watch initiative Dorset Police will be holding a MARINE EQUIPMENT MARKING EVENT for all water-based craft and equipment including paddleboards / inflatables / kayaks / motors etc

On: Sunday, 28th April 2024

Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm

Location: Christchurch Sailing Club, The Quay, Christchurch, BH23 1BY




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police - Resilient Communities






April 22, 2024


£6.7 million lost to Ticket Fraud in 2023


New data released today by Action Fraud reveals £6.7 million was lost to ticket fraud last year. https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ticketfraud

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service, has launched a ticket fraud awareness campaign, warning people to be alert to fraudsters trying to catch out people planning for popular and sold-out events. Last year more than 8,700 people reported they had been a victim ticket fraud, with a total of £6.7 million lost. This works out to an average loss of £772 per victim.


How to protect yourself from ticket fraud:
Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.

Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal give you a better chance of recovering the money if you become a victim of fraud.

The password you use for your email account, as well as any other accounts you use to purchase tickets, should be different from all your other passwords. Use three random words to create a strong and memorable password,
and enable 2-step verification (2SV).

Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets.

Is the vendor a member of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR)? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complaints. For more information visit star.org.uk/buy_safe.


Report ticket fraud

If you feel at all suspicious, report the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk. For more advice on how to stay secure online, please visit cyberaware.gov.uk.


Find out how to protect yourself from fraud: https://stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk


If you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, victims of fraud and cybercrime should report to Police Scotland on 101.





Message Sent By:
Action Fraud
(Action Fraud, Administrator, National)



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Image appeal following reported frauds in Bournemouth and Poole


Officers investigating a series of reported frauds involving items sold through Facebook in the Bournemouth and Poole area are issuing images of a man they would like to identify.


Three incidents are under investigation, which were reported to have occurred on Sunday 7 April 2024.

It was reported on each occasion the victims had advertised items, such as games consoles and cameras, for sale on Facebook and a man arrived at their address to purchase them. He showed them what appeared to be a banking transaction on his mobile phone, claiming it may take up to two hours for the funds to clear in the victim’s account.

The man then left with the goods and payment was never received.

Police Constable Emily Dilke, of Bournemouth police, said: “We are conducting a number of enquiries into these reports, and I am issuing images of a man we would like to identify as part of our investigation.

View images here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/11719bec-ccfb-ee11-9d64-6045bdd24049

“I would urge anyone who recognises him to please contact us.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind members of the public to remain vigilant when purchasing items online. Always check and be completely satisfied the money is in your bank before you hand over goods – genuine buyers will accept that this is the correct practice.”


Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240052963.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)






April 17, 2024


Beware of Scammers Posing as Bank or Police: Protect Your Money!


Dorset Police has received an increase in reports of people being contacted by scammers posing as their bank or the police. These criminals claim the victim's bank account has been compromised and they need to urgently transfer their money to a "safe account."

If you receive a call like this, do not provide any of your bank details. The police and legitimate banks will never ask you to transfer money or share your account information over the phone. The fraudsters create a sense of urgency and fear of losing your money. Remember, Stop-Think-Fraud and follow these steps:


Hang up the call immediately.

Wait at least 1 full minute before taking any further action.

Dial 159 to reach your bank's fraud department directly.

Report the incident to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Staying vigilant and following these steps can help protect you from becoming a victim of this distressing scam. Do not let the criminals manipulate you - keep your money safe by refusing to engage and contacting your bank securely.



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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Please complete our Insights Survey 2024!


It's that time of year, when we ask for your time to fill in our annual Insights Survey 2024 and share your anonymous feedback with us. The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete, and will be invaluable in helping us understand what our supporters, members and volunteers enjoy about being part of Neighbourhood Watch, and how we can continue to improve the way we support our members and volunteers.

This survey is anonymous, and so we encourage your honest and constructive feedback. At the end, you can opt-in to a prize draw to win one of four £25 Amazon vouchers, if you wish.


Click here to complete the Insights Survey 2024.


The Insights Survey will close on Friday 3rd May 2024. Thank you in advance for your helpful feedback!



Message Sent By:
Ruby Smart
(Neighbourhood Watch Network, Head of Communications and Digital, National)






April 5, 2024


One in Five Children Engaged in Illegal Cyber Activities


A startling new survey has found that 20% of children aged 10-16 in the UK are engaging in cyber activities that violate the Computer Misuse Act. For children who regularly play online games, that figure jumps to 25%.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is sounding the alarm and calling on parents and teachers to educate young people on the serious legal consequences of unauthorized computer hacking and access. Even seemingly minor offenses like using someone else's gaming account without permission or attempting to access protected servers can lead to arrests, criminal records, device confiscation, school expulsion, and lasting impacts on future careers and travel.

"Many young people are getting involved in cyber crime without realising they are breaking the law," said Paul Foster, NCA Deputy Director and Head of the National Cyber Crime Unit. "Our message is simple - don't play games with your future."

Examples of low-level offenses include downloading hacking software, making purchases with someone else's saved payment details, and participating in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks while gaming online. While often unintentional, these actions violate the Computer Misuse Act and can quickly escalate into more sophisticated cyber crimes.

The NCA's cyber education initiative, Cyber Choices, provides resources to help steer youth away from a path of cyber crime and toward ethical computing skills that are highly in demand across many lucrative career fields in the UK and globally.

The agency has launched a 3-week campaign featuring videos to raise awareness. By intervening early, they hope to prevent a new generation from jeopardising their futures through cybercrime. For more information and access to the videos click this link or visit the NCA website.




Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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April 5, 2024

Rural Crime Team supports ‘Op Recall’ to help prevent livestock attacks in Dorset


Between 27 March and 2 April, Dorset Police supported Op Recall - a national operation launched by Cheshire Police, the RSPCA and Naturewatch Foundation which aims to raise awareness of the impact of livestock worrying, and prevent future livestock attacks.

Between 2018 and 2022, Dorset Police received 240 reports of livestock worrying offences, which saw many sheep killed or injured.

A report from the National Farmers’ Union released in February 2024, confirmed that dog attacks on livestock throughout the UK were estimated to cost £2.4 million last year, up nearly 30% compared to the previous year. The report stated that South West region was the worst-hit region, with attacks estimated to have cost £359,000.

To raise awareness about the consequences of livestock attacks, Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team went out across the county, engaged with the public and provided advice on how to prevent and reduce livestock attacks.

Sgt. Natalie Skinner, of the Rural Crime Team at Dorset Police, said: “Whilst most dog owners are responsible, we know that accidents can happen, and even the most obedient dogs can get distracted and excited by grazing animals, which may lead to an attack.

“Livestock worrying can have serious consequences so, if you’re going to be walking your dog in an open space, please make sure your dog is under effective control, especially around livestock.”

Livestock worrying is a criminal offence. Dog owners are reminded that farmers have the right to take appropriate action to protect their livestock from attacks.

If your dog is involved in an attack, please report it to the police immediately so that the animals can get the medical attention they need. It is likely that the incident can then be resolved out of court.

Information relating to attacks on livestock that are not currently happening should be reported to the police online www.dorset.police.uk or by calling 101. Anonymous information can also be provided to CrimeStoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111.
Always call 999 in an emergency.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)





April 6, 2024


Force celebrates increase in applications for Stop and Search Public Scrutiny Panels


Dorset Police has seen an increase in applications for its Stop and Search Public Scrutiny Panels and is calling on more people to apply to help drive forward improvements.

The panels are held every three months and have seen an ongoing rise in applications from a diverse range of ages, genders and ethnicities.

The panels are designed to help the Force make improvements in the way that these powers are used and conducted. They are made up of representatives from local communities who are asked to watch Body Worn Video footage of real-life stop and search interactions and review the data to provide the Force with honest feedback on how it is using stop and search and use of force powers.

The panel members work with Dorset Police, and other community oversight groups, to help build and maintain trust and confidence with our local communities to ensure that we are using policing powers legitimately.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/759d1d34-73f2-ee11-9d62-6045bdd24049

Help us make improvements to how we use stop and search and use of force powers by signing up today ??

Email: StopSearchPublicScrutinyPanel@dorset.pnn.police.uk, or register online: https://forms.office.com/e/vsXG6Z2QJQ

You can read the results from previous meetings by following this link?:
https://www.dorset.police.uk/police-forces/dorset-police/areas/stats-and-data/stats-and-data/stop-and-search-scrutiny-panel/



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)





April 4, 2024

Dorset Police put the spotlight on ASB and violent crime hotspots


Residents and visitors to locations across the county will notice an enhanced police presence in areas experiencing anti-social behaviour (ASB) and serious violence thanks to additional funding.

The Government launched their Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan in 2023 with tools including hotspot policing. Evidence shows that taking a ‘hotspot’ approach, where uniformed police spend time at problem areas on a regular basis, reduces levels of crime.

This new funding comes with guidance about the types of crimes that should be used to identify areas to target. These include inconsiderate and repeated nuisance behaviours like street drinking and vehicle related ASB. Prevention is also part of hotspot policing with officers looking for behaviours that could escalate into serious violence and stopping it from happening.

Dorset Police has used crime data from the last few years to identify places where these issues have been reported regularly so that patrols can be targeted precisely. The additional funding means that the Force can intensify ongoing work to tackle ASB and serious violence. This includes initiatives such as 100 Days of Summer in Weymouth and Op Fireglow which targets ASB in Bournemouth Lower Gardens.

Chief Superintendent Heather Dixey said: “Dorset Police is committed to creating and maintaining a safe county for everyone. However, these dedicated patrols are just one part of the equation to reducing crime in the hotspots. Reports from the public help us to understand what and where crime is happening in our communities – if we don’t know about it, we can’t put a stop to it. Please continue to make reports to the police because your reports will directly influence the work that we do.

“Our officers will use dispersal powers to direct people away from hotspots if they act in an anti-social manner. Repeated ASB by individuals may lead to further action including Community Protection Notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders."

Hotspot policing patrols began on Tuesday 2 April in areas including Weymouth, Bournemouth and Christchurch.


Find your neighbourhood policing team and discover upcoming community contact point events in your area where you can speak with officers by visiting www.dorset.police.uk/area/your-area/.


Visit www.dorset.police.uk to report crime or call 101. If a crime is in progress or anyone is in danger, dial 999.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




March 29, 2024

Your Voice Matters - Take Part


Dear Resident,

This Dorset Alert message has been sent on behalf of your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

One of the roles of our local Neighbourhood Policing Teams is to work towards community priorities, the community inform us about.

To set our priorities we look at our police systems, use our local knowledge and invite the public to complete a short survey.

Whilst each option on the survey is important, and the teams work towards tackling all the options, it is important to see what the local communities would select as their top three.

Our priorities are due to be updated during April, and the survey will close on Monday 1st April 2024, for this set of priorities. If you would like to feed into our local priorities for your area, you can do so by following the link…


Click Here To Take Part


Thank you



Message Sent By:
Dom Smith
(Dorset Police, NEO 5390, Bournemouth Christchurch Poole)





March 16, 2024

Collaborative action impacts drugs gangs across the South West


More than £800,000 worth of drugs and 267 weapons have been taken off the streets in the seventh iteration of an initiative designed to create a ‘ring of steel’ around the South West.

A collaboration between police forces in Dorset, Devon & Cornwall, Avon & Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, their respective Police and Crime Commissioners, British Transport Police, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU), and the charity Crimestoppers, Operation Scorpion focuses on pooling resources to combat drug supply in the region to make the South West a hostile environment for drugs.

For the full article please see the Dorset Police website here.




Message Sent By:
Linzi Berryman
(Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon & Cornwall Alert Coordinator, Dorset)



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OPERATION SCORPION 7: SMASHING THE GANGS AND PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE


Last week, the seventh phase of Operation Scorpion, the drugs operation which involves all five south west Police and Crime Commissioners, their respective police forces, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and other key partners including British Transport Police, took place across the region.

The latest iteration of this operation, which aims to make the region a hostile environment for illegal drugs, concentrated on drug supply and the associated harms. The three aims for this phase were:

To demonstrate a ‘Ring of Steel’ around the south west, making it clear that drug gangs and associated crime will be targeted and removed from the region.

To focus on visible street dealing by disrupting those who cause harm in communities through visible drug dealing and the associated crime.

To work with the public and ask them to submit any intelligence gathering which may assist in identifying and tacking those responsible for causing drug related harm to communities.

During the week of action – which coincided with the national County Lines Intensification Week - I saw first-hand the extent of the painstaking work which goes into tackling these crimes. From early intervention with charities commissioned by my office, to the robust enforcement from Dorset Police, the breadth of the work is far-reaching and only makes me more determined to ensure this work to disrupt the gangs and smash incoming drug networks continues apace.

The start of the week welcomed charity Escapeline, who are commissioned by my office, and help young people to stay safe by educating them about child exploitation and teaching them protective strategies. CEO Lisa, and youth mentor, Rhys, had us all captivated by their experiences – from being in schools with young people and in Rhys’s case, his own harrowing lived experience. Impressively eloquent and courageous, Rhys gave a direct and factual account of his life exposed to illegal drugs, dealing, county lines and the violence and devastation which goes along with it. His impactful and inspiring insight is something I believe many more people need to hear and his view that we need a stronger approach to drugs in this country is one I vehemently agree with.

I also joined officers throughout the week as they seized drugs, stopped vehicles, and enacted warrants across Dorset. I visited custody, joined officers as they raided properties, and viewed first-hand the inside of drugs houses – or ‘bandos’ as they are referred to. The work by the Force was non-stop and yielded some truly fantastic results. It was great to see hotspot patrols in action as well, with officers in Bournemouth arresting a potential dealer during my time with them. This was a real example of the action police take daily in our communities across Dorset. Of course, the work of the Force goes way beyond the door banging and arrests, it enables vulnerable people in our community to be protected, it returns stolen goods to businesses, and I hope reassures you, the public, that action will be taken and your reports to the police really matter.


I know the impact illegal drugs have on our communities in Dorset and being able to see this first-hand during this week of action, reinforced my commitment to tackling the destruction these harmful substances create. The ripple effect goes way beyond the people directly involved in dealing. Shoplifting, anti-social behaviour, theft, and vehicle crime are just some of the offences linked to drugs and drug-related crime and I want it to stop. That’s why, alongside the robust action taken by officers during our week of action, we reiterated our ongoing call for people to report their intelligence. Without the vital information provided by you, the people of Dorset, the results we recorded might not have been possible.


During the week of action in Dorset there were:

37 arrests

15 warrants executed

£77,800 worth of drugs seized – both Class A and Class B

£18,000 cash seized from various addresses

14 adults and five children safeguarded

45 stop searches conducted

Hotspot patrols throughout Dorset carried out


Across the south west, all five PCCs stand together in demonstration of the ‘ring of steel’. Our message is clear; drug gangs and those intent on bringing illegal drugs to the south west will be targeted and removed. The police will find you; they will follow you and won’t stop until they’ve got you. We are united in our mission to drive drugs out of our communities, making Dorset and the south west a safer place to be. We cannot do that without the ongoing help of the public though. We need you to continue reporting your intelligence, tell us what’s happening where you live and work. Without these vital pieces of information, the job of cracking these drug gangs and protecting vulnerable people is harder. Help the police continue to make Dorset #NoPlaceForDrugs.

Finally, I would like to thank all the officers, staff and volunteers who were involved in yet another successful Operation Scorpion. I look forward to continuing the work with our neighbouring forces – targeting criminality, taking drugs off our streets, protecting the vulnerable, smashing county lines and putting a ring of steel around the south west.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner



How to report:

Speak to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year on 0800 555 111 or use their non-traceable form online.

You can also use the StreetSafe app, a service which allows you to report safety concerns in public places without giving your name, so it is also anonymous.

Or you can report information and intelligence to police online at www.dorset.police.uk/intelligence or call the Force on 101.





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





March 15, 2024


Warning: Beware of Courier Fraud

Recent incidents have highlighted a dangerous scam known as the Courier Fraud, where ,criminals prey on unsuspecting victims. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself:


Cold Calls: Victims receive unexpected phone calls from unknown sources. The caller impersonates authority figures like the police, HMRC, or the victim’s bank. They use false names and may even provide station names or shoulder numbers to appear legitimate.


Deceptive Tactics: These calls can last for hours or span several days. The criminals build trust with victims by pretending to be official representatives. They exploit fear and urgency to manipulate victims into following their instructions.


Tasks Assigned to Victims: Eventually, victims are asked to perform specific tasks, including:

Withdrawing Funds: Victims are instructed to visit their bank branch and withdraw cash.
Handing Over Cards and PIN: Criminals coerce victims into surrendering their bank cards and PIN numbers.
Purchasing Gold Bullion or Luxury Jewellery/Watches: Victims are duped into buying high-value items.


Courier Collection or Taxi Placement: The final step involves either a “courier” collecting the items directly from the victim or placing them in a taxi.


Protect Yourself:
Never Share Sensitive Information: Never share your bank details, PIN, or personal information over the phone.
Stay Cautious: Be wary of unexpected calls, especially those pressuring you to act urgently.
Educate Others: Spread awareness about this scam to friends, family, and vulnerable individuals.


Remember, legitimate authorities will never ask you to perform such tasks over the phone. Stay vigilant and report any suspicious calls to the authorities immediately.

Stay safe and protect yourself from Courier Scams

If you have been contacted and are on the process of someone coming to collect from your home call 999. In other cases visit Dorset Police website to report fraud.





Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)




March 14, 2024

Appeal for information following theft of motorbike in Christchurch

Officers investigating the theft of a motorbike in Christchurch are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

It is reported that between 8.40pm and 9pm on Friday 1 March 2024, a white BMW K1600 GT motorbike was stolen by two men from outside a property in the Hillside Drive area.

Following enquiries, the motorbike was successfully recovered in Ringwood Road in St. Leonards.

One of the offenders is described as wearing dark clothing, with a head and face covering. The other offender is described as being shorter and stouter than the first and also wearing a face and head covering, as well as a bright green ribbed jacket and shoulder bag.

Police Constable Nicholas Burridge, of Bournemouth police, said: “We have been carrying out enquiries into this incident and I would urge anyone with information about those responsible to please contact us.

“Also, I would ask any motorists who were driving in the area around the time of the incident to please check their dashcam footage to see if they have captured anything that might assist our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email at scit@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240032395.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.





Message Sent By:
Linzi Berryman
(Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon & Cornwall Alert Coordinator, Dorset)



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E-scooters - illegal nuisance or transformative transport?


As we head into the spring months and more and more of us spend time outside, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you about E-scooters and the risks they pose if used irresponsibly and illegally. Since coming into office in 2021, I have been working to raise awareness of the dangers through my weekly newsletters, meeting with Beryl, who run e-scooter rental schemes and across my social media accounts.

The current law states that privately owned e-scooters can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission. It is illegal to use them on public roads, on pavements, in cycle lanes and in pedestrian-only areas. Since 2020, trial e-scooter rental schemes have been underway in various areas across the country including the Beryl scheme in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

I have many concerns over the use of illegal e-scooters in Dorset and I take issue with the irresponsible retailers who sell these items, they are quite simply misleading the public. I often hear from residents’ stories of e-scooters causing accidents, being ridden dangerously or being used in acts of anti-social behaviour.

I am pleased to see that the government are taking steps to control safety issues around illegal privately owned e-scooters by working with the National Fire Chiefs Council to produce guidance that will hopefully help combat recent issues with the fire safety of certain devices. However, I believe more needs to be done about how these machines are used and controlled on public roads - for example, I would like to see properly visible, moped-sized ‘registration’ plates on the Beryl scooters.

I do believe that e-scooters have the potential to be a transformative form of personal transport – if used correctly, and within the law. However, there are too many people who use e-scooters in an irresponsible and dangerous manner. I have previously met with Beryl and was reassured that they manage the scheme professionally, and anyone found to be breaking their rules can and should be reported to them by calling 020 3003 5044).

When it comes to enforcement, an e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter, and they are treated as a motor vehicle and fall under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles. This includes mot, tax, licensing, insurance, and specific construction regulations. Dorset police take an education and seizure stance on e-scooters and I’d like to make it very clear that the force will act and seize e-scooters being used illegally. In the last 12 months, Dorset Police have seized 59 privately owned e-scooters.

Put simply - you cannot buy and use an e-scooter on any public land and that includes roads, pavements, pathways, or walkways – so unless you personally own great swathes of land in Dorset you cannot ride these machines legally. My advice is don’t buy an e-scooter unless you want it to be seized by the Police. It’s as simple as that.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





March 10, 2024


Spring into action with our crime prevention webinars

It is the start of spring and at Neighbourhood Watch Network we are working at providing you with our next round of Crime Prevention Webinars. So we are delighted to invite you to register and attend these during the week beginning 18th March 2024.

We have invited experts in their field to talk about Burglary in a digital age, Antisocial Behaviour aimed at our heritage buildings and sites, addressing Vehicle Crime, exploring Isolation and Loneliness and knowing what to do if we are victims of Stalking or how we can support them.


When are the webinars being held

The webinars are held online via Zoom and will be from 4.30pm - 5.30pm each week day during that week.


Booking your place on our webinars

To book your place you will need to register for each of the webinars that you wish to join. There is a limited amount of space and we want to ensure that you do not miss out.


The links for registering for our webinars


Monday 18th Taking your home security to the next level (burglary trends and technology)
Register HERE

Tuesday 19th ASB & Heritage crime – not just an issue for rural communities
Register HERE

ednesday 20th Top tips from policing’s tactical lead for vehicle crime Register HERE

Thursday 21st Understanding the role of isolation & loneliness in scams
Register HERE

Friday 22nd Stalking and female personal safety Register HERE


We look forward to welcoming you to join the conversation with us. Please do feel free to share this message to all of your networks and invite them to join us too.





Message Sent By:
Cheryl Spruce
(NWN, Head of Membership & Community Engagement, England and Wales)




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Working in Partnership to secure successful convictions for Dorset


I have always been a firm believer that in order to be successful in the relentless pursuit of criminals each individual part of the criminal justice system must work together. That’s why for the last three years I have acted as a chair of the Dorset Criminal Justice Board. The board brings together partners from throughout the criminal justice system, such as Dorset Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, Probation and the NHS to provide an effective criminal justice system, focusing on offering a high standard of service to victims and witnesses, protecting the public, reducing crime and reoffending.

This joined-up approach should not only exist within the criminal justice system. We must also foster partnership working across sectors if we are to truly get to the root cause of crimes. Since being PCC I have tried to establish more opportunities for such joined-up working, whether in tackling business crime through the Dorset Safer Business Partnership or fighting rural crime through the Dorset Partnership Against Rural Crime.

I have also worked with my fellow PCCs across the southwest on many occasions, for instance in successfully lobbying the government to bring in tough sanctions for fly-tipping or in launching a South West Rural Crime Survey to give our rural residents a chance to have their voices heard. Working across county borders and with neighbouring forces is also something the force has been doing more and more. Firstly, through Operation Scorpion, which sees all five forces across south west come together to put a ring of steel around the region and tackle county lines and also through Operation Ragwort the new joined-up operation to tackle rural crime across county borders.

In recent months we have had great success in this joined-up approach to tackling crime, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what I consider a triumph in the fight against rural crime. On Friday 19th of January, two individuals known to be prolific offenders of various rural crimes were sentenced to a total of 8 and half years in prison. The pair were found guilty of several offences including causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The pair were already well know known to the force but for a long time, it seemed they couldn’t be caught. After months of monitoring and with support from Hampshire Police, Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, carried out search warrants at two addresses in Christchurch in late 2022, during which a mobile phone was recovered. The phone turned out to be what officers have described as an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of offences, containing a vast number of videos and pictures illustrating the sickening acts the two offenders had subjected animals to, seemingly for their own and others' perverse amusement.

However, due to the statutory time limit on wildlife crime legislation, the force was limited in what the pair could be charged with. Officers on Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team were determined to see justice served and due to their expert knowledge of the legislation around animal cruelty, they were able to work with Wessex Crown Prosecution Service to cleverly apply legislation that protects pets and domesticated animals to a number of the crimes evidenced on the mobile phone.

The pair committed deplorable and sickening acts of cruelty as well as offences that strike at the heart of our rural community and I am pleased to see that they have received such sentences from the court. Such an outcome was only achieved because Dorset Police, Hampshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service all worked together to ensure that these offenders were caught and received the sentence they deserved.

I’d like to thank every officer and partner agency involved in this investigation for their dedication and commitment to seeing justice served. To bring such a prolific offenders to justice is very reassuring.

I hope this sends a clear message that Dorset Police takes all rural crime, including animal cruelty, seriously and I hope you will be reassured to know that cross-border, inter-agency, partnership working will continue and will grow as we strive to make Dorset the safest county.

You can see more of the great work being done by Dorset Police's Rural Crime Team over on social media today as they live tweet every call the team respond to. Follow #RuralLive or @RuralCrimeTeam.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




March 9

March edition of BCP Newsletter


Dear Residents of BCP,

As part of our commitment to keeping you informed, we’re pleased to share the March edition of BCP Newsletter. In this newsletter, you’ll find updates on the proactive efforts of our dedicated officers and insights into what our local police teams have been doing to ensure safety and security in our community.

To access the newsletter, please click here.

Please note the link will open a digital newsletter using Microsoft Sway. You will not need to signup or create a Microsoft account to access.

Thank you for your continued support, and remember that we’re here for you. If you have any concerns or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local police team.

Stay safe!




Message Sent By:
Dom Smith
(Dorset Police, NEO 5390, Bournemouth Christchurch Poole)






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Community Contact Point - Stewarts Garden Centre : Thu 14 Mar 13:00


When & Where is it?

Thu 14 Mar 2024 13:00
Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road
Christchurch
BH23 4SA
///grapes.woods.many


Community Contact Points are pop-up events where you can speak to an officer from your neighbourhood policing team to report a crime or an incident or discuss issues affecting your community.

These are drop-in style events with no need to make an appointment.

Please come along as this is your opportunity to speak with your local officers to discuss any issues of concern to you.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like to attend a future one, look out for the dates on Dorset Alert or follow us on social media.

You can report concerns in your area, view policing priorities and a calendar of events from your local neighbourhood policing team via this link:

https://www.dorset.police.uk/npt




Message Sent By:
Dom Smith
(Dorset Police, NEO 5390, Bournemouth Christchurch Poole)






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Dorset Police launches story-telling competition to help the public prevent fraud


Dorset Police is launching a competition to encourage the public to create stories to help prevent people from falling victim to fraudsters.

Fraud equates for over 40 per cent of all crime reported in England and Wales, with an estimated 80 per cent of fraud offences not reported, according to data released by the National Crime Agency.

Between 5 December 2022 and 5 January 2024, people living and working in Dorset have reported 4,599 incidents to Action Fraud, who are a national agency that investigates the vast majority of fraud offences.

Action Fraud estimate Dorset residents have lost £19.9 million to fraud within the 13-month period covered in their recent report.

To help the public to spot common signs of fraud, Dorset Police is launching a story-telling competition to encourage conversations about fraudulent behaviour and help prevent people from unknowingly sharing personal details or banking information with criminals.

Ahead of the competition launch, Dorset Police’s Fraud Protect Officer, Damian Cranny, dropped into Poole Library to do some research and chat with Librarian, Hannah Roberts, about the initiative.

Damian Cranny, said: “We know that fraud remains significantly underreported and can have devastating consequences on victims, with some being left in financial difficulty and feeling ashamed of having been manipulated by the fraudsters.

“I hope that both children and adults will support us by taking part in this competition to help us protect people from fraud and make life difficult for the scammers.”

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/4da9fb42-feda-ee11-9d61-6045bdd24049

The competition launches on 4 March 2024 and is open to people of all ages.

Members of the public have until midnight on 30 April 2024 to submit their entries and prizes will be awarded to the selected winners in each of the five age categories.

For more information about the competition, or to download an entry form, visit: https://competition.mysaferdorset.com/

If you suspect you are being targeted by a scam, you can report it to Dorset Police: https://www.dorset.police.uk/ro/report/fo/v2/report-fraud-bribery-corruption/ or Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




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Arrests following joint work between officers in Dorset and Scotland


Arrests have been made after detectives from Dorset Police and Police Scotland joined forces for a joint day of action as part of an investigation into reported drug supply and modern day slavery offences.

On Tuesday 5 March 2024 officers executed warrants at addresses in Aberdeen and arrest enquiries at an address in Southampton following a long-running investigation led by Dorset Police into the suspected activities of a county lines drugs network reportedly operating between Bournemouth, London and Scotland and involved in the alleged exploitation of vulnerable people.


View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/4eca66d7-a4dc-ee11-9d61-6045bdd24049



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




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'Turning My Life Around' - One Person's Story of Recovery


In this newsletter, you will read the brave account of a former drug user who is now nine months into their recovery. This man, who has asked to remain anonymous is receiving support from Vita Nova, the Boscombe-based arts charity who work with people in recovery from addiction. You can read more about Vita Nova here.

Please take some time to read his story and the powerful message he has for young people.

“I come from a very drug orientated family. My mum and stepdad were both heroin addicts. When I got into it, I wasn’t trapped, no-one approached me, I just saw this new guy around town and knew automatically what he did. At this point I was 13 – very, very young – and I had already done some stuff for my stepdad dealing heroin. This was already my world.

“I think because of my background, I craved respect and a sense of power. I thought this was what I needed to do to be in control. I’d met with this guy in town and it went from there. But it quickly went to my head. I ended up doing this for around three or four years and in this time had become a trapper where we had taken over someone’s house. It was a lad I knew, and his mum was not around. My using had also got out of hand, and I had other guys doing stuff for me. It got to the point where I owed someone £4,000.

I had no idea what to do. This guy threw me into the back of his car, but I managed to talk my way out of it. I had planned to run away but they told me they knew where my dad lived, and what car he drove. As soon as I knew they’d been watching my dad, I couldn’t go. I tried to solve it by attempting to take out a loan in his name – defraud my own dad; anything to deal with it.

“But my dad found out I tried to take out the loan, and I had to tell him everything. He gave this guy £1,500 initially and then £1,000 a month until we were done. My dad’s a normal guy, he didn’t understand, I hated having to tell him. This wasn’t his world and I never wanted him involved. But before I knew it, I was back in it. It’s not as simple as just giving up drugs, I’d been using since I was 12. It had become my life. And it might sound strange, but I missed it. I missed being the guy people called up. I missed the money and the status. But soon enough I was in the same situation. I had become unreliable, and my name was tarnished as it were. I had to do the same again and clear my debts.

“By this point I’d been using for 10 years, and I wanted to get clean. I’d tried previously but this time was for real. I was effectively dying. I was removed from society and completely broken. I needed the benefit of a treatment centre and to receive all the help that thankfully came with it. Now, nine months on I am clean, and my life has totally changed.

“When I was younger, I never felt safe; that was a big part of why I did what I did. I didn’t trust anyone or feel I could talk to anyone. Since I found Vita Nova, I’ve found a purpose. You get to give back. When I was using, I was begging and stealing, and it was horrible. Now I can repay what I took by helping others.

Vita Nova has helped me to increase my confidence. As well as performing, which I have rediscovered my love of, I have been working with refugees and asylum seekers. When you get out of treatment, you can feel lonelier than when you are addicted. Being an addict, you have a circle, and to walk away from that is challenging. To have somewhere to go day to day is comforting and takes away some of that isolation and loneliness in recovery. It is the most dangerous thing to sit and twiddle your thumbs when you are in recovery. Vita Nova is a safe place for so many of us. It gives us a purpose.

“If I was to give any kind of message to young people it would be that you must be honest with yourself; you need to admit you are scared and you need to admit that you are not happy. Find someone that is going to respect your privacy and talk to them. The things that are happening to you are not your fault, but help is out there.

“As a child you should never be scared to go home, and you should never be checking if your parents are alive or dead. The fear for me was that I would be taken away permanently. I know others will fear the same happening to them and I would tell them that you need to talk to someone. Personally, I needed someone to call me out; a lot was going on at home but because I had clean clothes, I didn’t get any pressing questions.

I look at what would practically help, and I know I didn’t have somewhere safe to go – we didn’t have after school clubs. More places need to be inclusive. I would have loved a Vita Nova for kids where you could be creative and as loud as you wanted and be encouraged that it was fine to express yourself. Ultimately, somewhere where you felt safe. That’s what is needed, more places of safety where young people feel they are secure and free to talk one-to-one. People who ask questions and can encourage trust.”



Thank you for having the courage to tell us your story. I have seen first-hand the work being carried out by Vita Nova to educate young people on the dangers facing them today. From county lines to knife crime, these issues are skilfully tackled head on in their production of ‘The Wasps Nest’, for which they received funding after a successful bid to my Fix The Future scheme.

I am clear, while enforcement is a crucial part of our fight against drug crime, without effective education and early intervention measures to prevent more young people from being exploited by criminals, we are only tackling half the problem. That’s why under my Police and Crime Plan priority of tackling violent crime and high harm, we are dedicated to commissioning the services and educational inputs which reduce the harm of illegal drugs and alcohol. I want young people in Dorset to feel free from the fear of crime and have the tools in their armour to turn away from illegal drugs and other substances which could ruin their lives. By equipping the next generation with the confidence they need to say no, we’ll be helping to keep Dorset safe from those who seek to harm us and our young people.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Celebrating the work of Vita Nova


In today’s newsletter, I’m very pleased to introduce Michael Armstrong, Creative Producer at charity Vita Nova in Boscombe. Last year, Vita Nova was successful in being granted money from my Fix The Future fund towards their play ‘The Wasps Nest’, which is being performed in schools across the area. The powerful piece of work, performed by people in recovery from addiction, depicts the story of a teenager who becomes embroiled in county lines and knife crime, and how he found himself lured in.

Education is absolutely vital to tackling the issue of county lines and illegal drug crime. I know that enforcement alone cannot combat the crimes affecting our communities and to truly tackle the root cause, we must also have clear prevention and early intervention measures in place. My Fix the Future Fund aims to help create more prevention and diversion schemes across Dorset by supporting projects and initiatives which will benefit young people and their local community. I’m proud of the work we have helped support so far and am looking forward to seeing what’s next for this vital scheme.

I’ll now hand over to Michael to tell you about Vita Nova and the work they do.

“Vita Nova started in Bournemouth 25 years ago. Its primary output is a service which supports people in addiction recovery, primarily substance abuse, but over the years it has extended to include other more vulnerable people in the community. We’re based in Boscombe which is an area of significant deprivation and has an above national average drug and alcohol misuse figures. The secondary purpose of our work is around drug and alcohol awareness education. It's important to understand that we take a non-partisan neutral approach to raising awareness with young people and students from secondary school through to university. Our approach deals with the kind of challenges, questions and opportunities young people may encounter when they are growing up. So, Vita Nova has two purposes - education and direct support to the recovery community.

“Our aim with the school performances is to challenge people's perceptions of addiction and recovery. We don’t want to make it a finger-wagging exercise. We want to challenge the stereotypes and offer people a better sense of reality. Because when you ask someone to describe a heroin addict, most people would describe someone who lives in a grotty house with needles everywhere. One of our key missions is to put to bed some of the misnomers and misunderstandings surrounding the people who find themselves in these situations.

With The Wasps Nest, we’re aware that the power of theatre-in-education really lies in the fact that young people are seeing something direct and compelling. They may not connect to everything in the play, but there will usually be something they recognise, or which strikes a chord with them. As I said, we take a very neutral, non-punitive, non-threatening, non-judgmental approach. It would be very difficult to offer an opinion when our work consists of people who have made unfortunate choices; we can't wag fingers. It’s our neutrality and the lived experience of our performers is our strength.

“Vita Nova offers support to people post-treatment who have been without intoxicants for at least 30 days. We’ve got people who have been with Vita Nova for 20 years, who are now the cornerstones of our organisation. People come and go, and that’s just part and parcel of what we do but the community that they become part of, it's sort of self-nurturing. We've got a senior peer group who take new members under their wing, and it's something you couldn't really prescribe or shape. It's natural, inclusive and a shared life experience offering support and companionship.

“Just attending something every week at the same time re-establishes a bit of discipline and gives people in recovery a restoration of confidence and self-belief. Loneliness and isolation are killers, which we know from the impact on the older generation, but add to that addiction and it’s a potentially dangerous mix. That’s why our service is so valuable.

It’s no secret that the pressure on the charity and voluntary sector is immense, so we’re grateful for funding we receive to support and expand our services. Public Health Dorset and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner have been very generous. It’s rare you get senior leaders coming in to see what we do, but they did and we’re very grateful for their support.

“Vita Nova is a unique organisation and demonstrates that there is hope. For those in recovery they demonstrate hope by walking through our doors, by telling their own harrowing stories to others and by still being here, developing new skills and employment. That’s a profound message to convey to young people, and we’d love to see it continue for another 25 years.”



Thank you to Michael for telling us more about the crucial work Vita Nova does and the support it provides to those in recovery. I know tackling the issues of illegal drugs will not be solved with just one solution. It needs a multi-pronged approach consisting of prevention measures, enforcement and a focus on treatment and recovery. In my role as Senior Responsible Officer for the Dorset and BCP Combating Drugs Partnership this is exactly how we’re responding to the Government’s requirements in the
National Harm to Hope 10-year Drugs Strategy. This strategy has three aims; to break supply chains which we’re tackling in Dorset through Operations Scorpion and Viper, deliver a world class treatment and recovery system and achieve a generational shift in the demand for drugs. We know this requires joint working, which is why we have organisations and agencies from across Dorset involved. Thanks to all of them - and Vita Nova and the vital work they do - I am determined we will make significant positive changes in Dorset, and protect our young people from the misery and destruction drugs cause.



David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




March 6, 2024


How Escapeline are working to prevent child exploitation


In this week’s newsletter I want to highlight the vital work of one of our commissioned partners, Escapeline. The charity helps young people to stay safe by educating them about how child exploitation and grooming happens and teaches them protective strategies. The charity, which operates across the south west including in Dorset, work with a range of agencies and groups of people including local authorities and the police, as well as schools, parents, and pupils.

I want to shine a light on the work taking place to educate not just our young people, but also us, the wider public. While enforcement is an important aspect in breaking the chain of illegal drugs and reducing their impact on communities in Dorset, education and prevention will make a difference for generations to come. I will hand over to Escapeline’s CEO, Lisa, to tell you more about the work the charity is doing in Dorset and across the south west.


“Escapeline came about as a result of my work as a social worker. Back in 2018 we started to see an influx of teenagers reporting to us with all the same signs – changing behaviour, drug abuse, truancy from school. It was a real pattern, and although at that point they were mainly boys, we also had girls as well, some who had been sexually exploited. However, despite familiar signs, we hadn’t encountered this pattern before. When I looked at it, it was different from previous things like the grooming gangs in Rochdale and Rotherham for instance. I reached out to colleagues and connections and was invited to attend a conference about modern slavery, human trafficking, and county lines. And I sat there and filled up my notebooks because everything they were saying completed this complicated jigsaw puzzle. It suddenly all fell into place. Everything we were seeing was explained by county lines and exploitation and I knew very quickly that we had a big problem in the south west. It was a light bulb moment. I realised that the lack of knowledge and information around what we were dealing with meant a lot of children weren’t getting safeguarded. And effectively, that’s where Escapeline started.

At Escapeline we provide training for professionals such as youth workers, social workers, residential staff, health professionals and police. We also give support to parents and carers and directly to school pupils from years 4, 5 and 6 in primary schools to secondary school years 7-13. As part of our education programmes at Escapeline, we have incorporated real life experience into our teaching, thanks in large part to our youth mentor, Rhys. He uses his first-hand experience of being exploited by County Lines gangs for 10 years, sharing his powerful and at times distressing story, connecting with young people and helping them to understand the dangers. The earlier in a child’s life we can educate them about this topic, the better. The age of children we’re dealing with across the south west is getting younger. We’re getting referrals of 10-year-olds and in the past few weeks, I have also dealt with a six-year-old involved in this horrendous crime.

“This is why we want to be in primary schools giving our education programmes to ensure early intervention and prevention. There’s a lot of county lines recruitment happening in schools, by older children towards younger ones. For example, in one school after an assembly we had given, a Year 7 pupil told us they had been approached by a Year 10. This younger pupil had violent activity happening where he lived, and the older student had offered to protect and look out for him. Because of our assembly and subsequently the work we did with him, he realised what was happening, and we got there early. And I am pleased to say he cut the contact off and shut everything down. And at the end of our work, in his feedback he said that if he hadn’t had that assembly, he didn’t know what would have happened and thanked us for saving him. A year later, we’ve checked in and he’s doing fine.

I am adamant that the key is prevention and early intervention. For those already trapped it is near impossible to get them out and despite efforts to do so, they won't always engage. They have been effectively brainwashed, it’s a form of radicalisation. Many of them tell us they want to leave, but they fear the consequences and the risks that go with that, and they keep getting pulled in.

“The one sign we tell parents and guardians to be aware of is a change in their child’s friendship group and hanging around with older children. Alongside that, a child’s behaviour will change, they could lose interest in anything they used to like doing as well. And that’s when you must move quickly and reach out for help.

“For me, education around exploitation and county lines needs to be as important as road safety in our schools. Road safety keeps children safe on the roads. This teaches them how to be safe in society. We’re not there to scare or frighten anyone, we’re here to give essential knowledge, which could keep them safe from these hidden dangers. We know that those involved in county lines feel silenced. And the only way to break that silence and tackle this growing danger is to ensure we’re having conversations and sharing as much education as we can. It’s integral to protect our future generations from venturing down a path they can’t always return from.”


Thank you, Lisa. I agree, we need to ensure education is at the forefront of what we’re doing in Dorset around prevention. Changing how we educate our young people about illegal drugs and the dangers which surround them is imperative. I want to empower the younger generation in this county to stay away from bad influences and grab the opportunity to be a success. That’s why I set up the Fix the Future fund which helps young people gain the knowledge and capability to make positive life choices. This fund supports projects and initiatives which contribute to or benefit young people across Dorset. Working together with organisations like Escapeline is how we will tackle this vitally important issue and make Dorset the safest county.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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South West police forces work with local communities to drive out drugs


Residents across the south west are asked to report any drug-related activity and information to local police or the independent charity Crimestoppers, in an effort to tackle drug dealing and associated crime in communities.


Operation Scorpion is a well-established collaboration between the five police forces in the South West region (Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire), alongside their respective offices of Police and Crime Commissioners, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and the charity Crimestoppers.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/40e9170f-17da-ee11-9d61-6045bdd24049

Drug-related crime and other associated offences, including theft and violence, has a significant impact on communities and tackling them remains a priority for police force throughout the South West.

The public plays an important role in helping police forces to build an intelligence picture. Any piece of information linked to drugs activity – no matter how big or small – can help police disrupt those who are profiting from the damage and harm that drugs bring to local communities. Trust your instincts. Even if someone isn't involved in drug dealing, they might be being exploited in some other way, so it's always worth speaking out.

Assistant Chief Constable Neil Corrigan, from Dorset Police, said: “The public of Dorset are our eyes and ears and our ability to bring criminals to justice and combat crime is greatly enhanced by the information and intelligence they provide us. If something doesn’t feel right, quite often it isn’t, so please trust your instincts and tell us what you know.

“The information and identity of anyone reporting intelligence to us is always protected, but if you aren’t comfortable talking directly to us you can report anything anonymously through our partners at Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111. You can also report via the police.uk StreetSafe app.

“Every piece of intelligence that is received by Dorset Police helps to build a picture. Things may not be actioned immediately, but as more intelligence is gathered it helps to provide vital information that could enable us to take enforcement action, safeguard a possible victim or identify someone involved in crime.”


If you want to report a crime, but you don't want to identify yourself, you can contact Crimestoppers. Crimestoppers are an independent charity, working to help communities. They are not interested in who you are, only what you know, so the more detail you give them the better. You can also report information anonymously on the StreetSafe app. This service allows you to report safety concerns in public places without giving your name. Alternatively, you can report information and intelligence online at www.dorset.police.uk/intelligence


The message is clear: the South West is No Place For Drugs.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




March 2, 2024



Save the Date - Harbour Watch Conference 2024

Dorset Police will be holding their first Harbour Watch Conference on Wednesday, 10th April from 1800-2100 - it is open to all - there will be presentations from Border Force, RNLI, Seafront Manager - BCP, NCI and Poole Harbour Commissioners.
It will be opened by the Police and Crime Commissioner - David Sidwick and closed by the Mayor of Poole - Cllr Jo Clements.
It will cover both harbours within the BCP area of Dorset - Christchurch and Poole.

We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible - if you would like to reserve a place please email: harbourwatch@dorset.pnn.police.uk.


Message Sent By:
Alyson Moore
(Dorset Police & NHWN, Resilient Community Co-ordinator, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole)



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Booking holidays safely

Dear resident,

Most of us look forward to an annual holiday or short break which, more often than not, we find and book online.

But fraudsters also love the internet. They use fake websites, listings, emails, advertisements, social media posts and texts – and also phone calls – to trick you into paying for a holiday or other travel to Never Never Land. In other words, it simply doesn’t exist.

To help save you from losing your holiday and your money, we’ve put together some expert tips on safely searching and booking holidays and travel with confidence. Either take a look at our attached leaflet or read the tips on our advice page: https://www.getsafeonline.org/holiday/


And if you or any of your family are interested in a career in cyber you might be interested in our International Women's Day webinar, next Friday. 'Celebrating and Championing Women in Cyber' hosted by Baroness Nicky Morgan. To register simply visit the below link: https://www.getsafeonline.org/international-womens-day-2024/

We hope to see you there.


With kind regards

The Get Safe Online team

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Message Sent By:
Get Safe Online





March 1, 2024


Spotting the signs of child exploitation


In this week’s newsletter I would like to address one of the most concerning issues linked to illegal drug crime and county lines – child exploitation. Last week I issued a plea for people in Dorset to join us in our fight against drugs by reporting the small things which could make the biggest difference. Dorset Police need this information not only to tackle drug dealers and crack county lines, but also to safeguard vulnerable people, including the young victims of exploitation.

When it comes to tackling the scourge of illegal drugs, I want to be clear; while enforcement is key, prevention and education, especially for young people, is vital. We also need to ensure the wider public is able to recognise the signs of child exploitation. As I said last week, your piece of information, no matter how insignificant you think it is, could the final piece of the puzzle which enables police and other agencies to act and intervene, and in turn safeguard those at risk.

Under the priority in my Police and Crime Plan to tackle violent crime and high harm, is an unwavering commitment to keeping children and young people safe. As we know, sometimes it is the youngest in our society who need the most help as they are often at highest risk of exploitation, coercion and victimisation - especially when it comes to county lines drug activity. My Police and Crime Plan pledge includes working with Dorset Police and key partners, including health and social services, to understand ‘what works’ and to commission services and educational inputs to help reduce the harm of illegal drugs and alcohol. I am completely dedicated to ensuring our young people feel they have a choice to turn away from illegal drugs and the temptations which are used to lure them into taking part in dangerous criminal activity.

Two of the services working in Dorset to help educate and prevent young people from becoming involved in offences, will be highlighted next week in a series of pieces shining a light on the impact of illegal drugs and county lines. These special features on the services I have commissioned and helped to fund in Dorset will detail the personal experiences of some victims who were once involved in drug crime and tell us about the work happening in Dorset to provide early intervention and education for our young people. Escapeline are a charity which helps young people to stay safe by educating them about how child exploitation and grooming happens and teaches them protective strategies. The charity, commissioned by my office, operates across the south west including in Dorset, and works with agencies and groups including local authorities and the police, as well as schools, parents, and pupils. We will hear more from their CEO next week about what parents, teachers and those who work with young people should be looking out for, and why society cannot turn a blind eye to this serious issue.

I have also provided funding for Boscombe-based community arts charity Vita Nova through my Fix The Future grant scheme. This vibrant organisation, which was established in 1999, works with people in recovery from addiction, using theatre and expressive arts not just to support wellbeing, but to educate and challenge the stereotypes of addiction. They are currently performing their latest play, The Wasps Nest, in schools and colleges to support the BCP Young Person Serious Violence Group. This powerful piece of work performed by people in recovery from addiction, follows the journey of a teenager who becomes embroiled in county lines and knife crime. Having seen their work, I know it accurately depicts how young people can get caught up in this miserable, destructive trade. I am pleased that thanks to their successful bid from my Fix The Future scheme, more young people are able to see the play as part of Vita Nova’s ongoing outreach programme.

These features focusing on these excellent organisations will also coincide with The Children’s Society’s #LookCloser week of action, which aims to shine a light on the signs of child exploitation and encourage reporting. As the charity rightly says, exploitation isn’t obvious, but it happens everywhere. It can be stopped but people need to recognise the signs. You can learn more about the campaign here and how to spot the signs below:

Spot the signs:
A young person who is accompanied by individual(s) who are older than them
A young person being instructed or controlled by another individual
A young person travelling alone, particularly in school hours, late at night or frequently
A young person looking lost, or they are in unfamiliar surroundings
A young person displaying behaviours that make you worry about them, for example anxiety, anger or being frightened
A young person being in possession of more than one mobile phone
A young person carrying lots of cash, or appearing to live above their means and have the latest gadget or clothes
A young person who is potentially under the influence of drugs or alcohol
A young person seen begging in a public space.

I want to be clear, tackling the issues of drug crime and violence is not just about enforcement. We need to equip the younger generation with the knowledge and tools to ensure they have the confidence to say no and reach out for help from those they trust – whether that is a family member, trained professional or the police. Without this early intervention and education, all the work to robustly tackle the drugs gangs will only do so much. Through joint working, expert knowledge and the right type of education which works, we can all help to make Dorset the safest county and safeguard our young people.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner



Report your concerns:

· Call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can report your intelligence online

· If you are on a train, text British Transport Police on 61016

· Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and remain completely anonymous. You can also report online

· Call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 if you’re concerned about a child




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





February 29, 2024

Image appeal following seizure of suspected stolen items in Poole


Officers are issuing images of items suspected to have been stolen as they seek to return them to their owners.


At around 2pm on Tuesday 20 February 2024, patrol officer stopped a vehicle in the area of the Blackwater Junction near Christchurch. On inspecting the vehicle, officers located a Cannondale road bike that they suspected to have been stolen. Officers arrested both occupants of the vehicle – a 58-year-old man and a 23-year-old man, both from London – on suspicion of theft.

Later that day, officers stopped another vehicle in Ringwood Road in Longham. Officers searched the vehicle and located several power tools and gardening tools suspected as stolen. Both occupants – a 17-year-old boy from Bournemouth and a 16-year-old boy from the New Forest area in Hampshire – were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen goods.

Following further enquiries, a section 18 search warrant was executed at an address in Arne Crescent in Poole at around 7.55pm on Tuesday 20 February 2024. Officers located a number of motorbikes suspected to have been stolen. A 21-year-old man from Poole was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen goods.

All five suspects have been released on police bail as the investigation continues.

The suspected stolen items were seized and officers are now in the process of returning the items to their owners.

Police Constable Mark Carlton, of Bournemouth police, said: “An investigation is underway into this incident and we are carrying out enquiries into the theft of the items.

“I am issuing images of the stolen items and would ask anyone who has information about who they may belong to please contact us.”

View images by clicking on attachments below.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email at scit@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240026381.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.



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Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Dorset Police join forces with Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Police to tackle cross-border crime


Last week, Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team worked with officers from Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Police to disrupt poaching activity.


On Thursday, 22 February, officers from Dorset Police, Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Police were joined by Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Dave Sidwick, as part of Op Galileo, a national operation coordinated by the National Wildlife Crime Unit that aims to disrupt and prevent poaching activity.

Between August 2023 and February 2024, 92 poaching incidents were reported to Dorset Police, including suspicious vehicles and suspicious circumstances believed to be poaching, as well as criminal damage caused by poachers.

Poaching has a significant impact on Dorset’s rural communities, with many residents reporting damage to livestock, crops, hedges, and fences in previous years. Damage of this nature can cost farmers and landowners thousands of pounds and can have a profound effect on food production within the county.

Op Galileo saw Dorset Police work collaboratively with neighbouring forces in Wiltshire, which provided an opportunity for officers to share intelligence relating to known offenders and suspicious vehicles ahead of carrying out patrols in North Dorset, East Dorset and Purbecks.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/b149a5e3-87d5-ee11-9d61-6045bdd24049


If you have any information or have seen something that doesn’t seem quite right, please report it to Dorset Police.
Call 999 if a crime is in progress, or 101 to provide information in a non-emergency situation. You can also provide intelligence via the Dorset Police website, visit: www.dorset.police.uk

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Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




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Stop! Think fraud.


Did you know?


Fraud accounts for almost 40% of all crime. In just one year, 1 in 17 adults in England and Wales were victims of fraud. That’s nearly 3 million of us.

1 in 5 businesses were also a victim of fraud over a 3 year period. In other words, fraud is rife and it can happen to anyone.

Think you’re immune from fraud?

Fraudsters can use highly manipulative methods to get us when our defences are down. Nobody is immune from fraud. We can all be more alert to the risks, and we can all do more to protect ourselves.


4 ways to frustrate a fraudster


Q1. Do you stop to check who’s really contacting you?


Fraudsters often call or message people, pretending to be from their bank, other well-known and trusted companies, or even someone they know. They can be very convincing, particularly if they’ve already managed to get hold of some personal information, for example by looking on social media. Having earned their victim’s trust, they often ask them to hand over confidential information, make a payment or give them access to their phone or computer.


How to reduce your risk

Never take calls or messages like this at face value – always take time to stop, think and check if the caller or sender is who they say they are.

If you’ve received a suspicious call or message:

don’t be rushed into a quick decision – think carefully before handing over money, personal details or access to your device
if you have any doubts, hang up and do not call the number provided
be aware that fraudsters can spoof phone numbers, so the number that appears on your caller ID may not be proof of who they are
instead, check with the organisation directly using contact details you know are correct, such as those on a utility bill, official website, on the back of your card or by 159 for banks
if you get a message from a family member asking you to send money, use known contact details to check if it’s real


Q2. Do you automatically trust offers and click on links?


“Half-price tickets to a sold-out gig!” “Incredible savings on a last-minute holiday – hurry!” Fraudsters know most people love a bargain, so they use discounts, time pressure and FOMO (fear of missing out) to pressure them into paying out for non-existent deals. Or they urge people to click on links in phishing messages that can take them to a fake website, where the fraudster can steal cash and personal details, or infect the victim’s device.

How to reduce your risk

If you see a tempting offer:
don’t be rushed into a quick decision – always take time to stop, think and check if the message, offer or advert is genuine
don’t automatically click a link, particularly in unexpected messages
if you’re not 100% sure, don’t use the link to click through – go direct to the organisation’s website
always stay on trusted websites and use the site’s recommended payment methods
avoid paying by bank transfer or virtual currency
think carefully before you hand over any money or personal details


Q3. Do you use the same password for different accounts?

Lots of people use the same password for multiple accounts, such as email, bank account and social media accounts. Less to remember, right? But imagine if a fraudster gets hold of that password. Now they can access all of their victim’s online accounts.

How to reduce your risk

Choose a different password for each account. Too difficult to remember them all? You can keep track of passwords using a password manager, or by using three random words to make them more memorable.


You should:
never choose a password that features names, places and numbers that are personal to you
choose a different password for each account that is strong and hard to guess but if you can’t change them all at once, prioritise your email account


Q4. Do you use 2-step verification?

Even if someone has chosen strong and unique passwords for their email and bank accounts, there’s always a risk – however small – that a fraudster could get hold of them. If they do, there’s nothing to stop them accessing those accounts to steal money and other personal details.

How to reduce your risk

Setup 2-step verification (2SV) on your most important accounts, such as email and social media. 2SV works by asking for more information to prove your identity when you’re logging into an online account. It’s one of the most effective ways to protect your online accounts from criminals.



For more information, please visit: https://stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk

(If you found this information useful, please forward it to friends, family and colleagues)




Message Sent By:
Action Fraud
(Action Fraud, Administrator, National)



February 26, 2024

Public appeal to keep your bike secure following thefts across the county


Dorset Police is issuing advice to members of the public to keep their high-value bike safe from a burglary.

The Force has recently seen a spate of thefts of high-value bikes following breaks to outbuildings across the county.

The stolen bikes include leisure bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes and dirt bikes.

Officers are issuing advice to high-value bike owners and urging them to assess their security arrangements in place.

Detective Inspector Andy Brix, of the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team, said: “These bikes can often be worth thousands of pounds and the loss has a significant impact on each victim”.

“We are doing all we can to investigate these incidents and identify anyone suspected of being responsible”.

“We want to prevent further bike owners from becoming a victim of crime and are issuing advice to help protect their valuable item.”

Please see the below tips on how to keep your bike safe:


* Be careful of applications on your phone where cycle routes are displayed publicly, which may inadvertently lead thieves to your home address.

* If travelling back from an event with your bike, be mindful of being followed.

* Secure your bike to the ground or a lockable stand within a locked shed or garage.

* Keep a bike covered, possibly with an old sheet or blanket, to keep it hidden from view.

* Property marking your items is advisable and some items can be painted with your name or postcode.


Further crime prevention advice can be found here:
Keeping your shed or garage safe and secure
| Crime prevention | Dorset Police




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Renewed appeal following serious injury collision in Christchurch


Officers are renewing their appeal for information as they attempt to trace witnesses to a serious injury collision in Christchurch.


At around 12.40pm on Monday 19 February 2024 a collision occurred in Christchurch Road, at the junction with Hurn Court Lane, involving a white Isuzu truck and a pedestrian.

Emergency services attended and the pedestrian – a local woman aged in her 40s – was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries that were believed to be serious but not life-threatening or life-changing.

Sergeant Mike Gatfield, of the Roads Policing Team, said: “We are continuing to carry out enquiries to establish the full circumstances of this collision and I would urge any witnesses who have not already spoken to police, or anyone with relevant dashcam footage, to please come forward.

“In particular, from our enquiries we believe there was a silver or grey Honda CRV and a blue transit van that were travelling on Christchurch Road in the direction of Christchurch and the Blackwater Junction.

“I would be keen to speak to the occupants of these vehicles as they are likely to have witnessed what happened and could provide helpful information to assist our enquiries.”



Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email at scit@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240025689.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Could you be the final piece of the puzzle?


I am calling on residents in Dorset to join us in our fight against drug crime by reporting the small things which could make the biggest difference to where you live. Have you seen odd or out of character behaviour on your street? Perhaps you’ve witnessed a drug deal but haven’t reported it because you don’t think it’s important. Perhaps you don’t think anything will be done? I am urging you to report your concerns, no matter how insignificant you think they might be. It could provide the missing piece of the puzzle officers need to act.

I’m asking for this information in the week we have launched a campaign asking you to tell us ‘where the deal is’. You may have already spotted this campaign on the backs of buses across Dorset or on social media, as we make clear our county is #NoPlaceForDrugs. Your local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will also be encouraging you to share your information with them. For more than two years, Dorset has been at the forefront of a county line-busting initiative, tackling the drug dealers bringing illegal substances into our communities. Along with neighbouring police forces in Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and the respective offices of Police and Crime Commissioners, British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and the independent charity Crimestoppers, this initiative - Op Scorpion - has aimed to make the south west region a hostile environment for drugs by combining our resources to tackle drugs supply and county lines. Since the launch in 2021, there have been six phases of Op Scorpion. During the previous regional crackdown last year in Dorset 26 drug-related arrests were made, more than £93,000 worth of illegal drugs seized and the profits and paraphernalia of drug dealing including cash and weapons taken off the streets, along with 17 mobile phones. Op Scorpion puts a ring of steel around the south west thanks to the joint working of all our partners.

Dorset Police also have Op Viper, the Force’s own dedicated and proactive initiative targeting criminality, taking drugs off the streets, sharing intelligence, and protecting the vulnerable. This team uses intelligence and enforcement to disrupt county lines in order to make Dorset a hostile place for those dealing illegal drugs and bringing misery to communities. The Force has a specific County Lines Task Force, which is supported by Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams (NETs) to disrupt and deter incoming drug networks. Together, Op Scorpion and Op Viper are working to robustly tackle drug crime across our county.

All these results in Dorset wouldn’t have been possible without the public, and the vital information provided by you to build that crucial intelligence picture. It is only because of this information, along with the work of the Force, that county lines could be disrupted, and vulnerable people safeguarded. It’s why I am urging the people of Dorset to continue to report the unusual or suspicious activity they see where they live and work. We need your eyes, ears, and expert knowledge to drive these illegal drugs and criminals out of our county.

If you’re worried about reporting something, you don’t have to give the police your details or even contact them directly. There are a number of different ways to make a report, as is detailed in our new bus adverts. If you have information about suspected drug dealing in your community, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year on 0800 555 111 or use their non-traceable form online. You will remain 100% anonymous, always. You can also use the StreetSafe app, a service that allows you to report safety concerns in public places without giving your name, so it is also anonymous. Or should you be happy to speak to police, you can report information and intelligence online at www.dorset.police.uk/intelligence or call the Force on 101.

I want to be clear, what you see could be a bigger deal than you think. And by reporting it, you’ll be helping to keep you, your family, and your community safe. I know how damaging the effects of drugs can be. Shoplifting, anti-social behaviour, and vehicle crime are among just some of the offences often linked to drug crime, and I want it to stop. It’s why I made tackling this problem a key part of my Police and Crime Plan. I want you to feel safe where you live and work. But the police need your help to go further than ever; they can’t do this alone. Tell them where the deal is, and the police will deal with it. I want to send a direct message to the criminals dealing in Dorset; Dorset Police will find you, they will follow you and they won’t stop until they’ve got you.



David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





February 22, 2024


Dorset Police Force Awards 2024


We are excited to announce the launch of the Annual Awards Nomination Process. It is so important to recognise the exceptional work of all our officers, staff and volunteers (which includes Neighbourhood Watch). Nominations can be for officers, staff, members of the special constabulary and volunteers (inc Neighbourhood Watch). The categories are in the attached list. If you would like to nominate either a person or a group please respond to this alert and we will send out nomination process.

Nominations can be made from any individual and all nominations are to be received no later than FRIDAY, 29 MARCH 2024. Any received after this date will unfortunately not be considered.

All winners will be invited to attend the Force Annual Awards Ceremony at the Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy to receive their respective awards.


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Attachments
Force Award Categories 2024.docx



Message Sent By:
Alyson Moore
(Dorset Police & NHWN, Resilient Community Co-ordinator, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole)





February 16, 2024


Who are you really talking to online?

Who are you really talking to online? You may think that that you are talking to the person in the image on your device.

But beware of suspicious accounts on social media that try to build a large following and engagement through questionable means. These accounts may seem real, but are often run by bots or click farms exploiting vulnerable populations.

The goal is to get you to click shady links or divulge personal information, which can then be used for identity theft, scams, or other cybercrimes. Red flags include:

Thousands of new followers daily, many likely fake accounts

Requests to connect off-platform or share personal details

Links to inappropriate content or sketchy websites

Claims of quick money-making opportunities


The people operating these accounts may be human trafficking victims or economically exploited populations who are paid very little. Their passports are sometimes taken away in sweatshop-like conditions.

Protect yourself by being wary of accounts that seem to have inorganic growth. Do not click unknown links or share sensitive information with strangers online. Report suspicious accounts to social media platforms. Together we can stop the exploitation of vulnerable people and make the internet a safer place.



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)





February 20, 2024


Attention Facebook users

We want to make you aware of a recent surge in hacked Facebook accounts being used to perpetrate fraud. Fraudsters are gaining access to people's accounts and using them to advertise and sell non-existent event tickets, products, and more - often targeting local community Facebook groups and Marketplace.

Remember, there is more than one victim here - both the person whose account was hacked and those tricked into sending money. If your Facebook account has been hacked and used illegally, make sure to contact Facebook right away to secure it, change your password, and notify contacts. You should also report the incident to Action Fraud.

For more information on how to spot scams and stay safe online, visit the website Get Safe Online, which offers hints and tips.

Here are some tips to help identify hacked Facebook accounts and accounts selling fake event tickets or products:

Look for a change in tone or writing style from the account's previous posts. Hacked accounts often show odd changes if the hacker is posing as the person but not mimicking them well.

Check when the account last posted or had regular activity. If there's a gap of weeks or months, that can indicate it was inactive then suddenly became active again in a questionable way.

Look for friends commenting confusion on the posts selling tickets/products. They likely know if that behaviour seems strange coming from their friend.

Click on the seller's name and check their profile and past posts. Scammers often hack accounts that have been inactive, with few recent posts.

See if the account repeatedly posts the same or very similar ticket/product sales posts. Scammers tend to reuse the same ads across targeted groups.

Check for other posts warning of the account being hacked or fake if the person has reached out to warn their legitimate connections.

Reverse image search any photos of tickets or products. Scammers often steal images from other sites or past events rather than taking their own.

Look out for one another, so please share this message to help prevent further victims. The more awareness we can raise, the less power these fraudsters have to deceive members of our community.
Thank you for your help and vigilance!



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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Stalking - Fixated Obsessed Unwanted Repeated


Stalking is a pattern of unwanted, repeated behaviour that leaves you feeling scared or distressed. You don’t have to be threatened with violence to be a victim of stalking. Any kind of persistent, unwanted contact that causes distress is still stalking and is unacceptable. But things like romantic comedies can normalise this sort of behaviour, and you may not recognise it as stalking.

When certain behaviours are combined in a way that follows the FOUR pattern - Fixated, Obsessed, Unwanted, Repeated - then its stalking and you should record what’s happened and report it before it escalates.

Watch our video to see how these seemingly small, seemingly harmless gestures can escalate to something far more sinister…

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/1f6cb86f-1ecb-ee11-9d61-6045bdd24049

Find out more about stalking and harassment and how to report it on the Dorset Police website here: www.dorset.police.uk/stalking


You can also get advice from the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300and help and support for the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service www.paladinservice.co.uk/get-support


If you, or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Raising awareness of harmful stalking behaviours


This week Dorset Police released a powerful film, which focuses on the pattern of behaviour perpetrated by stalkers towards their victims. The film picks up on the normalisation of stalking behaviours in romantic comedies and other films, which can make it difficult to recognise these acts as unacceptable and potentially dangerous. The film highlights the FOUR pattern – Fixated, Obsessed, Unwanted, Repeated, urging viewers to report stalking if they recognise these behaviours. I encourage everyone to watch it and share it - Stalking: Fixated Obsessed Unwanted Repeated

I know the impact stalking can have on victims. As a candidate for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner back in 2021, I met Samantha Bumford, a victim of stalking. She was raising awareness about the crime and talking about her experience to help improve victim support and campaign for a register for those stalked outside of a relationship. Listening to her, I gained an insight into how destructive stalking can be for victims, and pledged to tackle this offence when I came to office. I know people can underplay the severity stalking has on them, not wanting to make a fuss, or dismissing the acts as ‘normal’. I want to urge anyone who is experiencing the behaviours pinpointed in this film, which follow the FOUR pneumonic, to come forward and report them. It is important, and there are people there to help you.

The more awareness we can raise about the dangerous actions of stalkers and help to dispel the misinformation around what can constitute stalking, the more we can help to protect people. Tackling the issue of stalking is a key feature of my Police and Crime Plan and, alongside the measures used by Dorset Police which include Stalking Protection Orders, I have financially supported the Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker service provided by YouTrust. They work with all stalking typologies across Dorset and lead on the stalking clinic, which is attended by Dorset Police, probation services, and health organisations. When referrals come through, YouTrust complete a risk assessment and stalking assessment, exploring the specific typology and then create a bespoke safety plan to match the risks highlighted. The team offer practical and emotional support, working with victims of stalking to report to the police, consider civil and criminal remedies and ongoing support. I have also commissioned Victim Support in Dorset, who support all victims of crime, including those subjected to stalking.

At the end of last year, Dorset Police’s lead on stalking, Detective Chief Superintendent Lindsay Dudfield, wrote in one of my newsletters about the extensive work which goes into dealing with this crime. There are a variety of safeguarding tools the Force use to protect victims including Community Orders, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Stalking Protecting Orders. Detective Chief Superintendent Dudfield also offered important reassurance to victims who for many reasons may not be able to proceed down the criminal justice path, saying there are mechanisms and safeguarding measures which can still be put in place to protect people.

This week, the release of the stalking film by Dorset Police also coincides with the launch of the Victims Code from the Ministry of Justice. The Victims Code explains the rights that everyone can expect to receive as a victim of crime. Whoever you are and whatever the crime, you have the right to be informed about the criminal justice process and the support available. Criminal justice agencies like the police and the courts service are responsible for making sure that victims receive the rights in the Victims’ Code. You can expect them to tell you about your rights as you go through the criminal justice process. If you decide not to report the crime, you’re still able to get help and hear about the Victims’ Codefrom support services. You can read more about the Victims Code here.

I want to be clear; victims’ voices are heard and will continue to be heard in my fight to make Dorset the safest county. I would encourage anyone who is worried or concerned they have been a victim of stalking to have the confidence to come forward and contact either Dorset Police, Victim Support, or the National Stalking Helpline; you will be listened to.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





February 13, 2024


Launch of National Campaign Against Fraud


Today sees the launch of the National Campaign Against Fraud which is brought to you by the UK Government in partnership with City of London Police, National Cyber Security and National Crime Agency. The following link will take you directly to the site where you will find information on How to spot fraud, Protecting yourself from fraud, Reporting fraud and Recovery from fraud. This will be supported by national TV and Radio.



Stop! Think Fraud (stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk)



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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12-week consultation opens for proposed new Community Safety Plan


The following message is sent on behalf of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority


A 12-week consultation has been launched for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s proposed new Community Safety Plan.

The plan sets out the priorities and challenges for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service from now until 2028, covering areas such as prevention, protection, response, governance and people.

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “The plan details how we intend to continue working, but also what we intend to review and do differently to meet and reduce the risks we face as an organisation. Public sector finances are under extreme pressure, so it is vital that we look at all parts of the Service to ensure that we are working as efficiently and as effectively as possible.”

The consultation runs from 9am on Friday 9 February until 9am on Friday 3 May. Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority will then consider the consultation responses and the final plan at its meeting in June.

Cllr Rebecca Knox, Chair of the Authority, said: “The Community Safety Plan is our ‘roadmap’ for the coming years, so the views of people from across our communities are essential. Whether you are a resident, a local business, a partner, a voluntary group or a charity, we would very much like to hear from you.”

A copy of the draft plan, a summary video and details on how to give your views – including an online form - can be found at:

www.dwfire.org.uk/draft-csp-2024-28-consultation





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



February 10, 2024


Supporting victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence


This week is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week and I want to take the opportunity to highlight the work being done to support victims of these devastating crimes and tell you about the services my office commission to provide crucial help for the people of Dorset.

Firstly, it is important for me to reinforce the vital reassurance Dorset Police has given to victims of rape, sexual assault, and other sexual offences with the pledge they will be treated with respect and supported when they report a crime. Since I came to office, I have dedicated a key part of my Police and Crime Plan to tackling these horrendous offences of sexual assault. Under the priority to fight violent crime and high harm, I have committed to ensuring that victims of rape and serious sexual assaults are provided with the care and support they need, but also that all victims have the confidence to report these crimes to the police in the first place.

Part of my commitment to tackling these heinous offences include ensuring the Force’s investigative focus is on the perpetrator and I welcome the words of Superintendent Emma Sweetzer, VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) lead for Dorset Police who makes clear the Force will pursue perpetrators of sexual offences relentlessly. She says officers have already started to see a shortening of the investigation process and more offenders going to court, adding: “We are committed to continuing to improve the service we offer to all survivors of rape and sexual offences, to bring more offenders to trial and cut the time victims have to wait for justice. Sexual offence investigations require the bravery of survivors to see them through, but the tenacity and professionalism of our investigators and support from our staff and partner organisations will get them through the criminal justice process.”

Through the Force’s involvement with Operation Soteria, a national collaboration which focused on the development of a new operating model for the investigation and prosecution of rape and serious sexual assault cases, the Force is currently implementing the new Rape and Serious Sexual Offences National Operating Model for investigation. This model is the result of the extensive research Op Soteria produced and continues to do through an independent anonymous survey of survivor-victims of rape and other sexual offences. The survey asks anyone who is aged 18 or over, and who has reported a sexual offence to the police, to give their honest feedback on how police handled their case, regardless of the outcome. I would urge people who have been affected by these crimes to take part – your voice and experiences will help shape the Force’s continued progress into improving services and ensure victims voices are heard.

There is support available for victims of sexual assault from a range of different agencies in Dorset. Whether it is the Force’s specially trained officers, or the exceptional services commissioned by my office, there is help available. I want to raise awareness of where you can go in Dorset if you need it. Firstly, the Shores Sexual Assault Referral Centre can provide evidential services even if a victim is unsure about involving the police. I know how important it is for survivors to feel in control and Shores offers this vital service for victims. STARS is a pan-Dorset charity which offers one to one support free of charge for anyone who lives, works or studies in Dorset and has experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their life. Victim Support is also available for victims regardless of age, gender or circumstances and whether the offence committed against them is recent or historic.

It is crucial to have different types of support available which can be tailored according to the needs of the individual. Whether it is counselling, practical advice or support from an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Adviser), a wide range of services are available to the people of Dorset through the services my office commissions. I urge anyone who has experienced these abhorrent crimes to reach out. There are people who can help you and advise you.

I want Dorset to be a place where victims feel confident to report crime, and that when they do, they are supported by the best services available to them. I am determined that victims are at the centre of policing, are given tailored support that works best for them as individuals, and importantly, have their voices heard as we work to make Dorset the safest place.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner



Shores Sexual Assault Referral Centre - 0800 970 9954 (All calls are confidential)

STARS Dorset - 01202 308855

Victim Support Dorset - 0300 3030 163





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




February 6, 2024


Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2024, 5 – 11 February

During Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2024, Dorset Police is sending the positive message to all survivors of sexual offences that when they report it to the police they will be treated with respect and supported.


Superintendent Emma Sweetzer of Dorset Police said: “Anyone who reports rape, sexual assault or other sexual offence to Dorset Police can be confident that they will be taken seriously and treated sensitively by our officers. Our focus will be on the crime that has taken place, on investigating it, protecting and supporting them while we do so, and on bringing the perpetrator to justice.

“Sexual offence investigations require the bravery of survivors to see them through, but the tenacity and professionalism of our investigators and support from our staff and partner organisations will get them through the criminal justice process.”

Dorset Police is currently implementing the new Rape and Serious Sexual Offences National Operating Model for investigation which was the result of extensive research during Operation Soteria, in which the force took part.

That research continues with an independent anonymous survey of survivor-victims of rape and other sexual offences. The survey asks anyone who is aged 18 or over, and who has reported a sexual offence to the police, to give their honest feedback on how police handled their case, regardless of the outcome. The survey can be accessed here, and there is an easy read version at the same link: https://tinyurl.com/1experiencesurvey

Superintendent Sweetzer concluded: “Survivors of rape and other sexual offences will be treated with dignity and respect, listened to and believed by Dorset Police.

“Dorset Police will pursue perpetrators of sexual offences relentlessly and we have already started to see a shortening of the investigation process and more offenders going to court. We are committed to continuing to improve the service we offer to all survivors of rape and sexual offences, to bring more offenders to trial and cut the time victims have to wait for justice.”


If you or anyone else is in danger call 999

Non-emergency reports and support www.dorset.police.uk




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




February 3, 2024


Dorset Precept Approved


This week the Dorset Police and Crime Panel unanimously approved plans to increase the amount of money residents in the county pay for their policing service. At a meeting of the panel at Dorset County Hall, members agreed the increase of £13 for a band D household, as set out in our recent survey.

The agreement from the Panel to increase the policing part of the precept comes after an on-line survey was held with the public. In total, 1,984 people responded, and of those 75% agreed that Dorset Police requires additional funding and 57% said they would pay more.

The precept survey ran for nearly 6 weeks, from December 19, 2023, to January 26, 2024. The survey was available online throughout this period, promoted via local media, Dorset Alert, the OPCC website, social media, face to face engagement events across the county as well as an online focus group event where members of the public were able to directly ask me questions on the precept.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the survey and I appreciate the feedback you have given me. As I have stated previously, asking the people of Dorset for more money is not something I wanted to do, especially at a time when so many are feeling the pinch. I am dedicated to ensuring Dorset remains one of the safest places in the country to live and work. That’s why in order to maintain the progress we have made so far; I have had to ask you for more to ensure the police can continue their vital work.

Over the past year we have seen policing operations including Operation Scorpion and Operation Viper continue to tackle illegal drugs and county lines in Dorset; I have funded knife wands for every police car across the county and purchased a portable knife arch to utilise as part of ongoing intelligence-led hot spot policing; my office has also brought in almost £1 million of additional grant funding from central government to tackle issues under the violence against women and girls agenda to bring in new initiatives to help tackle the priorities that were set by you back in 2021, when I became Commissioner.

I am pleased to say that residents and visitors to Blandford, Swanage and Lyne Regis have seen the police station front desks re-open as part of a pilot scheme and that Dorset Police now has 72 Community Contact Points across the county. These contact points offer a facility to report crime and incidents as well as offering prevention and engagement opportunities for the public. Boscombe police station has reopened as an operational base for local policing as part of efforts to improve response times to emergency calls in East Bournemouth and Christchurch. Dorset Police has also successfully responded to my challenge to make improvements to the time it was taking to respond to the most serious emergency calls and waiting times have reduced by 10% overall.

There has been a 14% reduction in ASB via various police operations including Op Relentless, Op Nightjar and Op Fireglow and there have been a range of rural crime initiatives, including the introduction of the Rural Mounted Volunteers. I am also delighted to say that Dorset’s Rural Crime team won a national award this year for tackling acquisitive crime, all while cutting the cost the cost of rural crime by 28%.

It is no secret I remain frustrated that Dorset is one of the lowest funded forces in the country. Since I became Police and Crime Commissioner, I have relentlessly lobbied for a fairer funding deal for Dorset. I want to see the disparity between forces addressed and rectified with a better solution. While the results of this lobbying will take time to materialise, I assure you I will continue to raise this issue until we see sparsity and seasonality addressed in the way our Force is funded by central government.

I am honoured to represent the residents of Dorset. I do not take it for granted and will continue to fight to ensure Dorset is the safest county by sticking to the Police and Crime Plan which means being tough on crime, keeping people safe and putting victims first.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





February 1, 2024


Love is in the Air - But Beware of Romance Fraudsters!


With Valentine's Day right around the corner, love is definitely in the air! But unfortunately, this time of year is also prime time for romance fraud. Everyone deserves to find true love, not get tricked by a scammer. Here are some tips to spot and avoid romance fraud this month:

Be wary of someone who declares love too quickly - Real relationships take time to build. If an online match professes their love before you've even met, it could be a red flag. Fraudsters often claim to be military members, traveling or working abroad, widowed, or otherwise unable to meet in person.

Look out for requests for money - Never send money, gift cards, or banking/personal details to someone you haven't met in person, no matter their excuse. Fraudsters are happy to wait months before even asking for money. This normally involves an urgent situation or emergency such as a call from a Doctor stating that the person you have fallen in love with has been in an accident and needs money for an operation.

Do a reverse image search - Scammers often steal photos from other sites to create fake profiles. You can do a reverse image search using Google to see if the photos are stolen from somewhere else.

Video chat before meeting in person - Ask to video chat so you can verify their identity. If they make excuses, it's probably a scammer avoiding showing their real face. However also beware as AI can now create lifelike images and videos of people that can talk and interact with you.

Talk to your friends and family - Don't keep an online relationship secret. Discuss it with people you trust to get another perspective. They may spot red flags you're missing. Visit the website LOVESAID where you can get valuable help, advice and support.

Look out for requests for money - Never send money, gift cards, or banking/personal details to someone you haven't met in person, no matter their excuse. Fraudsters are happy to wait months before even asking for money. This normally involves an urgent situation or emergency such as a call from a Doctor stating that the person you have fallen in love with has been in an accident and needs money for an operation.

It is important to understand that the fraudsters are skilled at their job using tactics akin to domestic abuse. Isolated from friends and family the victim’s only crime is giving their all to someone that they believe is genuine. It is very important that people understand that men, women and the LGBTQ+ community all ages and life skills are targeted. Nobody in a Romance fraud is stupid or gullible as they have been coerced and controlled by master criminals. It is common for victims to feel ashamed but it is important that victim’s report to Action Fraud.

Stay alert this Valentine's season, and remember that a genuine connection takes time to build. Don't let a anyone rush you into anything before you're ready! Wishing you safe, happy, and healthy relationships in 2024.



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)





January 27, 2024


Highlighting the importance of our Neighbourhood Police teams

Neighbourhood Policing Teams are the backbone of community policing, which is why during this week dedicated to highlighting the vital work they undertake, I have been delighted to see the spotlight trained on our officers, PCSOs, and volunteers in Dorset. From proactive engagement with the public at drop-in events, to enforcement work keeping our residents safe and protected, Neighbourhood Policing Week has demonstrated a snapshot of what our teams do, day in and day out across the county.

Each policing area in Dorset has a dedicated neighbourhood team, supported by a neighbourhood enforcement team and a rural crime team that work alongside partners to deal with the issues which are important to local communities such as anti-social behaviour. Their presence does much more than just deter potential offenders; it aims to reassure both residents and visitors and enhance feelings of safety. Since coming to office, you have been clear with me that you want to see more visible policing. I agree with you entirely. It is why I made visibility and connectivity a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan. I want to assure you I remain absolutely committed to building public confidence and trust between the Force and people of Dorset. I want to make sure the public not only feel safe in their communities, but also feel confident in reporting and raising issues they are experiencing where they live and work.

During this week I have seen the Neighbourhood Policing Teams undertake a range of actions from pursuing suspects, dealing with anti-social behaviour issues, working alongside our partner agencies in response to reports, and carrying out engagements with residents and community groups to name just a few. For example, the Bournemouth and Poole Police teams have conducted anti-social behaviour patrols in different known hotspots, attended residents’ meetings and events, helped a community set up a Neighbourhood Watch programme and conducted welfare checks on vulnerable people, as well as much, much more. I want Dorset residents to know their local officers which is why the Community Contact Points the Force has introduced across the county are so vital. These opportunities are drop-in events with local police teams where residents can raise concerns and report crime and incidents face-to-face. Each event is advertised on the Dorset Police website and social media platforms for the relevant team. All you have to do is enter your postcode at www.dorset.police.uk to find your local neighbourhood policing team. There you will find information about the up-and-coming Community Contact Point opportunities and details of how to follow your local team on social media.

I took the opportunity to see some of this work first-hand in Dorchester this week when I joined PCSOs Mark and Charlotte as they patrolled the town centre. We visited shops on the high street to speak with loss prevention officers and staff to ensure there was no suspicious activity or issues, as well as checking in at premises which had been targeted by shoplifters in the past. During the patrol, we took the opportunity to talk to members of the public, hear their concerns about the high street and signpost to the relevant agencies best placed to help.

Dorset Police’s Neighbourhood Sergeant for Bridport and Sherborne, Mike Brown, said: “Our local communities are at the heart of everything we do, and we strive to ensure everyone feels safe where they live and work. Through our regular patrols, enforcement work and community contact points, we want to make sure we’re staying visible and connected to the people and communities we serve. I would like to encourage people to engage with us at our regular events, meet your local officers and report incidents face to face. We value the contact we have with residents and every report made helps us to make Dorset a safer place.”

We all have a part to play in keeping our communities safe. I’d like more people to find out who their local policing teams are and if possible, take the opportunity to attend a Community Contact Point. Whether it’s just to say hello, or if you’re worried about something where you live, they can give advice or point you in the right direction if it’s best dealt with by another agency. Your report might be the missing piece of information they need to deal with an offence, so I would encourage you to make that step in engaging with your local officers.

Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our teams in Dorset for their hard work and dedication. Working together, we can all ensure Dorset becomes the safest county to live and work.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Force welcomes historical data wash results and pledges ongoing vetting commitment

Dorset Police has pledged its ongoing commitment to ensure that all police officers, staff and volunteers undergo ongoing stringent and robust vetting procedures.

This follows the publication of the historical data wash where over 300,000 officers, staff and volunteers working across UK police forces have been checked against the Police National Database – this included 3,185 employees and volunteers in Dorset.

In the data returned to the Force it was found that there were no cases that needed criminal or disciplinary investigation, management intervention or re-vetting.


View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/1c92f1c1-e9b9-ee11-9d5f-6045bdd24049




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)






Advice to keyless car owners following attempted theft of vehicles

Dorset Police is releasing footage of an attempted theft of a keyless car to raise awareness and help protect motorists.

Offenders are using a device from outside a property to connect to a car key’s signal and trick the vehicle into thinking the key is nearby, meaning it will unlock automatically and the ignition can be started.

The Force has recently seen one incident involving an attempt to use this method at around 2.30am on Wednesday 24 January 2024 in Poole, but thankfully no entry was gained to any vehicles.

Two men were reported acting suspiciously outside an address, with one of them carrying a backpack on his front and holding a wire above his head to try and connect to the key’s signal.

Police Constable Harvey Trehane, of Dorset Police, said: “We are issuing CCTV footage from the reported incident to highlight the tactics that offenders are using.

“Keyless vehicles are targeted by criminals using signal equipment and we want to raise awareness of simple steps that can be taken to protect your car.

“If you see anyone acting suspiciously around vehicles in a similar way to the footage, please contact Dorset Police.”

How to protect your keyless entry car


When at home keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car.

Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday Bag, and check if the bag or pouch is still working every few months.

Reprogramme your keys if you buy a second-hand car.

Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it's not being used.


For further crime prevention advice, please visit: Preventing car and vehicle theft | Crime Prevention | Dorset Police

To watch the moving CCTV footage, please visit our Dorset Police Facebook or X accounts.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




January 23, 2024


Dorset Police joins national neighbourhood policing week

Neighbourhood teams across Dorset will be highlighting the work they do as part of a national Neighbourhood Policing Week of action.

The third national Neighbourhood Policing Week is a collaboration between the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council.

Forces up and down the country will be joining together to recognise the work of local policing teams and learn from each other.

From Monday 22 January, local policing teams across the county will be promoting activity that neighbourhood officers, police community support officers (PCSOs) and volunteers do to protect the public and keep people safe.

Each policing area across Dorset has a dedicated neighbourhood team, supported by a neighbourhood enforcement team and rural crime team that collaborate with partners to target activity, tackling issues that are important to local communities.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/aa3624eb-11b9-ee11-9d5f-6045bdd24049

Find your local officer, see upcoming local events and meetings, and read about policing priorities in your area by visiting www.dorset.police.uk/area/your-area/.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




January 20, 2024


Op Relentless Community Fund in Action

This week, I’d like to tell you more about the Operation Relentless Community Fund as I have been visiting some of the organisations who were successful in their funding applications during round three last year. Over the past few days, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the people across Dorset who are intent on making a difference to their communities and seizing the opportunity to enact positive change.

I know the detrimental impact ASB can have on communities and individuals, and that is why I am so intent on driving down offences which cause harm to the people of Dorset. Tackling ASB is a key part of my Police and Crime Plan and through this fund, I have seen the positive impact Op Relentless projects are making across the county. These initiatives are seeing real results as well, as the residents of Littlemoor can attest. Following the installation of cameras at the Top Club, partially funded by Op Relentless, this area of Weymouth saw an 80% per cent drop in ASB incidents and importantly, residents said they felt safer. I am proud that the money granted through Op Relentless gives people the power to come together and tackle issues in such an effective way for their communities.

I was clear when establishing the Op Relentless Community Fund that I wanted the grants to go to projects which reduce ASB and increase the feeling of safety in areas disproportionately affected. So far, the fund, which was set-up in 2021, has supported 31 organisations with more than £117,000 of funding. Applications for sums from £100 up to £5,000 have been approved over the years and successful projects from all three rounds have included crucial work to protect localities with CCTV cameras, community outreach work, and projects for young people including skateboarding sessions and gym membership as well.

In the latest funding round, I am pleased to see a variety of projects in locations across Dorset, three of which I have visited this week with my team. Charlton Down Cricket Club near Dorchester has seen new CCTV cameras installed on their premises following issues with littering and the presence of items relating to drugs and alcohol. There have also been incidents involving damage to property at the site. I am pleased this funding will enable those from the cricket club to feel their premises are safer thanks to the new security measures.

Elsewhere I also met members of St Andrew’s Church Community Centre in Kinson, Bournemouth whose funding has been put towards measures to protect the local area around the church and Kinson and West Howe Foodbank. The community has seen numerous incidents of ASB over the past few years including windows broken, fly tipping, motorbikes and dirt bikes bring raced on the land and lane, drug dealing and much more. These are the incidents I want to help stop. The community centre is used seven days a week by a variety of people including parent and baby groups and exercise classes and the food bank for two days a week. In the current cost of living crisis, it is crucial people feel safe accessing services like the ones offered here, and I am pleased this will help towards that.

In Weymouth, I was delighted to see the funding to Weymouth Town Council put towards two SIA (Security Industry Authority) staff to support the existing Resort Team for eight weeks during the summer months. These patrols will help to create high visibility and a sense of safety for visitors and residents to the town. The key objectives of the SIA workers are to address ASB, provide intelligence to the council and Dorset Police and promote Weymouth as a safe and welcoming place for everyone in the town. It comes after the town saw a 40% reduction in ASB incidents during the 100 Days of Summer campaign, and I am pleased this effective joint working will continue to make a positive impact.

I want the Op Relentless Community Fund to empower communities to help address incidents of ASB affecting them. I hope to run a further round of the fund in the next few months and ask people to keep an eye on our website for an announcement. Together, through policing, the work of our partners and a united approach, we can drive down these offences and make Dorset the safest place to live and work.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




January 13, 2024


Precept - Answering some of your questions

In this week’s newsletter, I’d like to respond to some of the feedback you’ve given us as part of our precept survey so far by outlining some of the work taking place. During our recent engagement events, you’ve told us what you would like to see happening, so I would like to take the time to address this and reassure you that in many of the examples raised we’re already tackling these issues. This is because we’ve listened to what you’ve told us previously and have taken steps to act and improve. As I have said before, asking the people of Dorset for more money in the policing precept is not something I want to do. However, to provide you with the level of policing we require in the county, and to ensure we can maintain what we already have, it is sadly necessary.

Along with my team, I have heard your views and feedback, and I thank you wholeheartedly. Whether you have agreed, disagreed, or raised issues, I am listening intently and want you to know I am grateful for your engagement across the board.

I also want to make clear that I have been fighting for more funding from the government since I came to office and will continue to do so. To reassure you, I have been relentless in lobbying for a fairer funding deal for Dorset, to ensure less burden on you, the taxpayer. Dorset is one of the least funded forces in the country from the national government grant. We are second from bottom in the table of 41 forces and I have been fighting on your behalf to change that. You can read more about the discrepancy in funding here.

Visibility

Many of you have mentioned officer visibility. While last year Dorset Police exceeded the target for the Government’s National Police Uplift Programme with 174 new officers coming into the force, I know that feelings of community safety are about more than just numbers. I want to assure you that I continue to work alongside the Chief Constable to ensure the public see and feel the difference as these officers join our teams. I also want to tell you that the significant majority of our new recruits are going into community roles. Building trust and confidence with our communities is a top priority in my Police and Crime Plan, and I am dedicated to delivering this. Neighbourhood Policing Teams are the backbone of community policing and I aim to ensure each area of Dorset is served by officers with a strong understanding of the needs of each of our communities. Through more community contact points in the past year, along with engagement events, specialist teams including the Rural Crime Team, and a recent improvement in response times across the force, we are working hard to deliver this important change for the people of Dorset. I know there is work still to do though, and will ensure I continue driving this change, with the force, on your behalf.

Anti-social behaviour

Tackling anti-social behaviour remains a priority for both Dorset Police and myself. I appreciate that for many Dorset residents, it is often the less serious crimes, the 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 thrown my weight and funding behind 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.

County Lines

When it comes to tackling drug crime, I want you to know more action has been taken in the past year, with this focus continuing in 2024. Operation Scorpion and Operation Viper are set to disrupt even more drug supply lines, with the next phase of Scorpion taking place soon. The most recent phase saw 26 drug-related arrests, more than £93,000 worth of illegal drugs seized as well as the profits and paraphernalia of drug dealing, including cash and weapons taken off our streets. 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 praised by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. Through the CDP in Dorset we focus on four key areas – enforcement, treatment and recovery, prevention, and joint analytics across the county – and we intend to build upon this brilliant progress even further this year. Dealing with the issue of drugs is complex and requires a robust approach, but I am determined that tackling the problem of drugs and drug-related harm is at the top of our agenda.

Burglary

The most recent report from the Office of National Statistics in the latter half of 2023, confirmed that there had been a 14 per cent drop in the number of residential burglaries in Dorset. And while I am pleased the force continues to see a fall in this harmful offence, I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that Dorset Police do attend all domestic burglaries and have reiterated their commitment to uphold their 100% attendance rate. I vow to ensure this approach continues in our county. I understand the detrimental impact burglaries can have on victims. I know it is about more than just having possessions stolen, it is about the fundamental right to feel safe and secure in your own home.

Knife Crime

I want to reassure you that while we have the second lowest rate of knife crime across England and Wales, this does not mean we are complacent. In fact, we have intensified our efforts towards tackling this harmful offence. Just some of the measures include launching the Bournemouth Town Team with Dorset Police and other partners, my office also funded knife wands for every patrol car as well as a portable knife arch, and the Force-led Operation Fireglow and Operation Nightjar also tackled ASB and serious crime in their targeted patrols. I am clear though, dealing with the scourge of knife crime is not just the responsibility of the police. It is down to all of us, from local authorities, partners, charities, and individuals, to work together to drive down this offence. My campaign for a Violence Reduction Unit in Dorset will continue apace in 2024, as I strongly believe if we are to keep Dorset a safe place and ensure it remains so for the next generations, this is the way forward.

I hope by addressing some of these topics you have a better understanding of the work I am continuing to push for and get done on your behalf, and why I am having to ask for more in this year’s precept. My commitment to you is to continue working relentlessly to get a fairer funding deal to ensure Dorset becomes the safest county to live and work.

You can take the survey here

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




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More than 100 arrests made during Christmas campaign crackdown on drink and drug driving


Dorset Police's Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, which targeted people who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, proved successful.


Between Friday 1 December 2023 and Monday 1 January 2024, party-goers were encouraged to plan their journeys home, reminded of the potential consequences if they are caught driving while under the influence and encouraged to report suspected drink or drug drivers to the police.

During the campaign, Dorset Police arrested 113 people in connection with 127 suspected drink and drug driving offences during December, and some drivers were arrested on suspicion of both drink and drug-related offences. Of the 113 arrests, 71 people were arrested on suspicion of drink driving; 53 people on suspicion of drug driving and 3 further arrests were made for failing to provide a sample for analysis.

The number of arrests made during the campaign has increased when compared to the same campaign period last year, when 85 arrests were made.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/407674c5-a0b0-ee11-9d5f-6045bdd24049

If you suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please dial 999 immediately with the vehicle information and direction of travel.

If you have information relating to someone who regularly drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please call 101 or fill in an intelligence form on our website: www.dorset.police.uk.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)






January 9, 2024


Update in relation to reported assault in Christchurch

A man has been identified and interviewed by officers following a CCTV appeal in relation to an alleged assault in Christchurch.


Dorset Police received a report at 8.10pm on Friday 22 December 2023 of a fight outside The Thomas Tripp pub in Wick Lane.

During the incident a man from Bournemouth – aged in his 30s – was reportedly knocked unconscious and taken to hospital for treatment.

Officers attended and a 20-year-old man from the New Forest area in Hampshire and a 27-year-old man from the Dorchester area were arrested on suspicion of affray. They have both been released under investigation.

Following a CCTV appeal to identify a further individual officers wanted to speak to in connection with the incident, a 19-year-old man from the New Forest area has attended for a voluntary police interview and he has also been released under investigation as enquiries continue.

We would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




January 5, 2024


Precept - Why I'm asking you for more

Asking you, the residents of Dorset for more of your hard-earned money for the policing precept is not something I wanted to do. While I know £13 a year - £1.08 a month for a Band D household – may not seem like a lot to some people, I want you to know that I recognise it is more pressure on your household budgets and incomes at a time when everyone is feeling the pinch.

However, I want to be clear. While the government’s limit of £13 is the most we can ask for this year, in Dorset it is below what’s really needed to support the force in the work they are doing. Dorset is one of the least funded forces from the national government grant. We are second from bottom in the table of 41 forces, and frustratingly for me, that means a more significant proportion of the police funding needs to come from the precept.

This year, due partly to the rate of inflation now and throughout the past 12 months, we need £13 a month just to be able to maintain a ‘stand still point’. That’s why in my survey, I am asking if theoretically you might be prepared to pay more. The reason I am asking this is purely hypothetical. I want to be able to show the government that people in Dorset value policing and know our force is underfunded and needs more. Your views and support will help me demonstrate that our police force in Dorset needs more money from a fairer deal.

Since I became your Police and Crime Commissioner in 2021, I have been relentless in lobbying for a fairer funding deal for Dorset. I have called for the government to consider ‘seasonality and sparsity’ – how busy our officers are especially over summer, along with the size and rurality of the county. It’s frustrating for me to see the discrepancies in force funding across the country and know we need - and deserve - more. Just over half of our total budget comes from central government, which forces us to raise the remainder through council tax contributions – the policing precept. But for example, across the country the West Midlands police force receives approximately 80% of their funding from the government. When you consider the pressures Dorset Police deal with for much of the year due to the ‘seasonality’ in which we can see 13 million people visiting our county on day trips and 1.8million on holiday, it is plain to see why I’m fighting for a fairer deal. And I want to assure you I won’t give up, not until this disparity is fully recognised and rectified.

We are an ambitious force, and thanks to the hard work and dedication of our officers, staff, and volunteers, we overachieve in many areas. But the Chief Constable and I want to continue to progress with this work on your behalf, not stand still. The settlement we have been handed falls short of what we need to move forward and progress further. It means difficult decisions must be made, decisions we do not want to take but will have to in order to provide a responsible balanced budget. My top priority is to continue delivering on the seven year Police and Crime Plan which is working for the people of Dorset.

Dorset remains one of the safest places in the country, and I want it to be the safest. We are second in the country for the highest number of Rape and Serious Sexual Offence prosecutions, and we also have the second lowest number of knife crimes in the country this year. In 2023, Dorset also saw the highest number of officers it has had since the introduction of PCC’s. I know you wanted to feel more connected to local officers and am pleased to say 72 Police Community Contact Points have taken place across the county. This has enabled the force to maximise community policing, multi-agency working and frontline deployment. While this is a great starting point, I know we still have a way to go. I want to drive for consistency for all Dorset’s communities and it’s why I won’t give up my fight for a fairer funding deal for Dorset. This year we’ve also brought in more money than ever through successful bids which enable us to launch new projects towards the protection of women and girls against violence, as well as funding for initiatives to prevent anti-social behaviour. We’ve robustly tackled the issues of drugs with more prevention, treatment and tough enforcement with Operation Scorpion and Operation Viper. We’ve launched a range of rural crime initiatives including our Rural Mounted Volunteers schemes and have an award-winning expanded rural crime team who are cutting rural crime significantly with the cost of rural crime falling by 28%. But without more money from central government, we can’t progress. This money is essential as I believe that you, the residents of Dorset deserve a police force able to continually evolve and improve and remain ambitious for its residents.

I implore you to fill in this survey and help in my fight for fairer funding for Dorset. Use your voice to help shape the future of policing in our county. The results will assist in deciding how best to spend our budgets and enable me to continue the fight on your behalf for fairer funding. Completing the survey only takes a few minutes, and I thank you for taking the time to fill it in and hopefully share it with family and friends and colleagues.

I am honoured to represent the residents of Dorset and want to assure you that I do not take it for granted. I’m fighting to make Dorset the safest county for all of us and achieving a better funding deal is integral to that.

Take the survey now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Precept24DorsetAlert


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner





December 29, 2023


Have your say on police funding in Dorset!

Have you taken the Dorset Policing Precept Survey yet?

Funding your police service is an ongoing priority for me, ensuring the Chief Constable has the resources needed to continue the good work already happening across the county. Therefore, it is vital we are able to meet rising cost pressures and deliver a balanced budget moving forward.

As the Police and Crime Commissioner, I place great emphasis on my responsibility to ensure your views help shape the future of policing in our county. This survey is vitally important, and the results will have an impact on every local resident and business in Dorset. I will use the information shared through this process to set the policing element of council tax precept for 2024/25 and to help in deciding how best to allocate our budget.

The survey has the potential to make Dorset a safer place for us all, so thank you for taking the time to add your views and please share the survey with friends, family, and work colleagues so that we can get the greatest possible involvement from residents.

Take the survey now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Precept24DorsetAlert


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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CCTV appeal following reported assault in Christchurch

Detectives investigating an alleged assault in Christchurch are issuing a CCTV image of a man they would like to identify.

Dorset Police received a report at 8.10pm on Friday 22 December 2023 of a fight outside The Thomas Tripp pub in Wick Lane.

During the incident, a man from Bournemouth – aged in his 30s – was reportedly knocked unconscious and taken to hospital for treatment.

Officers attended and a 20-year-old man from the New Forest area in Hampshire and a 27-year-old man from the Dorchester area were arrested on suspicion of affray. They have both been released on police bail while enquiries continue.

Detective Constable Robin Mackay, of BCP CID, said: “I am continuing to investigate this incident and would ask any witnesses who have not already spoken to police to please get in touch.

As part of my enquiries I have obtained a CCTV image of a man I would like to identify and I would ask anyone who recognises him to please contact Dorset Police.”

View image here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/86d8311e-99a4-ee11-9d5e-6045bdd24049


Anyone with information relating to this matter is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, quoting Operation Interest or occurrence number 55230200298.
Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Report it Right - Dorset

People in Dorset are being asked to check whether they need to contact the police before they report any incidents this New Year.

Call handlers receive thousands of calls every year asking for help which the police are unable to give, such as noisy neighbours and lost dogs.

Dorset Police is now urging people to remember the slogan “When something’s wrong - Report it right” to ensure callers get the best help from the most appropriate service and without taking up the time of police staff who may otherwise dealing with more urgent queries.

Chief Superintendent Gavin Dudfield, of Dorset Police, said: “We work extremely hard with our partners to provide the best possible service to people in the county, but we need members of the public to make sure they are reporting their issues to the right organisation.

“We see a significant number of calls reporting issues relating to parking, noisy neighbours and lost dogs which should be reported to the local council or other agencies.

“We want you to get the help you need as soon as possible and save you time. So, please try to speak with the right people from the start.”


Examples of concerns which police cannot help with include:

Noise Pollution
This is dealt with by the Environmental Health Department of your local council.

Lost or found dogs
The local dog warden should be able to help with this.

Bad Parking
The council’s parking enforcement department deals with this.

Legal Advice
Citizens Advice may be able to help with this.

Power Outages
There is a dedicated emergency line – 105 – for power cuts.


Of course, when there is an emergency or crime in progress, people should still call 999 and non-urgent incidents can be reported online via our website at Report | Dorset Police or by calling 101.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




December 23, 2023


A look back at 2023

The year is almost at a close, and I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on the progress made over the past 12 months as we work to make Dorset the safest county. From new partnerships to significant funding successes, it’s been a year of progress, but I want to reassure you I am firmly focused on 2024 and continuing to deliver for the people of Dorset.

Here are my highlights from 2023.

1. Cut Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

From new CCTV to community outreach work, my aim to robustly tackle anti-social behaviour has been well-served by Dorset Police’s continued implementation of Operation Relentless. Along with the community fund administered by my office which funds projects and initiatives to reduce ASB and increase community safety, we have seen success in reducing incidences across the county. Indeed, the 100 Days of Summer policing operation tackling ASB in Weymouth led to a 40% reduction in ASB and criminal activity incidents compared to previous years, thanks to robust policing and regular interaction with the community and visitors.

Along with the Op Relentless community fund, which has supported 31 organisations across Dorset with more than £117,000 of funding, I am also proud of the work undertaken with the Fix The Future initiative, which aims to create more prevention and diversion schemes across Dorset by supporting projects and initiatives to benefit young people and their communities. This year we launched round two with some fantastic applications proving successful.

2. Make Policing More Visible and Connected

It has been great to see Community Contact Points being used across Dorset, alongside our mobile police station front desk and office. The aim of the community contact points is to increase accessibility and visibility in local communities, offering a facility to report crime and incidents as well as offering prevention and engagement opportunities for the public.

Another encouraging result has been the Force’s successful response to a challenge I issued them earlier this year to make improvements to the time it was taking to respond to the most serious emergency calls. I am delighted to see waiting times reduce by 10% overall and look forward to seeing this progress continue as we deliver a better service to the people of Dorset.

3. Fight Violent Crime and High Harm

There will be no let-up in our fight against knife crime. While we have the second lowest rate of knife crime across England and Wales, that does not mean we are complacent. This year we intensified our efforts which included the launch of the Bournemouth Town Team with Dorset Police and our partners, my office funded knife wands for every patrol car as well as a portable knife arch and the Force-led Operation Fireglow and Operation Nightjar targeted ASB and serious crime. I know there is much more still to do, which is why my campaign for a Violence Reduction Unit in Dorset will continue apace in 2024.

I was also pleased to welcome the law which made possession of NOS – Nitrous Oxide – illegal. I have been campaigning for this to happen for some time and to see this law in action has been a significant milestone in my fight to protect the most vulnerable. In Dorset, Operation Scorpion and Operation Viper will continue their excellent work disrupting drug supply lines in 2024.

4. Fight Rural Crime

Dorset is blessed with strong, proud rural communities, and I was pleased to see NFU Mutual’s annual report showing a 28% drop in the cost of crime for Dorset, compared to an increase of 22.1% nationally. In October we launched our Rural Mounted Volunteers scheme which sees volunteers on horseback work with the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, providing intelligence and information to support and protect our rural communities. This is just one more weapon in the armoury when it comes to taking the fight to the criminals who plague our countryside.

I also confirmed funding for an evidence gathering role to enable further enforcement of fly-tipping offenders in Dorset. I know from a Rural Crime Survey we conducted this year, that fly-tipping is the rural crime which concerns you the most and I am happy to have listened and acted to provide this important role.

5. Put Victims and Communities First

Alongside the brilliant services my office commission including Victim Support and Restorative Justice Dorset, we have seen two new initiatives launch this year to ensure victims and communities are at the front and centre of the criminal justice process. One of these is the VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Improvement Panel, which reviews Dorset Police’s VAWG agenda, ensuring the Force is delivering the most effective and compassionate service for victims of VAWG-related crimes. We also announced the Immediate Justice pilot scheme, which will help to tackle anti-social behaviour. This pilot is designed so swift and visible punishments are delivered to those who have committed ASB and other low-level crimes.

6. Make Every Penny Count

I continue to lobby government for a better, fairer deal for Dorset. As you may have seen, I have launched our annual precept survey this week, asking you to have your say on the policing part of the council tax precept. It is no secret it’s been a tough financial year, and it is not easy for me to come to you, the people of Dorset, and ask for your continued support. But we do need your help and your contribution to keep Dorset one of the safest places in the country to live and work.
Please fill in our survey; I place great emphasis on ensuring your views help shape the future of policing in our county.

I want to assure you that I will be relentless in my fight to ensure Dorset is the safest county. So much good work has taken place this year, but I am not complacent. I know more needs to be done. Through continued lobbying for a fairer funding deal, fighting violent crime and high harm and putting victims and communities first, there will be no let-up.

I wish you all a safe and happy festive season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Shoplifting - a retailer's perspective

Business crime is not a victimless offence. I know how much it can impact hardworking business owners and retail staff across Dorset and I want to assure you I take these incidents very seriously. Whether it’s shoplifting, anti-social behaviour, cyber-crime and fraud, commercial burglary, or violence against shop workers, I am firmly committed to tackling these offences, and keeping retail workers safe. I have made tackling these offences a feature of my Police and Crime Plan, commissioning my office to set-up the Dorset Safer Business Partnership (DSBP) to work with businesses, partners, and the police to develop strategies to deal with business crime.

I have also been pleased to see Dorset Police’s ‘Safer Christmas’ campaign focusing on business crime. With advice for retailers and shoppers alike, the campaign links in with Op Shopkeeper which targets prolific shoplifters who cause the most harm in our communities through theft. I fully support the force when they say people who perpetrate business crime can expect to be dealt with robustly. To echo their key message, Dorset is indeed open for business, but closed for crime.

Since I became your Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been out across the county speaking to business owners, representatives, and staff about these issues. I understand how damaging offences like shoplifting and abuse towards retail workers can be on you and your teams and, in turn, your livelihoods. Today, I would like to hand over my newsletter to Adam Vincent, from independent Stalbridge supermarket, Dike & Son, to talk about their experiences with shoplifting and how they’re tackling it.

“The situation has changed significantly over the past few years. It’s gone from one extreme to another. During Covid, shoplifting was at an all-time low. As well as the fact that fewer people were shopping in person, we had someone on the front door monitoring numbers in the shop and therefore there was less opportunity to steal.

“People were also not struggling with the cost-of-living crisis at that point either. Now, with the cost of mortgages, rents, bills and indeed essentials like food and fuel rocketing up, things are much different. As retailers, we’re suffering because of the higher prices – but also getting hit on the other side as a result.

“When it comes to your typical shoplifter, it’s not always the stereotypes you see in the media who are fuelling this rise in shoplifting, it’s others as well. Yes, the high value items like meat and alcohol are obvious targets, but we’re also seeing other people who you wouldn’t suspect at all. For example, recently we had someone come in very smartly dressed and steal some Mr Kipling slices. She took them from the box and dropped them in her bag. All in all, those items would have added up to £10. I am aware people are struggling and food banks are overrun, but this lady was driving a car newer than mine, wearing designer labels. The cost-of-living crisis has hit us all, but I think some people don’t want to have to tighten their belts despite all of us feeling the pinch, and in turn that leads to more of this sort of behaviour.

“This ties in with some of the other items we’re seeing stolen as well. It’s not just essentials but things like Brita water filters for example. They’re £20 a packet. It all supports what we’re seeing that there isn’t a stereotypical shoplifter anymore, certainly not here anyway.

“The rise in shoplifting incidents does have an impact on us. Not just on our finances but our staff. We’re a family business which has been running for more than 170 years and people don’t realise there are 85 people whose jobs rely on us. The rise in this type of crime does put more pressure on us. It has a massive impact on feeling safe at work but also the inconvenience these incidents cause to the everyday lives of our staff.

“In an effort to mitigate against shoplifting, we have more than 100 CCTV cameras which are monitored, as well as tagging systems and hidden security tags. We’ve got quite inventive over the years. And we’re now looking at other measures as well to boost our security.

“We do challenge perpetrators in store if we’re aware of it happening. I know a lot of places don’t and we don’t want to put our staff at risk, but we are in a unique position where the owners, the directors and the store manager who all feel passionately about the business are on site and want to stop this happening. There are occasions where we’re building up evidence and won’t challenge though. None of our staff are under any pressure to challenge and can always flag to a colleague instead.

“The police have only got so much time and so much resource, so we need to make it as easy as possible for them to help us. As retailers, we need to do everything we can as well. It’s in our own interests. If the police are not aware of a problem, or a growing trend, then they can’t do anything about it. If we say, ‘What’s the point?’ that’s not going to solve this. A solution won’t be immediate, but we need to show up for the police, in order for them to do the same for us.”

Thanks to Adam for his description of the challenges retailers are facing daily. As part of the Government’s recent Retail Crime Action Plan, a commitment has been made to prioritise attending shoplifting incidences involving violence against a shopworker, as well as where security guards have detained an offender or where attendance is needed to secure evidence. As part of this plan, police forces have also reaffirmed their pledge to follow-up on evidence that could reasonably lead to catching a perpetrator.

I welcome this plan, and locally, have recently supported businesses through my Business Crime Community Fund, giving grants to BIDs for up to £5,000 for initiatives to reduce business crime and abuse against shop workers. I take the responsibility of protecting businesses and the people who work for them very seriously and would urge everyone – from organisations to individuals - to work together as these issues can’t be solved through policing alone.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Domestic abuse survivor visits Force as part of training initiative

A domestic abuse and stalking survivor who was held hostage at gunpoint by her former partner in Wales visited Dorset to speak about her lived experience.


Rhianon Bragg delivered a hard-hitting input to officers and staff from the Force’s Firearms Licensing Team and Adult Safeguarding Hub as part of her personal mission to bring positive change and help other victims who may not be able to speak out.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/ecd7655f-04a0-ee11-9d5e-6045bdd24049

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment or controlling and coercive behaviour, you can find out details on how to report and the support that is available by visiting: https://www.dorset.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Have a safe and Merry Christmas

Step up, Step in and STOP harassment and abuse of women and girls


With the festive season in full swing, Dorset Police has issued advice to everyone who is out and about in the run up to Christmas to do what they can to keep themselves and everyone else safe. The force will also be actively keeping an eye out for sexually aggressive behaviour.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/46b43a93-01a0-ee11-9d5e-6045bdd24049

If you see someone being harassed or abused, step in if it’s safe to do so, or tell someone. And if you or anyone is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 999. Dorset Police will be here for you this Christmas. Find out more by following this link: https://enough.campaign.gov.uk/help-stop-it

Have a great time.





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




December 21, 2023


Family Passwords To Stop Whats App Fraud



Beware WhatsApp messages supposedly from your family members saying they have lost or damaged their phone, so please send money quickly!!


This Christmas, set up a family password so that you know that it is genuine if one of you needs help. Make it 3 words that you will all remember. Make it unique and not information already on your social media, such as a pet's name. Make it fun like the snow family in the picture.



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)




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BLOG: Chief Constable Amanda Pearson reflects on the past 12 months of policing


As we approach the end of 2023, I wanted to reflect on the fantastic work of our 3,071 officers, staff and volunteers in delivering a safer Dorset over the past 12 months.

I’ve now spent nine months as Dorset’s Chief Constable, and having brought up my family here, I was honoured to join this organisation and lead such an incredible set of people.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/01f61913-899e-ee11-9d5e-6045bdd24049

I wish our people and our communities a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Chief Constable Amanda Pearson
Dorset Police




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




December 19, 2023


Top tips for staying safe and secure this Christmas

In this week’s newsletter, I’m handing over to two of Dorset Police’s experts on crime prevention and acquisitive crime for some advice on how to keep ourselves safe this Christmas. Thanks to Detective Superintendent Steve May for introducing the top tips from Crime Prevention and Design Advisor Claire Davis.

This Christmas we want to urge the residents of Dorset take some simple prevention measures to make it harder for thieves and other offenders. While Dorset is one of the safest places in the country to live, we must remember to look after ourselves and our possessions throughout the festive period as we often see an increase in theft and burglary throughout this time of year. Across the nation, police are seeing increases in the levels of reported theft, which includes home burglary, thefts of vehicles and break-ins to sheds and garages. I would urge you to please remember that the gifts you are looking forward to giving and receiving are equally as attractive to thieves and they can be on the lookout for opportunities to take them away and ruin your Christmas. Crime prevention is often down to small and sensible measures that we can all take to make sure that Christmas remains a time of celebration and good cheer. Whether it’s making sure your car is locked and secure or keeping that box from the present you’ve just wrapped out of sight until bin day, there’s plenty of simple prevention measures you can take to ensure you don’t become a victim of crime, not just this Christmas, but throughout the year.

At home:

Keeping doors and windows locked is key. At this time of year, we know that historically incidences of burglaries do rise, and we would urge people to adhere to basic security measures at the very least. This can be simple things such as locking doors and windows, even when you’re inside, being vigilant, keeping gardens cut back so you have good visibility so that you, and others are able to maintain good natural surveillance of your property.

Around Christmas, keep your wrapped presents out of sight, don’t put boxes for big items in your recycling bin until day of collection and be careful about what you’re leaving outside the front of your home. Always make sure you’ve locked your car as well. We’ve all rushed inside, hands full of bags, or dealing with children and forgotten, but it’s a simple thing to prevent theft.

Don’t forget your sheds and garages either. Lock your bikes and other valuable items up inside, especially if they are Christmas presents – nobody wants those tears on Christmas Day. Shed locks and alarms are also good deterrents. I would recommend people take a look at either the
Dorset Police website or the Secured by Design page and the
Sold Secure - Security Products. This will give you some really good tips – but also a chance to view the ‘Police Preferred’ products we would recommend, ranging from vehicle security to rural crime prevention products.

Out and about:

It’s not just at Christmas we need to follow this advice, but it’s well worth remembering for the festive season, when we tend to venture out more. It’s a sociable time and this means a lot of celebrating and parties, but we still want people to stay safe. We would urge people to plan ahead and organise a taxi or safe lift home before you go out. It is also important to look out for each other and tell a friend or family of your plans. Be alert and aware and keep your drink with you. Download the Hollie Guard app or take a personal attack alarm with you and ensure your phone is fully charged or you have a power bank for recharging. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has some excellent advice as well, not just about personal safety while out but on topics including lone working and advice for safety at home too.”



Thanks to Claire and Steve for their valuable advice. I am committed to driving down crime and ensuring Dorset is the safest county, and we can all play our part in achieving this. Through small but key measures, we can hopefully have a happy, safe, and secure Christmas.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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PCC asks for £1.08 a month to ensure continuous investment in policing for Dorset

Typically, just over half of Dorset Police’s total budget comes from central Government with the majority of the remainder raised through council tax contributions, known as the policing precept.

Last year, there was strong support for the precept proposal, and I know that’s because the people of Dorset understand how important their contribution is. As we all know it’s been a tough financial year and I find it incredibly difficult to come to you and say that policing still needs your support, it needs your contribution.

It comes as no surprise that inflation, which has been running in the region of 10% for a large part of the year and is still around 5%, means that ‘the same’ costs more than it did last year. Put simply, there is a need for more to maintain a ‘stand still’ point.

Over the last year, I have taken our funding concerns to government. I want a better, fairer deal for Dorset and I have lobbied for ‘seasonality and sparsity’ – how busy the police are, especially over the summer and the size and rurality of the county to be taken into consideration when funding is considered by the government. I hope to see some consideration and some form of ‘levelling-up’ associated with this new consideration, but the results of the lobbying effort will take time to materialise.

Many other forces receive significantly more funding than Dorset, and to give you a comparison from other areas across the country, the West Midlands force is approximately 80% funded by government. Dorset then has to deal with the significant ‘seasonality’ of policing demand that affects our county - with almost 13 million people taking a day trip or 1.8 million people coming to stay for a holiday.

This year, the government have set a £13 limit on the policing part of the council tax precept. With inflation being high, that £13 is equivalent to an increase in line with inflation and will not enable the level of service improvement that the public, the Chief Constable, and I want to see. Put simply, and this view is being echoed up and down the country by police leaders, this settlement is short of what forces require to progress and improve the service and ultimately difficult financial decisions will need to be taken.

My survey, which invites you to have your say on the policing part of the precept also puts to you the proposal of paying an increased amount. Although the government have set limits, I would like to know if there is support for more funding for policing and the survey suggests amounts that would broadly be in line with inflation and the police pay award this year, an £20 increase. There is also a suggestion of £30 which may sound like a lot of money, but in fact it is the amount that the Force really ‘needs’ to invest in the future, deliver efficiencies and provide service improvements into the future.

I will leave that consideration for you to make and as you do so, I would ask that you also consider the part you have played in policing over the last year and how you have helped me make a difference – just by taking part in the surveys I send out.

The people who completed my annual survey over the summer and last year’s precept survey have helped guide investments and so enabled the recruitment of 174 more police officers for Dorset.

Support was also voiced for the continuation of vital policing operations such as Operation Scorpion and Operation Viper to tackle illegal drugs and county lines, and for acting against knife crime and so I have funded knife wands for every police car across the county and the force now have a portable knife arch to utilise as part of ongoing intelligence led ‘hot spot’ policing.

Dorset remains one of the safest places. It is 2nd highest in the country for Rape and Serious Sexual Offences prosecutions and has had the 2nd lowest number of knife-crimes in the country this year.

My office has also brought in almost £1 million of additional grant funding from central government to tackle issues under the violence against women and girls agenda to bring in new initiatives to help tackle the priorities that were set by you back in 2021, when I became Commissioner.

Dorset has seen 3 police station front-desks re-open under a pilot project and 72 Police Community Contact Points have ‘popped-up’ across the county – where you can go along and meet your local officers, discuss any issues, and concerns you may have and get the help and advice you need.

Over the last year there has been a 13% reduction in ASB via various police operations including Op. Relentless, Op. Nightjar and Op. Fireglow and there have been a range of rural crime initiatives, including the introduction of the Rural Mounted Volunteers where volunteers on horseback work with the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, providing intelligence and information to support and protect local rural communities. I am also delighted to say that Dorset’s Rural Crime team, as well as delivering by reducing rural crime across the count, won a national award this year for tackling acquisitive crime.

Throughout all this work, and throughout my tenure as Commissioner, my priority remains to provide the Chief Constable with the resources she needs to continue the good work that is already happening across the county and I have sought reassurance from the Chief that the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan will be maintained, despite the upcoming financial challenges.

As the Police and Crime Commissioner, I place great emphasis on my responsibility to ensure that your views help shape the future of policing in our county. This survey is vitally important, and the results will have an impact on every local resident and business in Dorset. I will use the information shared through this process to set the policing element of council tax precept for 2024/25 and assist with deciding how best to spend our budgets.

The survey should take about the same time to complete as it would to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and has the potential to make Dorset a safer place for us all. So, thank you for taking the time to add your views and please share the survey with friends, family, and work colleagues so that we can get the greatest possible involvement from residents.


Please click on this link and give me your opinion - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Precept24DorsetAlert


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner






Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




December 17, 2023


Garage Breaks in Christchurch

There has been an increase in shed and garage break-in the Walkford and Highcliffe areas.


A turquoise or green hatchback car was seen by an occupant of an address, loading items from his garage into the boot. At least two males were involved. No registration was obtained due to it being dark and it happening very quickly.

Officers are urging the public to remain vigilant and if possible take extra precautions to safeguard their sheds and garages.


Members of the public may wish to:

• Attach a secondary lock to the base of the garage

• Alarm the outer building; this can be done with a single alarm or it can be linked to the main house alarm if you have one

• Do not leave tools and ladders out to potentially assist offenders

• Place bins behind locked gates or secure them to a fixed point using a chain and padlock

• Use curtains, blinds or one-way window film on shed or garage windows to make sure criminals cannot see what is inside

• Don’t post pictures on social media of your bike, or your routes on fitness trackers/apps that show your start/finish point as offenders may be able to determine the home address of where your bike is stored

• Forensically mark and register your bikes, tools or other expensive items using an accredited forensic marking solution

• Consider additional security such as home CCTV systems and alarms.


For more information on how to keep your sheds and outbuildings secure, please click this link:

https://www.dorset.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/protect-home-crime/secure-shed-garage/

We would encourage members of the public who witness any suspicious behaviour to report it to Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.

Please do not use Dorset Alert to report a crime or something else that requires urgent police attention as we are unable to log details via this system. You should call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.




Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



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Force launches campaign to tackle violent crime this Christmas and New Year


Dorset Police is reminding people to take care of themselves, their friends and family while celebrating the festive period in its latest drive to tackle violent crime.


Officers will be carrying out enhanced patrols in towns across the county in a bid to help keep people safe.

In Bournemouth, high-visibility patrols will be taking place ahead of Christmas and New Year’s Eve as part of Operation Snowglow and Operation Nightjar to tackle violence and anti-social behaviour linked to the night-time economy. Officers from the Bournemouth Town Team will also be on patrol, supported by BCP Council’s CSAS team.

In the west of the county, response officers will be assisted by the Force Support Group on peak celebration days to carry out proactive preventative patrols in the main town centres, including Weymouth, Dorchester and Bridport.

Officers from Weymouth Neighbourhood Policing Team, supported by the Special Constabulary, will also be providing enhanced patrols during the party season, including dedicated operations to identify and disrupt predatory behaviour. These will be replicated in Bournemouth.

The Force is this year supporting a new national winter Walk Away campaign, which aims to prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by someone being assaulted on a night out, often as a result of drunken behaviour, or split-second errors of judgement.

Men aged 18 to 30 are most likely to be a victim or suspect of such behaviour and the initiative calls on friends and bystanders of potential offenders, as well as members of the public, to de-escalate situations when it’s safe to.


View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/b8894386-339b-ee11-9d5e-6045bdd24049


You can find more tips about dealing with a violent situation by visiting https://www.dorset.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/personal-safety-how-to-stay-safe/respond-violent-situation/ or the national Walk Away campaign: https://wewalkaway.uk/.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Fraud investigation in relation to property management firm in the BCP area – arrest update


An investigation was launched following a number of reports received in relation to Initiative Property Management Limited, which mainly operates in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas.

Following detailed enquiries, a Bournemouth man aged in his 30s has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position, carrying on the business of a company with the intent to defraud creditors or for another fraudulent purpose as well as an offence of entering into or being concerned in the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property and an offence of concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property.

A woman aged in her 60s from Bournemouth has also been arrested on suspicion of entering into or being concerned in the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property.

They have both been released under investigation as the Economic Crime Unit continues to carry out enquiries.


Anyone with information relating to this matter is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, quoting Operation Interest or occurrence number 55230141924. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




December 12, 2023


Stalking - the signs and how victims are supported in Dorset

Stalking is a very serious problem, which can have a devastating effect on victims. I want to assure you I am absolutely committed to tackling this harmful offence as part of my Police and Crime Plan. Supporting victims is at the heart of this priority, and ensuring their voice is heard is key. As a candidate I met Sam Bumford who had had a horrible experience of being stalked and I was determined to make a difference.

As well as Dorset Police using Stalking Protection Orders alongside other effective intervention measures, my office also financially supports the Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker service, provided by You Trust/Paragon. And I have also commissioned Victim Support, whose ongoing work supports victims of all crimes in Dorset including stalking.

Today, I am pleased to hand over my newsletter to Detective Chief Superintendent Lindsay Dudfield who is the lead officer for stalking in Dorset Police. She will tell us about the work the force is doing to tackle this crime, and some exciting news about a new product which is set to launch soon in a bid to raise awareness of stalking behaviours.

“The impact stalking can have on victims is devastating and, in many cases, long-lasting. I want to assure all victims that it is a priority for us to safeguard them and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. As the strategic lead on stalking, I work within the force to improve investigative standards and to increase awareness of what is involved in stalking, and what the indicators are in order to get the right outcomes for victims.

Stalking is one of those crimes where it is not always easy to identify. It’s very challenging. We’re determined to ensure that when victims contact us, stalking is recognised by those at first contact – from the control room and beyond. It is still the case that the majority of stalking cases are domestic-related, which means the offender is known to the victim. That’s not to say there aren’t cases of stranger stalking, but they are nowhere near as prevalent.

Due to the often-complex nature of this offence, sometimes we find that victims do not want a criminal justice outcome, they just want the stalking to stop. This is where it is so important to be listening to the victim and focused on what they want. There can be a range of complex reasons for them not wanting to proceed down this path. We do not underestimate the importance of listening and ensuring the victim is properly signposted and has access to the right support, while of course respecting their decision not to proceed through the criminal justice process.

There are a wide range of safeguarding interventions and tools we can use to protect victims, including Community Orders, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Stalking Protection Orders. And even when there is insufficient evidence in an investigation to proceed down the criminal justice path, there are still mechanisms and safeguarding measures we can put in place.

We also work closely with external partners and support services including the Dorset Stalking Clinic to safeguard victims and prevent victimisation. This enables a co-ordinated approach from core agencies to share full information and enable robust risk assessments to ensure all safeguarding is followed. The process also ensures the victims voice is heard and allows positive engagement with crime prevention. In Dorset, the Police and Crime Commissioner has also financially committed to supporting the Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC) service provided by You Trust/Paragon. This is an important role which delivers support to victims of stalking through guiding them through the criminal justice system and providing advice and guidance.

Dorset Police will also be launching a new film and campaign, which has been successful in Gloucestershire in tackling stalking and raising awareness of behaviours which can be misconstrued as romantic but in reality are unacceptable. The short film works around the pneumonic of FOUR - Fixated, Obsessed, Unwanted and Repeated. The campaign centres around a short film, capturing why society needs to stop pretending it is romantic to display the FOUR behaviours. Campaigns like this are so important to tackling this offence as we know when incidents are being reported to us, the behaviours demonstrated in this film may not always seem out of order to victims, but they know something isn’t right. Often, they will minimise what’s been happening, saying there is no violence. But there does not need to be violence in order for this offence to be serious. The aim of the campaign is to help them and others pinpoint that these behaviours are unacceptable. We know they can be a pre-cursor to much more serious offences and we want to help more people recognise it for themselves to prevent this from happening.

If you’ve been a victim of stalking, I want to encourage you to come forward and contact the police. We are here to help and have officers trained to support you. You don’t have to put up with persistent and unwanted attention. If that behaviour if making you fearful or anxious, please get in touch online or via 101. And always remember in an emergency to contact 999.”

I would like to reiterate this important message and urge victims to come forward and seek help. I am intent on making sure as many people as possible know about stalking, the signs, how it affects people and of course where to get support. Our officers are trained to help you and I would encourage you to have the confidence to contact either the police,
Victim Support Dorset or the National Stalking Helpline. I want to reassure you; you will be listened to. I am determined the voices of victims will be heard in my fight to make Dorset the safest county.



David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Winter vigilance patrols in Dorset

Officers from a variety of policing teams are out and about this season patrolling many areas with increased public footfall to enable everyone to enjoy the festive times across the county.


Neighbourhood policing teams, officers from the Operations command – such as firearms officers and dog handlers with their four-legged colleagues – as well as other specialist teams will be patrolling in crowded areas to provide reassurance to the public.

Chief Inspector Darren Harris, of Dorset Police, said: “As part of our policing activities throughout the season, we will be visibly patrolling in many areas where hopefully a lot of residents and visitors are enjoying what Dorset has to offer during this festive period.

“People may also see our firearms officers being on foot patrol, which means they may be carrying their long-arm weapons. There is absolutely no suggestion that there is any increased risk to our county or any specific events. This way of patrolling just gives them a greater flexibility to respond to incidents.

“During our high-visibility patrols we are also assisted by our council colleagues, including CSAS officers (community safety accreditation scheme). We very much hope that everyone is able to enjoy the festive season – our officers are here to deal with anyone seeking to cause disruption.

“For example, anyone acting anti-socially in our communities will be dealt with as we recognise this is closely linked to how safe people feel. We want to give reassurance that our officers are committed to keeping our county safe.


“Please approach them if you have any concerns or something doesn’t feel right. Everyone can play their part and look out for each other – trust your instincts.”





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meet your local CSAS Officer

Come along and meet your local CSAS (Community Safety Accredited Officer) officer - Jennifer Maidment - to discuss any safety concerns you may have.


To be at:

Waitrose store in Christchurch (by the instore cafe)

Wednesday, 13th December, 2023

4pm = 6pm


Jennifer has been based in Christchurch for some months now and you may have seen her patrolling the town centre.





Message Sent By:
Alyson Moore
(Dorset Police & NHWN, Resilient Community Co-ordinator, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole)




December 7, 2023


Putting victims at the heart of policing

For this newsletter, I would like to handover to Becky Chaplain, area manager for Victim Support across Dorset, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. Within her role at Victim Support, a service my office commission in Dorset, Becky has also joined our new VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Improvement Panel, bringing a wealth of experience to the table in a bid to provide vital learning opportunities and feedback for Dorset Police.

The Panel will be reviewing the work of Dorset Police’s VAWG agenda, helping my office to scrutinise the work of the force. They will help to ensure Dorset Police deliver the most effective and compassionate service for victims of VAWG-related incidents, through reviewing samples of police contacts with VAWG victims. The panel will then provide feedback to ensure learning takes place and best practice is implemented.

In this blog, Becky will detail the importance of putting victims at the heart of criminal justice and has a vital message for women and girls during the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

"At Victim Support we offer tailored 1-2-1 support led by the needs of each victim who has been affected by crime. We support victims of all crimes, including gender-based offences like violence, sexual assault, and harassment. Our core value is to be the voice of the victim. We are on their side.

If victims don’t feel part of the justice process, it goes without saying they’re not going to feel like the process works for them. But really, they should be at the heart of everything. That is why an initiative like the VAWG Improvement Panel will go some way towards helping people to understand what’s important to victims, as well as what needs to be considered when dealing with them. I’m pleased to see the PCC pushing this focus, it’s a step in the right direction.

One thing I hope the VAWG Improvement Panel will help to bring about is meaningful change. Feedback to all parties involved will be key, but from the perspective of victims, it will help them to feel their voices have been heard. That’s one of the things we know victims really struggle with, feeling like they don’t have a voice in the justice process.

The VAWG Improvement Panel looks at policing practices to ensure they are considering the needs of victims in their decision making. The meetings offer a chance to review calls and will provide an opportunity for expert voices from the sector to inform practice with the police. It will allow us to look at issues in more depth and feedback what works and what doesn’t.

The key component with any VAWG offence is that fear of not believed. Sadly, that’s often compounded by some of the people that victims deal with within the justice process. This impact is felt further if criminal charges are not taken forward or proper information not passed onto the victim about why this is. That’s why during this campaign for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, I would like to reiterate to any victims that they can talk to us confidentially and independently of the police. And I would reassure them they will be believed. No-one at Victim Support is here to judge you or question your story, you can tell us in confidence what has happened to you, and we’ll try and work with you to find ways to help you cope and move on.

We’re always on the side of victims. When they feel they’re not supported by the justice system, or targeted on social media or otherwise, we’re always there for them. We know the amount of people we reach just scratches the surface. There are so many people who haven’t found a way to breakthrough. So, please if you need help, just get in touch. We’re here for you."


Thank you to Becky for highlighting the importance of putting victims at the heart of policing. Since I came to office, I have pledged to tackle violence against women and girls as part of my Police and Crime Plan priority to fight violent crime and high harm. This includes ensuring that victims of rape and serious sexual assaults are provided with the care and support they need, but also that all victims have the confidence to report these crimes to the police. I am determined to ensure that victims are at the centre of policing in Dorset and are given the support that works best for them.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Protecting women and girls in Dorset from violence

In this newsletter, as part of my focus on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, Superintendent Emma Sweetzer from Dorset Police, will tell us what her role as VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) lead involves, and how the force is dealing with these offences and working with victims to ensure their voices are heard.

As the Police and Crime Commissioner, I know a whole system approach is needed towards tackling these deeply harmful crimes. Bringing together partners from across the board is the only way to create the societal changes needed to protect women and girls from violence.

Dorset Police’s strategy for tackling this violence is a crucial part of this approach and details the force’s commitment to making Dorset a safe place for all women and girls, while relentlessly pursuing the perpetrators of violence against them. Over to Superintendent Sweetzer to explain the work taking place.

“My role as VAWG lead oversees all the VAWG work within the force; from the response and action that we take against VAWG offences to identifying where we have areas of weakness and how we address them.

Dorset Police are tackling VAWG offences through three main pillars of work – Public Confidence and Trust, Relentless Pursuit of Perpetrators, and Safer Spaces. Each of these pillars has a lead officer and we have identified key areas of work we wish to progress going forward. The work formulates an action plan or order that we can track progress. The actions come from national priorities, others from within Dorset and some from reality testing victims’ journeys to ensure we have a strong voice representing them and their experiences.

In addition to the pillar work, we also have a firm focus on the three main VAWG crimes which affect our communities in Dorset – these are RASSO (Rape and Serious Sexual Offences), Domestic Abuse and Stalking. These are a priority in recognition of the harm they present to women and girls in Dorset today. We must ensure victims voices are heard and ensure we as the police are providing that vital service to our communities and are focused on these significant crime types.

My role involves challenging stereotypes and changing a culture from within the force out to the wider public. Police officers are important figures in our society, so we must ensure they have the best training, the best support, enabling them to give the best advice to our victims. The force action plan has enabled us to identify our areas of vulnerability ensuring they’re dealt with. This involves a lot of training – we’ve looked across the whole force and asked ourselves what we need to provide to our staff under each heading.

For example, the Domestic Abuse Matters training, rolled out a few years ago, has been refreshed repeated in 2020-21 to ensure all our officers are victim focused. We’ve also undertaken a whole raft of training in relation to our RASSO offences, ensuring the language we are using is correct and we’re not victim-blaming in any way. Another example of how we’re implementing change from within, is our commitment to the SSAIDP (Serious Sexual Assault Investigators Development Programme). Nationally out of the 2,000 officers required to have this training, Dorset’s quota was 23 - as a sign of how seriously we take these offences and our response to them, we’ve now had 154 of our people go through that training.

As part of a national operation - Operation Soteria Bluestone, which aims to improve the response of the police service to victims of rape & sexual offences and improve their experience of the criminal justice process, we have identified a need to improve training to our first responders. We must make sure we’re doing the right things from the very start. Of course, our specialist officers have expertise, but it’s about cascading that training to everyone, from control room staff to frontline officers, because when victims call us in their hour of need and we attend, we need to ensure they are supported and spoken to in the right way. It's about making sure that we do everything we can at that first point to keep victims engaged, ensuring we are listening to them and what they want us to do because sometimes a criminal justice outcome isn't always what they want. There may be other things can we put in place.

In addition to this we have put in place scrutiny panels where we actively look at how good an investigation has been and look at the victim’s journey. From the very beginning to the end, we’re examining to see if there are learning points. It’s about continuous development of our officers - if we feel that something hasn’t met the standard we expect, then feedback will be given and if necessary, further training provided.

We've also looked at ourselves as a force, from within, because we need to ensure our own staff have the confidence to come forward and the right mechanisms to report issues to our Professional Standards Department. This team has done a lot of work around producing a pledge in order that victims know what will be provided to them so that they feel fully supported. We want our staff to know what they can expect as part of the transparency we want to give all victims.

As for prevention, we’re looking at how do we stop our victims from becoming victims in the first place. This includes ensuring we can identify high harm perpetrators. There's been a lot of work ongoing using the Cambridge High Harm Index and work around identifying the offenders and then putting the necessary mechanisms and processes in place to manage them and divert their behaviour. We’re working with different agencies around cognitive behaviour therapy to change perpetrators offending behaviour as one aspect.

Regarding the Safer Spaces pillar, there's a lot of work going on with regards to the night-time economy. We’re all aware that sometimes there is a link between alcohol and people going out in the evening and then becoming a victim. We’re looking at the ways we make our night-time economy safe for people and stop that lone female, who might be vulnerable through drink, from being preyed on by an offender. We’re working with licensing and licensed premises on accreditation around responding to vulnerability, and in Weymouth we also have the Pineapple Project working on safe spaces, as well as the Ask Ani campaign the force is promoting to support victims of domestic abuse. The recent funding secured under the government’s Safer Street Scheme, focuses on the night-time economy, with schemes across Dorset set to benefit.

Going forward, our aims are to raise our investigation standards even further, increase our service to victims and ensure we understand what they’re saying to us. I want to victims to know we are here, and we will listen.”


Thanks to Superintendent Sweetzer for her coherent explanation of how Dorset Police is tackling violence against women and girls. To be clear, I recognise that one organisation alone cannot solve this issue. Our recent successful bid for almost £1million of Safer Streets Funding will be a key part of our fight to tackle these offences. The funding from Safer Streets will go towards projects across Dorset including a Women’s Night Safety Charter, where businesses will nominate a champion within their organisation to actively promote women’s night safety, as well as new CCTV cameras in some areas and the integration of cameras from rural areas into the Dorset Council main CCTV control room. There will also be a community guardianship intervention project to help students get back to their residence safely as well as other important projects.

It is only by working together, can we make progress towards the changes that are needed to ensure women and girls are free from fear from violence in Dorset.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner






Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fake Lloyds Pharmacy Emails

A phishing email campaign is currently targeting people with fake Lloyds Pharmacy emails. The emails falsely claim that by signing up for LloydsDirect you can easily manage prescriptions and get free delivery.

These emails contain links designed to steal personal/financial information or install malware. The fraudsters have made the emails appear more genuine by including LloydsDirect/NHS logos and Trustpilot reviews.

However, these emails are fake. Do not click any links, provide info, or sign up through these emails. Double check directly with your pharmacy if unsure.

To learn more and stay updated on related scams, visit the official Lloyds Pharmacy customer service page: Suspicious Email/Spam Email (lloydspharmacy.com) How to stay safe online Get Safe Online | The UK's leading Online Safety Advice Resource

Key protections:

• Verify pharmacy emails before clicking links or providing info

• Go directly to your pharmacy's website rather than through links

• Check for spelling/formatting issues indicating a potential fake

• Keep device security protections updated to block malware

Stay vigilant against pharmacy-themed phishing campaigns trying to steal personal information or distribute malware. Verify legitimacy through official channels before engaging.


Oh, an email from the pharmacy!
Free delivery, manage prescriptions, what could it be?
Clicks and links I shouldn't follow.
This message just rings hollow.

Logos may seem legit initial,
But something feels artificial,
Spelling errors, formatting too,
This email looks like a scam through and through!

Don't input info, don't click the link!
This phishing attempt makes me blink.
Verify everything's real,
Before you reveal or sign any deal.

Go directly to the source,
To avoid malware of course!
Check Lloyds Pharmacy's real site,
To keep your data locked up tight.

Stay vigilant of pharmacy fakes!
Security is what it takes.





Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)





December 2, 2023


The devastating impact of knife crime

During Operation Sceptre recently which focused on action against knife crime, I met the mother of Tom Roberts, a 21-year-old man who died after being stabbed in Bournemouth in March 2022. Tom had been acting as a peacemaker in a fight between his friend and his killer when the attack took place in Old Christchurch Road. His killer was jailed for life earlier this year and will serve a minimum term of 29 years.

Tom’s courageous family have shown incredible strength and dignity, and now his mother, Dolores Roberts-Wallace is calling for more education to try and prevent further tragedies happening to other families.

I’d like you to read her words on the impact Tom’s death has taken on the family, and her commitment to knife crime prevention.

“When I got the call from the hospital on that morning, I remember feeling so numb. I was due to go to work when they called me. They said you have got to come now; your son has been stabbed. I remember feeling very calm but unable to process what was happening. It didn’t feel real. I remember thinking what are we doing here? Was he in a fight? I had so many thoughts running through my mind.

Tom’s death was like losing a part of myself. It’s been so hard for all of us. I have to take each day as it comes. We try to be brave every day; I always try and smile but I have a deeper pain.

Today I watched a video from the day Tom passed his driving test and came to collect me for a drive. He was only 18 then, his face was so happy, and I was so proud of him. He was such a cheeky boy, he loved his food, his roast dinners especially and he always said I was the best cook. He was a happy, polite boy and whenever he saw me, he always took the mickey out of me saying I’d shrunk. Everyone loved him, from primary school and up. He had a cheeky face and was popular with teachers and friends.

Tom worked full time for an engineering company and worked so hard. He’d been DJ-ing for a while but had said to me just before Christmas that he had signed up for the marines and was very busy doing his fitness training. He had everything ahead of him. Every day I look at his pictures and wonder what he would look like now. Before it happened we were planning a dinner with all the family as he was due to go on holiday the week after but we didn’t get around to it in the end. I wish I could have arranged it; I wish I could turn the clock back and do that for him.

As most of you know, what happened to my son should never have happened. So, I am once again campaigning for a safer Bournemouth by asking parents to educate their children about knife crime and the devastating consequences that it could, and most likely lead to. If I was to say anything to young people out there going down the wrong path, it would be that you are not alone, please ask for help. There are so many people out there to support you. Talk more and be engaged with your friends or whoever you are comfortable with. And parents and adults, talk to your young people, be connected, be ready to help. Don’t bottle it up, talk it out. You are not alone.

I believe knife crime education is essential for preventing violence and harm. Raising awareness, encouraging reporting, supporting victims, and routinely educating about the consequences is an absolute must. I believe there should be mandatory visits from anti-crime groups to schools, proper counselling needs to be available for kids with troubled backgrounds, more healthy outlets and after school activities to keep young people out of trouble and off the streets. Education needs to be seen and in front of kids, it must be personal. Not just on paper or read out, it must make an impact.”


Dorset has a low rate of knife crime, but while young people are still picking up knives thinking they are a form of protection, I will continue my campaign to drive down this offence. Education and early intervention is key, but as I’ve said before, the police cannot do this alone. We all need to play part our part to ensure no other families are destroyed by the impact of this crime. I will be relentless in my efforts to make Dorset the safest county.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




December 2, 2023


Beware Fake Job Adverts

Please be aware of fake job adverts going around offering opportunities to become a paid
movie reviewer. The fraudsters are using all types of social media such as Instagram, pretending to be a representative from a movie chain. They claim that they are looking for people to watch new release movies at home and write reviews in exchange for payment.

While it sounds fun and easy, it is too good to be true. These scams ask for your personal information under the guise of a "registration process" which they then use for identity theft or sell to other scammers.

They may also persuade you to make payments to unlock your earnings which you will never get. Remember, if a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be very wary of anyone claiming you can make easy money watching movies, testing video games, mystery shopping, etc. These "dream job" ads are almost always scams. When in doubt, search online to see if the company is real and legitimate. And never give out your personal or banking information!


Oh I Wish That Job Was True
Oh I wish that job was true,
Getting paid to watch a movie or two!
Just write some reviews from my cosy old couch,
But beware there’s a catch that will make you go ouch!


The ad flashes, a smile on my face,
Finally luck has found its place!
I register quick, spots are filling fast,
Hand details over - done at last!


The call comes in, so official it seems,
My movie dream job, or so it gleams.
Pay upfront? Ah well, rules are rules!
Goodbye cash, I played the fool.


The truth sets in, it was a scam all the way,
No movie job coming my way.
These tricksters fooled me without even trying,
Dangle a dream job - and set traps lying.


Oh I wish that job was true,
No movies or money coming through.
I fell for promises wrapped in clover,
Should have known it was too good to be over!



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Free drinks for Lift Legends this Christmas


Dorset Police’s Lift Legend campaign will return this December, with 70 licensed premises set to offer free soft drinks to designated drivers over the festive period.


Drink and drug driving is one of the ‘fatal five’ causes of serious injuries and deaths on roads in South West England. Last winter, Dorset Police arrested 319 people for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

In a bid to tackle drink and drug driving, Dorset Police has announced the return of its popular drink drive campaign, Lift Legend; an initiative that looks to reward designated drivers with free drinks as a ‘thank you’ for getting their friends, colleagues and family members get home safely.

Lift Legend will run from Friday 1 December 2023 until Monday 1 January 2024. Drivers buying a soft drink in one of the participating venues will receive a voucher to get their second drink free of charge.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/00b1e93b-9a8f-ee11-9d5d-6045bdd24049

If you suspect someone has been drinking or has taken drugs and is about to drive, please dial 999 and provide the make and model of the vehicle, registration number and direction of travel.

For more information about the campaign or to find participating venues near you, visit: www.dorset.police.uk/LiftLegend




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dorset is Open for Business, but Closed for Crime, say Police


Dorset Police is launching its seasonal campaign, called ‘Safer Christmas’. They want to remind people of the simple safety measures they can take to ensure they don’t become a victim of crime.

Superintendent Gavin House, the Neighbourhood, Partnership and Safeguarding lead said: “this is one of the busiest times of year for shoppers and retailers and there are simple prevention measures people can take to make it harder for thieves. We are urging retailers to think carefully about where they place their most valuable stock; to keep it away from doors and window displays and to place it where staff can best keep an eye on it. We are urging shoppers to be vigilant to people who may want to steal their wallets and other valuables from their bags, so keep them closed at all times, especially in crowds.”

The Force is also giving out helpful advice to shoppers when parking their vehicles, as people will often leave purchased gifts on display, making their vehicle an easy target for opportune thieves. “We are reminding drivers that when parking their vehicle to choose a well-lit spot, ensure their vehicle is locked and never leave any valuables or gifts on display” added Supt House.

Officers will be out and about in the run up to Christmas, and where possible, will attend shopping events and Christmas markets.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/c9d169b8-2890-ee11-9d5d-6045bdd24049

For more information and to view the campaign posters visit: https://www.dorset.police.uk/safer-christmas





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




November 30, 2023


How the Pineapple Project is supporting young women in Dorset

As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence continues, I’m handing over this newsletter to the founders of the Pineapple Project in Weymouth. This scheme aims to safeguard young women in Weymouth when they’re outside of their family homes.

I’m pleased to say that thanks to the latest round of Safer Streets Funding, the Weymouth-based project will expand to other areas in the Dorset Council area, including Portland, Swanage and Dorchester allowing the organisation to ensure young women and girls are supported and feel safe going out in the area they live.

Here’s Rachel Janaway, targeted youth worker at Dorset Council, and Sarah Whilton, service manager at Dorset Council, to tell you more about the Pineapple Project:

“The heart of the Pineapple Project revolves around the concept of hidden girls. We know from listening to young women that incidences of sexual assault, exploitation and peer-on-peer abuse take place, but are not always reported, leaving these young women’s experiences hidden.

To try and combat that, through the Pineapple Project we’re using the principles of community guardianship to provide a safe haven for young women when things haven’t gone to plan. This ranges from youngsters being able to step into a local shop so they can charge a phone or somewhere which allows them to take a few minutes of shelter in an approved business putting some distance between them and the person who could be bothering them.

Our mantra is that all young women should feel safe in their communities and be given the opportunity to understand their right to safety and be able to seek support when it is needed. The origins of this project really come back to the slogan that it takes a village to raise a child. We want the Pineapple Project to empower young women, and the community to be involved in what’s happening out there. We want the community to own this. So often we don’t know about exploitation until after it’s happened, and we need to change that. We want this project to help get in there before this stage and change it before it’s too late.

As an organisation, we provide training and a toolkit for the people who take part. This includes how to recognise signs which could mean a young woman is at risk of harm and knowing how best to offer help. We DBS check everyone involved, and they also have access to a professional duty line. Essentially, we’re training people to be active bystanders. This is how we differ from a scheme like Ask for Angela or Ask for Ani. We want people in the community to be proactive and start seeing young women through a safeguarding lens.

There is no blueprint for this project. We’re constantly adapting, learning as we go and ensuring that the safe space is just that, by having a community guardian who’s a safe person. Now, thanks to the recent funding from Safer Streets, this will enable us to get the appropriate adults into the scheme and develop this further. We always say that innovation is not linear. This type of project is complex because of the issues involved but we’re committed to making a change.

We’d love for people who want to join us to already be in the community, talking and working with young people. They’re the ones who are hearing the conversations and listening to what’s happening already. We’d also love to get young women involved and build that trust and support between them, create peer mentors and champions in schools.

Our community guardians are the eyes and ears of their local area. We want them to challenge, observe and protect our young women whenever they need it. The support they give could range from offering a safe haven, challenging inappropriate behaviour, signposting young women to appropriate services, providing a distraction or diversion and reporting safeguarding concerns or a crime.

Ultimately, the Pineapple Project centres around listening to the voices of young women and aims to protect them from harm by showing there are responsible people who care. We want to empower young women to feel in control of the support available to them.”


Thank you to Rachel and Sarah for their ongoing hard work, and I look forward to seeing how the Pineapple Project continues to develop in Dorset. Protecting women and girls forms a key part of my Police and Crime Plan to fight violent crime and high harm. I am dedicated to continue working with police and external partners to counter violence against women and girls by making our public spaces safer. Through working with organisations like the Pineapple Project, we can help make Dorset the safest county.

Get in touch with the Pineapple Project here


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




November 27, 2023


White Ribbon Day and 16 Days of activism against gender based violence

Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner supported White Ribbon Day on 25 November which marked the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and are also supporting 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which started on the same day and runs until 10 December.


Violence and harassment disproportionally effects women and girls, there is help from police and partner agencies for everyone in our communities. Nobody should live in fear. If you have been a victim of violence or harassment please report it to Dorset Police via the Force website www.dorset.police.uk or call 101. If anyone is in immediate danger, always call 999.

Please follow our social media channels where you will see information from the Home Office “Enough” campaign which amongst other things provides a guide on how to call out or report unacceptable behaviour that can prevent women and girls being abused or harmed. There will be information on other public safety topics as well.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/9d4b697f-2a8b-ee11-9d5d-6045bdd24049

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. Everyone, especially men and boys, is encouraged to make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women. This year the charity’s theme is #ChangeTheStory, and you can find out more about White Ribbon UK at the website www.whiteribbon.org.uk

Pictured are Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick, Chief Constable Amanda Pearson, Assistant Chief Officer Jo Mosely, Chief Finance Officer Neil Butterworth, Assistant Chief Constable Neil Corrigan and Assistant Chief Constable Steve Lyne, along with Chief Superintendent Richard Bell and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




November 25, 2023


Positive results following national crack down on knife crime


Dorset Police has taken part in Operation Sceptre, a national initiative to tackle knife crime.


Operation Sceptre ran from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 November 2023 and involved all 43 forces taking part in intensified efforts to crack down on knife-enabled crime and violence.

The themes for this phase of Sceptre were around online knife retailers and responsible selling, raising awareness to parents and care givers to ensure they are aware of what packages are being sent to young people at home and educating young people about the stark dangers of carrying weapons.

Presentations were delivered to schools across the county focusing on preventative education around themes such as the consequences and dangers of carrying weapons; common misconceptions around knife crime; and locations of knife surrender bins in Dorset where knives could be deposited anonymously.

Handheld metal detectors were distributed to teams across Dorset. These will now be in each operational vehicle across Dorset as a supportive tool to assist stop and search powers.


The Force is pleased to report the following results:

3,535 students in 19 schools received a knife crime presentation
28 knives removed from circulation, (including knives surrendered in knife bins and those seized)
14 arrests made for knife-related crime
8 weapons sweeps conducted
4 stop and searches
17 addresses visited
1 retailer visited
1 media event around the new knife wands


View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/fd0554f6-b08a-ee11-9d5d-6045bdd24049

Parents can seek advice about their chilld’s welfare at: Parent Talk - Support for Parents from Action For Children

Retailers can visit this website for guidance on selling knives: nbcc.police.uk/knifeguidance





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




November 24, 2023


Why Restorative Justice is crucial to ensure victims voices are heard

This week is Restorative Justice Week (Nov 19-25), an international campaign which aims to highlight the power of restorative justice and the organisations who work to facilitate this important process. I know restorative justice can provide the tools to help victims of crime deal with what’s happened to them, through a safe, mediated approach. In Dorset, my office commissioned the Restorative Justice Dorset service in May 2021. This service is delivered by Restorative Solutions and focuses on offences committed by adults – those aged 18 and over.

Therefore, this week I would like to hand over my newsletter to Jackie Willson, service delivery manager and restorative justice practitioner for Restorative Justice Dorset and Leila Pastecchia, service delivery assistant, to tell you about the service, and the difference it can make to people’s lives.

Jackie Willson: “One of the common misconceptions around restorative justice is that it is a soft option. I can assure you it is not. It does not replace a conviction or sentence through the criminal justice system, that is a myth. Participation in this process also doesn’t mean a softer sentence. The processes are separate and have no bearing on one another. In fact, what we actually find is offenders say restorative justice is much harder than appearing in court.

What restorative justice does do is bring people together where harm has been caused and look at ways to repair that harm and give victims a voice. To be informed about restorative justice is a victim’s right, under the victim’s code, and allows them to speak about what’s happened to them and how the impact of the crime has affected them.

Restorative justice can be used following any crime where there is a victim. From the most serious offences such as murder and harmful sexual behaviour, domestic abuse and assaults to crimes such as criminal damage, thefts, anti-social behaviour, and public order offences. What we do is risk assess the people, not the crimes. We ask if those involved are in the right place to do this, can we meet their expectations?

We often find that the criminal justice part of proceedings – conviction and sentencing – doesn’t always bring about the closure people feel it might do. It doesn’t make victims feel that it’s been sorted or dealt with. That’s where restorative justice comes in. It gives people a chance to sit down with someone, talk about it and say, ‘that wasn’t okay, and this is how it made me feel’. One of the other aspects we really encourage with restorative justice is reflection – how do you feel about it now? And that’s important not just for the victim but the person who inflicted the harm to think about as well. It gives them a chance to consider how they feel about what they did, which is important to deal with their guilt and shame.

What we do as part of each restorative justice process is very prepared. We meet with people, talk to them about their expectations. What do they need to say, what do they need to hear from the other person, but also what don’t they want to hear. The whole process is voluntary so it means people can really think about what they need from the other person. And that in turn enables us to manage expectations and possibly signpost people in different directions, if perhaps restorative justice isn’t going to be suitable for their needs. This process gives people a voice and can empower victims to take control and recover, which is where it differs from the criminal justice process which focuses on the evidence.

When I speak to victims who have gone through restorative justice – whether that’s face to face or through letters of apology - they say it helps them deal with the thing they can’t put away. They’re able to then have closure, the hangover from what happened has gone. Several victims say they don’t feel scared anymore, they’re not frightened. That person is not impacting their life anymore; this is especially true for victims of traumatic crimes. It helps them set important boundaries with their abuser for instance.

And for some victims, there is a sense of guilt as well. These conversations as part of restorative justice are healing for both parties. And that’s important. When I meet some of the offenders, particularly in prison, they’ve convinced themselves that they’re a bad person and the victim is going to shout at them and just be angry. That’s not what this is about, and by giving them a chance to say sorry, and talk about why and who has been affected, it helps them to feel better about themselves and go forward and make amends. My experience working with those that have caused harm is that they say facing the person they have harmed is the hardest thing they’ve done but the only thing they have done that they feel may have repaired some of that harm. The power of restorative justice is that it can provide that closure, that finality for victims and offenders to be able to move forward from the past.”

Leila Pastecchia: “Restorative justice is a very powerful process. I complete feedback surveys with those that have been through an indirect restorative process, where facilitators have shared written apologies with victims or shuttle communication where victims and offenders have not met face to face but have wanted to share information about what happened and how they feel about it. This is a popular form of restorative justice. Letters give the offender a chance to talk about why they did it and they prove to be a very transformative process for both victims and offenders.

For many of the offenders, they say it is a real milestone in their lives. It makes them stop and reflect and go on to get external help in some cases. So, while we know how important it is for the victims, it really helps those on the other side. Now, it’s just about getting the word out there that when the whole process is followed, it’s unbelievably positive. I’ve never dealt with anyone angry or upset by our service. I would urge people if they’re curious to come and find out more and get the facts about what we do.”

Restorative justice is a key part of my Police and Crime Plan priority to put victims and communities first. My thanks to Jackie and Leila for their compelling descriptions of the impact this process can have. I am in full support of the work being carried out by Restorative Justice Dorset. I want victims to be given the chance to have closure and be able to move on with their lives secure in the knowledge that offenders have understood the impact of their actions. This clearly is a separate and additional process to sentencing and is victim driven.

It is my mission to give victims the opportunity to have their voices heard, and I am proud of the work Restorative Justice Dorset is doing to help make Dorset the safest county.

You can find out more about the work of Restorative Justice Dorset here



David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in Dorset

I fully support White Ribbon Day on Saturday which marks the International Day Against Violence Against Women. This important date also signals the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence which runs until December 10. This year, the global campaign is calling on people to show how much they care about ending violence against women and girls by sharing the actions they are taking to create a world free from violence towards women. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, it is an important time to reflect on the work taking place in Dorset to tackle these offences, as well a chance to highlight the services supporting victims of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). Throughout this campaign, I will be handing over my newsletters to some special guests to tell you about the work they are doing to protect women and girls in Dorset.

I am fully committed to doing all I can to enable the police and our partners to robustly deal with these abhorrent crimes, while I also continue to support the vital services helping victims and those working to prevent incidents of harm across the county. There is no doubt that women and girls must be safe, and feel safe, whether on a night out or in their own homes.

A key part of my seven-year Police and Crime Plan is dedicated to tackling VAWG, domestic abuse, stalking and other high harms. I want to assure you that there is no room for complacency when it comes to these offences. Since I came to office in 2021, I have been determined to create an environment in Dorset where all residents and visitors feel safe from violence, intimidation, and harassment.

From Operation Focus, which targeted those who cause the most harm to women and girls, ensuring enhanced investigations to maximise the opportunities to achieve charges, to Op Soteria, a national collaboration in which Dorset was one of 14 forces working towards developing a new operating model for the investigation and prosecution of rape and serious sexual assault cases, I want to be clear; I will fight to ensure Dorset is at the forefront of change to ensure protection of women and girls.

Recently, my office has launched a VAWG Improvement Panel which will review the work of Dorset Police’s VAWG agenda, to drive improvements and ensure the force delivers the most compassionate service possible. It brings together representatives from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, as well as victim services and volunteers to carry out a review of police contact related to VAWG incidents. This could range from domestic abuse to harassment and sexual offences. From here, the panel will provide constructive and critical feedback to ensure learning across the organisation. It is key that if we are to tackle these crimes properly, we must ensure our own work is of the highest quality.

A few weeks ago, I was also delighted to receive the news that we had been successful in our bid to the Home Office for nearly £1million of Safer Street Funding. The county was awarded £964,055 to drive forward projects, many of which focus on the safety of women and girls in the night-time economy. This funding will go towards projects including a Women’s Night Safety Charter, where businesses will nominate a champion within their organisation to actively promote women’s night safety, as well as new CCTV cameras in some areas and the integration of cameras from rural areas into the Dorset Council main CCTV control room. The money will also fund two daytime CCTV officers to allow for 24/7 monitoring.

One aspect of the bid I would especially like to highlight are the projects which had a particular focus on changing attitudes and behaviours. From the Community Guardianship Intervention Project to help students get back to their residence safely, to the expansion of the Pineapple Project’s community guardians who help ensure young women and girls have support to feel safe when going out, these schemes are vital to ensuring women and girls can feel secure in our communities.

There is one point I do want to reiterate, however. And that is it is not up to women to continually find ways to ‘stay safe’. We need to push for change across our society and tackle the deep issues which lead to so many men committing crimes against women. Getting to the root of this behaviour is the only way we can deal with the issue of violence against women and girls for the sake of our future generations.

I assure you I will be relentless in my drive to protect women and girls. Working with agencies up and down the country, as well as here in Dorset, I will do all I can to ensure we’re the safest county, and women and girls are free from the fear of abuse.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




November 22, 2023


No let-up in the fight against knife crime

Last week, Operation Sceptre took place across Dorset, an intensive week of action focused on tackling knife crime. While in Dorset we have the second lowest rate of knife crime across England and Wales, I want to reassure you that leaves no room for complacency. I remain committed to ensuring people are protected on our streets in a bid to prevent the devastating consequences of knife crime.

As part of the intensification of action last week, Dorset Police focused important messaging towards parents and carers around the online sales of knives. This included questions around what parcels were being delivered to houses and what children were looking at online. Our officers also conducted high visibility patrols, equipped with the new knife wands I have funded. These wands do not replace the requirement for a physical search but are used as a screening device available for officers already conducting a lawful and justified physical search of a person following their arrest. I am also pleased that a portable knife arch I have funded is now available to officers. These enforcement methods, along with knife surrender bins placed at police stations in Weymouth, Bournemouth, and Poole, are just a small part of our ongoing work to keep Dorset’s streets safe.

Another important aspect of my commitment to driving down knife crime in Dorset focuses on education for young people. Last week, our Safer Schools and Communities team intensified their regular schedule of visits to schools across the county, delivering the Firearms and Knife Education (FAKE) input to students. I was pleased to see one of these sessions in action at Oak Academy on Friday. The officer’s message to the audience was clear: carrying a weapon puts you in more danger of serious injury or worse. The powerful interactive talk which included real life examples, videos and interactive engagement, had positive reviews from the most important people in the room – the students. These impressive young people at the school asked insightful questions, remaining engaged throughout the hour-long presentation. I was delighted to hear their responses to the input which ranged from effective to thought-provoking. I have repeatedly said how crucial education is in our fight against knife crime. Preventing our young people from carrying knives and weapons is pivotal to this battle. If this education helps to change the path of just one person or gives another the confidence to talk about concerns they may have, it will have succeeded.

What is clear from the range of engagements and discussions I had last week, is that tackling knife crime isn’t just the responsibility of the police. I am proud of our strong communities in Dorset, and it is down to all of us – from local authorities, partners, charities, and individuals – to do the right thing to drive down this offence. That is why I am determined to continue in my campaign for a Violence Reduction Unit in the county. I truly believe that to keep Dorset a safe place, and ensure it remains so for the next generations, this is the way forward. We owe it to the young people of Dorset.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




November 18, 2023


Joining forces to protect the young people of Dorset


This week during Operation Sceptre, a week-long campaign focusing on action against knife crime, I attended the Safer BCP Partnership’s conference ‘Keeping Our Young People Safe’. I heard powerful personal testimonies along with expert findings on the best ways to help vulnerable young people in Dorset.

The event provided a welcome opportunity to meet with key partners, as well as the chance to speak to charities and organisations about the work they do to help the children, teenagers, and young adults in our county. I was honoured to be the opening speaker and highlight the importance of putting young people at the centre and driving prevention and partnership working as integral parts of keeping our young people safe.

Protecting the younger generation from harm has been a key part of my mission to tackle violent crime in Dorset. It’s why I want a Violence Reduction Unit bringing together essential partners to address the underlying causes of these offences and get ahead of the problem for the sake of our young people.

During the event, the devastating impact of knife crime was told through the moving testimony of Cameron Hamilton’s grandmother, Tracy Jose. Cameron, 18, died after being stabbed in Bournemouth town centre in August this year. In describing the impact of the family’s tragic loss, Tracy’s powerful words and determination to stop this happening to another family struck a chord with every person in the room. I also learnt more about the superb work of the Ben Kinsella Trust in educating youngsters. Ben was a 16-year-old who was stabbed to death on the streets of London after celebrating the end of his GCSEs in 2008. Since his death, his family have campaigned tirelessly, successfully lobbying for a change in the law which saw mandatory life sentences for knife related murder raised from 15 to 25 years. The Trust have also won awards for their hard-hitting radio campaign, and they run exhibitions to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime.

I also heard from experts about the vulnerability of our young people, and why early intervention is vital for help, especially with those who can slip through the net. I know the background to knife crime offences with young people are increasingly complicated and the offence is often a symptom of complex factors. This is why it is so important to get to young people early with help, education, and expertise. Interventions at an early stage are key, as is support from a multitude of different agencies. Knife crime and the reasons behind it, cannot be solved through policing alone, and it was thought-provoking to hear from so many organisations about the work being done to deal with issues from county lines to domestic abuse.

It was great to have the chance to speak with representatives from groups which ranged from Victim Support, Sexual Health Dorset, No More Victims, Vita Nova, Escapeline, Shores, Stars and With You. These groups are doing crucial work to support our communities and provide help to victims, schools, and other stakeholders.

What particularly struck me from the different discussions and talks during the day, was the need to make sure the right services are provided at the right time. When that is done correctly, the positive impact goes beyond that one person, it has a ripple effect, on that person’s family, their friends, their community, and society in general. Sadly, we know all too well what happens when this goes wrong.

What was clear to me, was that it takes more than just policing to make a difference. During the event’s closing speech, three things were highlighted – prevention, patience, and persistence. I would add a fourth, partnership. Without joined-up effective communication and shared objectives, tackling the scourge of knife crime and protecting our young people from harm will not be successful. It is only through a broad church of expertise and multi-agency working, that we can turn the tide for the future generations of Dorset residents.

David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




November 17, 2023


Selection of Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Farrell

Dorset Police has selected Rachel Farrell as Deputy Chief Constable on a permanent basis.


Deputy Chief Constable Farrell was selected after a recruitment process chaired by Dorset Police Chief Constable Amanda Pearson.

DCC Farrell has been carrying out the role on a temporary basis since this summer.

Chief Constable Amanda Pearson said: “I am delighted to announce that I have selected Rachel Farrell as our new Deputy Chief Constable.

“While Rachel has been covering the role in a temporary capacity, I am thrilled that we will continue working together for the good of our people, our communities and our partners.

“I would like to congratulate Rachel on her selection.

“Dorset Police has a strong and cohesive Chief Officer team, and this will bring stability to the organisation as we focus on making Dorset a safe county for everyone.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said:” This is an excellent selection and my sincere congratulations go to Rachel. I trust and respect her for the true public servant that she is and I very much look forward to the contribution she will bring as Deputy Chief Constable to making Dorset the safest county in the UK.”



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Beware Black Friday Scams


Beware the Deals of Black Friday
The scammers are lurking, don't be misled
With promises of discounts deep
On items you didn't know you need

Clicking unknown links can bring trouble
Your data and money, they'll swindle double
Fake sites abound, out there to cheat you
Don't input your details, they'll likely delete you

Reviews can be rigged, made up just for show
Not all bargain deals are the way to go
If it seems too good to be true, it likely is
Save your cash and credit, don't take the risk

This time of year online fraud is rife
May empty your wallet and cause you strife
Shop smart and safe, stick to what you know
Avoid the scams to protect your dough

The lure of deals can cloud our thinking
But safety first stops fraud sinking its teeth in
Heed this advice and shop with care
Happy Holidays, be cyber aware!


Below is a link to the Metropolitan Police website that has advice on how to protect yourself when online shopping. This includes what you can do to protect yourself, identifying fraudulent websites, how the scammers work, warning signs, phishing/spoof emails and other useful sites.

Online shopping | Metropolitan Police

REMEMBER. TAKE FIVE before you act. Only criminals try to rush you. Think could this be a scam? If you have been frauded contact you bank and action fraud.




Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)



November 14, 2023


Dorset Police introduce metal detecting wands to help tackle knife crime

Frontline police officers will be equipped with metal detecting wands to target knife carriers and seize concealed weapons, as part of a national crackdown on knife crime.

Handheld metal detectors have been distributed to teams across Dorset and will be used to support stop and search powers as part of Operation Sceptre.

Operation Sceptre is a national initiative to tackle knife crime and will run from Monday 13 November to Sunday 19 November 2023.

The wands will not replace the requirement for a physical search but be used as a screening device available to officers already conducting a lawful and justified physical search of a person following their arrest.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/60cf031d-3f82-ee11-9d5c-6045bdd24049

Throughout this week of action for Operation Sceptre, all 43 police forces will take part in intensified efforts to crack down on knife crime.

Dorset Police is providing knife surrender bins at Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth Police Stations for those wishing to get rid of unwanted knives.

The theme for the week is around online knife retailers and raising awareness of what packages are being sent to young people at home.

Knives can be too easily available online. Dorset Police is encouraging retailers to be aware of who they are selling to and to ensure they are following the appropriate safety guidelines for legal selling and distribution.

The Dorset Police Safer Schools and Communities Teams will also be delivering education in local schools to raise awareness around the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife. The Force is asking parents and care givers to ask ‘what’s in the package?’ so they know what their young people are receiving through the post.

If you have any information or concerns about someone carrying a knife, please report it to Dorset Police online via the website dorset.police.uk, or CrimeStoppers UK on 0800 555111. Your information could help save a life.

For details of Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth Police Stations visit: Dorset.Police.UK/PEO

Parents can seek advice about their chilld’s welfare at: Parent Talk - Support for Parents from Action For Children

Retailers can visit this website for guidance on selling knives: nbcc.police.uk/knifeguidance





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Book your space on our HIDDEN CRIME webinars - starts next week


Click the link above for all the details - see Upcoming Webinars.

(They all take place on ZOOM.)







Message Sent By:
Cheryl Spruce
(NWN, Head of Membership & Community Engagement, England and Wales)




November 12, 2023


Officers, staff and volunteers recognised at latest Dorset Police awards ceremony


The Force has recognised the outstanding performance of its officers, staff and volunteers at its latest awards ceremony.

The event was held on Thursday 2 November 2023, and acknowledged their dedication to their vital role in policing, to support the Force’s vision to make Dorset a safe county for everyone.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/8afb8864-537a-ee11-9d5c-6045bdd24049



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Watch out for fake QR codes


Watch out for fake QR codes which have been placed over the original ones, especially on car park meters. Check to see if it will peel off!!!

Don't get tricked, avoid the click,
Of strange QR's that make you sick.
They can steal your dough, as you may know,
So watch out before you go.
Scan with care, to avoid a scare,
Double check each link laid bare.
Stay alert, don't get hurt,
Keep your data covered and secure.



Message Sent By:
Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)







How we're tackling the scourge of knife crime in Dorset



From November 13, a week-long national campaign focusing on action against knife crime will take place. Known as Operation Sceptre, the week will see officers and police staff carry out a range of different activities and events across Dorset as part of our mission to crack down on knife-enabled crime and violence.

Ahead of this, I want to reassure you of all the work which has been happening to tackle knife crime offences, day in and day out across Dorset. Over the summer, you will know we intensified our efforts in the fight against knife crime, with a particular focus on Bournemouth town centre. That work continues to this day.

Knife crime has a profound impact on families and communities, and I am determined that we must work together to prevent future tragedies in this county. While Dorset has the second lowest rate of knife crime across England and Wales*, I want to be clear that we are not complacent. This is demonstrated in the most recent ONS statistics from June 2022 to June 2023, which showed a 7% drop in the number of incidents of crimes termed as ‘violence with injury’. This shows the work we’re putting into preventing violent crime in our communities is beginning to have a positive impact. ‘Violence with injury’ includes offences such as homicide, knife crime, and gun crime and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent. I am determined to continue doing all I can to support the force in bringing down the numbers of these offences and in turn create a climate in Dorset which refuses to tolerate knife crime.

Since the summer, I have put £20,000 in place to fund knife wands for every car and a portable knife arch. These vital pieces of equipment will ensure we can act quickly against the threat of knives on our streets and will equip Dorset Police officers with the tools they need. As well as the knife wands, the force also has a portable knife arch coming, which people may have seen in use by British Transport Police at the train station this summer. I am clear, Dorset will not be a place where it is easy to carry a knife.

One new measure which I have welcomed wholeheartedly is the launch of the Bournemouth Town Team. This is a partnership arrangement set-up in a bid to ensure closer working arrangements between Dorset Police, the Bournemouth Business Improvement District (BID), town rangers, CSAS officers, parks team, seafront team and Local Authority ASB officers. This type of joint working arrangement is crucial if we are to truly combat violent offences in the town centre. Luke Gilbert, who has returned to Bournemouth as CSAS Senior Officer said: “The logistical benefit of joining forces to deliver the Town Team has seen a direct increase in officers from all agencies in and around the town centre being able to be more proactive and reactive to ongoing issues. For example, one of the issues we have seen a direct fall in already is the presence of anti-social street drinking in the town centre.” By creating a climate which doesn’t tolerate ASB and other types of disorder, as partners we’re sending a strong message to offenders, that we will not tolerate crime in any form.

I am also pleased that the Dorset Police-led Operation Fireglow and Operation Nightjar which target ASB and serious crime in Bournemouth, led to 28 arrests, 47 Section 35 dispersal orders and 21 stop and searches over the summer. I know staff working in the town centre have said they saw a reduction in the level of thefts and ASB thanks to the increased police presence, with Operation Nightjar having a positive impact with businesses. However, Dorset Police cannot tackle these offences alone, which is why the joint working of the Town Team with partners such as the Bournemouth BID is crucial if we are to truly drive down crime in the town centre.

While I am sure these measures are making a difference, each alone will not prevent young people carrying knives as weapons. That is why I am continuing my campaign for a Violence Reduction Unit in Dorset. This unit would bring together essential partners to reduce local violent crime and address the underlying causes. As we’ve seen in other parts of the country, the model is so important as VRUs understand the local needs of the area and identify where and how interventions would be most effective. Over the past two years, I’ve been calling on the local authorities to support setting up a VRU, and recently I’ve met with the Bournemouth MPs - Conor Burns and Tobias Ellwood - as well as the leader of BCP Council, Vikki Slade, to discuss the need for this scheme. I consider it a necessity for our county. We need to get ahead of the problem of young people carrying knives. That’s why I am so passionate about getting a VRU into Dorset to make certain that hand in hand with all the other initiatives mentioned in this newsletter, we drive towards making Dorset the safest county.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner


REFERENCES
*This is based on police recorded crime data involving the use of knives and sharp instruments, for the year ending December 2022.

The data can be found here: Digital Crime and Performance Pack - His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (justiceinspectorates.gov.uk)



Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




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Learning from you as our fight against rural crime progresses


I know how important combatting rural crime is to communities across Dorset. It’s been one of the top priorities of my Police and Crime Plan since I stepped into this job more than two years ago. And I’m pleased to say we have seen some significant improvements and success stories in that time.

Over the summer, along with fellow PCCs in Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire, I launched a survey to explore how crime impacts rural communities. The aim was to gather information to help me understand in even more detail how people living and working in Dorset’s rural communities are affected by the types of offences usually only experienced in the countryside.

The survey certainly returned some very interesting results, which I’d like to tell you about, including some updates on how we continue to address your concerns.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the survey was that the majority of respondents said they had not experienced rural crime in the past year. While this goes to show the progress we are making, I want to reassure you it doesn’t mean we’re complacent; far from it. The Dorset Police Rural Crime Team are working tirelessly to tackle the offences which affect you. They – and I - are determined to ensure positive changes are felt by you all. Our expanded rural crime team – which has grown from three to a capacity of 18 – has been able to return more than £1million work of stolen machinery to victims over the past year. NFU Mutual’s annual report showed a 28% drop in the cost of crime for Dorset, compared to an increase of 22.1% nationally.

The survey also showed me that fly-tipping was the most common crime experienced by you, as well as one of the offences which concerns you the most, along with theft of agricultural machinery and theft of livestock. Beyond the troubling issues of fly-tipping being a health hazard as well as an eyesore in our county, I know how frustrating these incidents can be for Dorset residents. And while local authorities are responsible for investigating, clearing, and taking the appropriate action over this, I am pleased to be able to tell you that I have agreed to fund an evidence gathering role to enable further enforcement of fly-tipping offenders in Dorset. I hope this will go some way to tackling this blight on our countryside and send a clear message to offenders that Dorset will not accept this behaviour.

One of the results I was saddened to see, was that nearly 50% of those who responded said they had not reported rural crimes to the police. I would strongly urge you to report incidents of crime to Dorset Police – either via 999 if you are in immediate danger or through the online reporting system in non-emergencies. To successfully tackle the types of incidents involved in rural crime, the police must know about it. Without intelligence and knowledge of incidents which have occurred, the force cannot deploy resources and officers to where they are needed. Help them to help you by telling police about these offences.

We have a lot to be proud of in Dorset when it comes to how we deal with rural crime. Recently we also launched
our Mounted Rural Volunteers scheme in which volunteers on horseback work with the rural crime team to provide intelligence to support and protect local rural communities. These volunteers will be engaging with people while out on their regular hacks along bridleways, lanes, and country roads to gather intelligence and report anything suspicious.

We also have our Country Watch website, a one-stop rural resource centre for all things related to rural crime. We wanted to bring all the information you need in one place. The site provides crime prevention advice, information on how to report fly-tipping and where to get help if you’re a victim of crime.

However, we can’t fight rural crime alone. Over the years I have demonstrated the importance of partnership working when it comes to tackling these offences. From successful lobbying with fellow PCCs for tougher sanctions to tackle the menace of fly-tipping, to supporting the National Farmers Union in their campaign to deter and prevent illegal hare coursing, joint working is key to continued success. This is something I have tried to foster through the Dorset Partnership Against Rural Crime. Set-up in 2022, the organisation brings together my office along with Dorset Police, BCP Council, Dorset Council, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Cornish Mutual, Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils (DAPTC), Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Forestry England, Historic England, Kingston Maurward College, the National Trust, Natural England, National Farmers Union (NFU) and NFU Mutual to work together and share knowledge to support our rural communities.

But the work does not stop there. Along with my fellow PCCs in the south west, we will continue to target Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) involved in rural crime through Operation Ragwort. This campaign brings together all police forces in the region to combat crimes such as theft of vehicles and equipment, poaching and hare coursing. It is crucial we work together across the region. Criminals don’t see borders, and neither will we.

I hope this survey and our work so far demonstrates how seriously we take rural crime in Dorset. We will continue our fight to tackle these offences, as we strive to make Dorset the safest county.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



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Two projects to help make Dorset a safe place to live


In this week’s newsletter I would like to update you on two significant initiatives which will further arm us with the vital tools to tackle some of the key priorities of my Police and Crime Plan – cutting anti-social behaviour, putting victims and communities first, fighting violent crime and rural crime.

As was clear in this year’s Annual Survey, anti-social behaviour is also still a big concern of yours, the residents of Dorset. Of those who responded to the survey, 71% of you said ASB is the crime which affects you the most. I want to reassure you that Operation Relentless, our campaign to tackle ASB in Dorset, continues apace, with hot spot patrols across the county. These are having a positive impact, with incidents of ASB falling by 13% compared to 2021/22.

Last week I announced two pieces of news about projects which will enable us to take our vital work even further. Today, I want to tell you how these schemes will work. The Immediate Justice pilot scheme and our successful Safer Streets funding bid of nearly £1million will further enhance our capability to deal with ASB and other crimes which directly affect our communities. I know anti-social behaviour has a negative impact on the places we live but hope these two projects demonstrate once more how committed I am to tackle these crimes.

Firstly, Immediate Justice, is a scheme Dorset Police is piloting under the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Plan along with nine other forces. The introduction of this scheme is designed so swift and visible punishments are delivered to those who have committed ASB and other low-level crimes.

We’re asking for help from the residents of Dorset. I’d like to hear from you, what type of actions you would like to see take place under the scheme. For example, would you like those who have done wrong to clean-up graffiti or maintain parks and public spaces? I am determined to get Immediate Justice right for everyone in Dorset, and value your input. Take the survey here: Immediate Justice survey

The other piece of good news I am delighted to share, is our successful bid from the Home Office’s Safer Street Fund. Dorset has been awarded almost £1million for projects which focus on the safety of women and girls, as well as tackling crime in our rural communities.

The funding, which was awarded following a joint bid with BCP Council and Dorset Council, will include the introduction of a Women’s Night Safety Charter, ‘Theft and Burglary’ prevention packs to mark rural farm property as well as more CCTV cameras in places across Dorset. Thanks to this substantial funding, numerous communities across the county will be able to feel even safer on the streets where they live as these projects roll-out.

With this money we can provide help to a wide range of projects including many more beyond those mentioned, on a scale we haven’t seen before. And it is my hope that this vital funding will benefit communities across the whole of Dorset, helping to make us the safest county to live.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner


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Why I welcome the new law to make nitrous oxide (NOS) possession illegal

It will come as no surprise to many of you, that I wholeheartedly welcome the introduction of today’s law to make possession of nitrous oxide illegal. For some time now I have been campaigning for this to happen, and I am delighted to see this important change in the law go live from today (November 8).

In my role as Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC) Joint Lead for Addictions and Substance Misuse, with co-chair Durham PCC Joy Allen, I have repeatedly raised concerns over the past two years - publicly and directly with the Government - about the prevalence of nitrous oxide in a bid for stronger legislation surrounding this harmful drug. From initially leading calls for a review on nitrous oxide, to vigorously lobbying the Home Office for a potential crackdown on the drug, I am proud to have been part of the fight to achieve this vital change, protecting our young people and communities in Dorset and beyond. I used my platform to call for serious discussion on the issue, lobbying tirelessly to ensure recommendations made in the subsequent report were taken further to give the police and courts the powers to crack down on those who supply this drug to children and young people. To now see this law in action, benefitting every county in the country, is a key milestone in my ongoing fight to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

This new law will mean those who repeatedly misuse the drug could face up to two years in prison, while dealers of nitrous oxide, will face up to 14 years behind bars. This ban will make nitrous oxide a controlled Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Penalties for possessing the substance could include an unlimited fine, community service, caution, or more serious custodial sentence for repeat offenders. Of course, there will exemptions for legitimate reasons, such as in maternity wards for pain relief during labour.

I know the sight of those silver cannisters and balloon litter strewn across our parks, beaches and playgrounds was a cause for concern in communities across Dorset. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, it is my mission to ensure anti-social behaviour is tackled, ensuring you feel safe where you live and work. I hope this legislation will go some way towards this and give police the tools to deal with the issues which affect your community.

The biggest motivation to tackling nitrous oxide came from the impact this drug has on the health of our young people. Back in 2021, after calling for action, I welcomed a review into the harm caused by nitrous oxide, or NOS as it is also known. The use of this drug was becoming normalised among young people in Dorset and was increasingly being used a recreational drug we were told by youth workers. Using it was seen as ‘harmless fun’ despite the side-effects of heavy use potentially causing nerve-related symptoms such as being unable to walk, and loss of sensation. These concerns have been repeatedly raised by medical experts, with neurologists publishing new treatment guidelines for wider NHS use earlier this year (February 2023, Queen Mary University of London).

When the report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs was published in March 2023, it suggested additional measures were needed to reduce the health and social harms of nitrous oxide. It recommended the Government focus on non-legitimate routes of supply including restricting direct-to-consumer sales, restrictions on cannister sizes that are not for legitimate use and restrictions on the volume of sales customers can purchase. But this didn’t go far enough. I - along with my co-chair – called for further action to be taken, highlighting evidence which also linked nitrous oxide with needless deaths and serious injury on roads across the country. Now, just a few months later, to get to this day where possession of nitrous oxide is illegal, is a huge step in the right direction towards tackling substance misuse.

But I know there is much more still to do. Tackling the issue of drugs in Dorset is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan. Whether this is through continuing to lobby over the harmful effects of cannabis, to leading the multi-agency Combatting Drugs Partnership in Dorset, I remain committed to making Dorset the safest county to live.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner



November 2, 2023


Ask for ANI – help for domestic abuse victims

Did you know that victims of domestic abuse can discreetly signal for help from the safety of a pharmacy which is participating in the Ask for ANI scheme? ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately.


Victims use the codeword ANI in participating pharmacies, including all Boots stores and some independent pharmacies in Dorset to let staff know that they require an emergency police response or help with contacting a helpline or specialist support service.

Pharmacies which are taking part display posters with a distinctive hand symbol to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help.

When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will ask the victim to accompany them to the consultation room. They will then check whether the victim is in danger and wants the police to be called. If so, the staff member will offer the use of a phone to dial 999 or make the call on the victim’s behalf.

If the victim is not in an emergency situation, the staff member will support the victim to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/d78b5a30-ae78-ee11-9d5c-6045bdd24049


You can find out which pharmacies in your area are participating in Ask For ANI and more about the the service on the Dorset Police website. Here you will also find details of how pharmacies can sign up to Ask For ANI.

https://www.dorset.police.uk/police-forces/dorset-police/areas/campaigns/campaigns/ask-for-ani

The scheme was developed by the Home Office with the help of partners including the domestic abuse sector, pharmacy associations and the police.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Dorset Police warn against social media scammers

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month this October, Dorset Police are encouraging the public to turn on two-step verification for their email and social media accounts.







Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




October 31

Just 2 weeks to go! Can you help us reach our fundraising goal for youth work?


We are delighted to invite you to take part in our annual Crime and Community survey. The survey is in its fourth year, and we want to hear your views on crime, community, and your experience of Neighbourhood Watch. The survey is open to everyone across England and Wales, regardless of whether you are a Neighbourhood Watch member.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/surveyCC2023

All responses will be anonymised and aggregated, and everyone who completes the 5 – 10 minute survey can choose to opt-in to the prize draw to win one of three £25 Amazon vouchers.

The results will enable us as a charity to better understand crime and fear of crime, benchmark whether membership in a Neighbourhood Watch scheme or living in a Neighbourhood Watch area impacts crime levels, neighbourliness, and the willingness of communities to work together. This information is vitally important to ensure we can better target our work to meet your crime and community needs and concerns.

Last year our survey received a great response, providing us with rich and useful data.


Please complete our survey and share it via email and social with all the various communities you belong to, whether they be a Neighbourhood Watch community or other such as sport, religious or work community. This will help us receive a good balance of responses from members and non-members, enabling us to compare experiences between these two groups. Alternatively, reshare our social posts (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn) to your channels.

The survey closes on 17th November.

Thank you for your support.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK, Central Support Team
WG07, Vox Studios, 1-45 Durham Street, Vauxhall, SE11 5JH
Follow us on our social channels ( ourwatch.org.uk / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn)
Neighbourhood Watch Network is a charity registered in England & Wales, CIO no: 1173349




Message Sent By:
Sandra Bauer
(NWN, Head of Policy, Partnerships and Projects, England and Wales)





October 30

Working Together to Tackle Shoplifting in Dorset



As part of last week’s national week of action on business crime, I joined partners united in the fight against offences such as shoplifting and anti-social behaviour, to talk to staff at businesses in Poole. Along with Dorset Police’s Crime Prevention Design Advisor Claire Davis, PCSO Kerrie, BCP Council’s Anti-social Behaviour Officer Hayley and Jacqui Rock, Poole Business Improvement District (BID) lead, we spent some time with retailers providing support and advice.

It was great to see this partnership in action, engaging with businesses and employees to support Safer Business Action Week, equipping business owners and security staff with the tools they need to tackle crime and raise awareness of the support which is available.

During our visit, one of our Neighbourhood Policing Team on patrol informed us about a shoplifter who had been caught just minutes before following reports of a theft at a nearby supermarket. The offender had also been abusive towards staff but thankfully was dealt with appropriately by the officer at the scene. This incident demonstrates the importance of reporting offences to police and partners. Without the information from businesses, we cannot tackle the crimes which impact your livelihoods. Supplying intelligence to police means officers can begin the process of bringing Dorset’s prolific offenders to justice.

I know how damaging incidents of shoplifting can be. Here in Dorset, reports increased from 2,891 to 3,944 between June 2022 and June 2023. This 36.4% increase really reflects what is happening on a national scale. I am dedicated to tackling this crime, and through partnerships like the Dorset Safer Business Partnership, I am committed to driving down these offences and protecting our hard-working business owners and employees.

That is why I welcome the ongoing discussions between politicians, retailers, and police representatives around shoplifting, which have taken place in Westminster this week. It’s not just the financial impact of shoplifting which hurts businesses, but the threat to the safety of hard-working staff which makes this such a distressing crime.

Another way I have pledged to support businesses in the fight against business crime, is through my Business Crime Community Fund, giving grants to BIDs. I have invited BIDs across Dorset to apply for funding through this project, which will help them deliver lasting change to their areas. Those who are successful in their applications, can use the grants of up to £5,000 towards initiatives which reduce business crime or abuse against shop workers.

During our Safer Business Action Week engagement event in Poole, Jacqui Rock, Poole Business Improvement District’s lead, said: “It’s been great to have this one-to-one time with the PCC, visiting Poole’s businesses. It really demonstrates that he is invested in tackling these crimes. To have his presence here is so valuable – and you can see how engaged he is with people – so many people have come up to talk to him.

“Businesses are frustrated by crimes such as shoplifting and abuse towards their staff. I do not want our shop owners to become victims; we have got to protect them and keep Poole safe in order to encourage even more footfall. It’s all about communication between partners and clear messaging to let offenders know they are not going to easily succeed in Poole going forward.”

Protecting Dorset businesses from crime is a responsibility I take very seriously. But it cannot be done through policing alone. We need to work together to ensure we make Dorset the safest county to live and work.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




October 27

Immediate Justice Pilot Survey: Have your say!




In March of this year, the Government announced that under the Anti-Social Behaviour Plan, Dorset would be one of ten trailblazer police force areas to introduce the ‘Immediate Justice’ pilot scheme, where swift and visible punishments are delivered to those who have committed crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The new scheme, targets those found committing low level crime and sets out to ensure the perpetrators make reparation for the damage they have inflicted on victims and the community and the Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick would like your guidance on what types of actions you would like to see take place under the scheme.

The Commissioner said: “Adequate, effective, and prompt reparation is intended to promote justice and that is at the heart of ‘Immediate Justice’ as a concept – to make good and repair, to restore something to the way it should have been and to try and rebuild the community where the harm was caused.”

“What I want to know now from the people of Dorset is what they would like to see happen in their community. Would you like those who have done wrong to clean up graffiti or maintain parks and public spaces for example? It’s really important to me that we get this scheme right for Dorset and that can only happen with the input of the people – so please do complete the survey and tell me what you want to see happen in your community.”

Take the survey here.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




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Statement from the PCC on Annual Survey


Over the Summer, I joined members of my office who were out and about talking to you about how safe you feel in Dorset and my thanks go to all the people who not only took the time to stop and talk with us, but to those who also took the time to complete my annual survey on the subject.

As your elected representative, this survey continues to be a vital way for me to gain a deeper understanding of the thoughts and opinions you all have about policing and it is really important to gather those views, because ultimately, they help shape the future of the service.

With that in mind, I would like to share with you an overview of the results.





I note that once again ASB is a top concern for you all, with residential burglary and drug crime making up your top three concerns.

To give some reassurance, Dorset Police continue to implement Operation Relentless to tackle ASB, with hot spot patrols continuing and increasing across the county and I am pleased to be able to report that incidents of ASB have reduced by 13 per cent compared to 21/22.

In the most recent report from the Office of National Statistics, it was confirmed that there has been a 14 per cent drop in the number of residential burglaries in Dorset. Earlier in the year, Dorset Police made a commitment to uphold their 100% attendance rate to domestic burglaries, as they supported the national commitment to visit all victims of home burglary and I vow to ensure that approach continues.

When it comes to tackling drug crime, more and more action is being taken, indeed we have just concluded the sixth phase of Operation Scorpion and across the county in a week of intensive policing, there have been 26 drug-related arrests, over £93,000 worth of illegal drugs seized and the profits and paraphernalia of drug dealing, including cash and weapons have been taken off our streets.

The above few lines only give a snapshot of the work that is happening to address your concerns, but your concerns, the policing issues that worry you, that you want dealt with are the reasons I do this job and I hope you can see we, my office, Dorset Police and all our partners are pulling together, are working on your priorities and ultimately getting the results you want.

To find out more about the work we are doing, please head on over to my website.



David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner




Message Sent By:

Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner


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All Tricks and No Treat


Beware the tricks that lurk online,
On All Hallows' Eve when myths entwine.
For fiends with wicked screens may pry,
And steal your data with their lies.


Phishing scams seek your information,
Refund schemes target compensation.
Friends and family they impersonate,
Purchase fraud leaves you at fate.


They promise fortune, love, and more,
But truth and safety they ignore.
With links and ads they seek to cheat,
Your secrets and your gold they'll glean.


Banks and police will never ask
For money, PINs or passwords - don't react!
Ignore all texts and emails unsolicited,
Attachments and links should not be visited.


Report suspicious messages you see
To Action Fraud immediately.
This Halloween, be wise, take care-
Foil fraudsters, show them you're aware!

Action Fraud





Message Sent By:

Damian Cranny
(Dorset Police, Fraud Protect Officer, Dorset)


October 24, 2023


Officers searching for a missing woman in Christchurch have very sadly found a body

At approximately 12.30pm on Monday 23 October 2023 the body of a woman was located in some woodland close to Gordon Road in Highcliffe.

While the body has not yet been formally identified, it is believed to be that of Judith Kelly who was last seen at 10.13am on Saturday 21 October 2023. Her family have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and HM Coroner has been notified.

We would like to thank everyone who assisted with the searches and our thoughts are with Judith’s family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.


Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




October 23

Dorset Police works with communities to make Dorset #NoPlaceForDrugs



Dorset Police has been taking part in the latest phase of Operation Scorpion to combat drug supply and make the South West a hostile environment for criminal gangs.

Phase six of Operation Scorpion coincided with a national County Lines Intensification Week, which ran from Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October 2023 and saw forces clamp down on county lines activity through various operational activities, such as warrant executions, educational inputs into schools and safeguarding vulnerable people.

A collaboration between police forces in Dorset, Devon & Cornwall, Avon & Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, their respective Police and Crime Commissioners, British Transport Police, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU), and the charity Crimestoppers, Operation Scorpion focuses on pooling resources to combat drug supply in the region to make the South West a hostile environment for drugs.

The public plays an important role in helping police forces to build an intelligence picture and throughout the week our communities were asked to report intelligence linked to drugs activity – no matter how big or small. Using the community intelligence provided, Dorset Police carried out enforcement activities, disrupting those who are profiting from the damage and harm that drugs bring to our communities.

As a result of community intelligence and operational focus, county lines were disrupted, vulnerable people safeguarded, and educational support was provided to young people and families.

The clampdown led to:

· 26 arrests

· Five people charged

· Over £9,000 worth of drugs seized

· £1,300 cash seized

· 17 mobile phones seized

· Two weapons seized

· Three vulnerable adults safeguarded

Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “Once again the hard work and investigative skills of Dorset Police and the regional forces and partners involved in Operation Scorpion has yielded some truly impressive results.”

“In Dorset, in a week of intensive policing, there have been 26 drug-related arrests, over £9000 worth of illegal drugs seized, and the profits and paraphernalia of drug dealing, including cash and weapons have been taken off our streets.”

“There have been some 17 mobile phones seized in Dorset, and it is my fervent hope that those phones contain valuable information on dealers, on active county lines and hopefully, details of those who are much higher up the chain of supply – because I want to put a stop the misery they peddle and put pay to the life-destroying trade that they want to see flourish in on our communities.”

“The results from across the region have magnified and multiplied the action taken here in our county, with thousands and thousands of pounds worth of drugs being taken off the streets, almost 100 arrests being made, cars and laptops being seized as well as a significant number of people being safeguarded. All this action is happening to make our region and our county a safer place to be – so my thanks go to everyone involved in Operation Scorpion for taking the fight to the criminals and making sure they know our region is ‘No Place For Drugs’.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan said: “Once again, Operational Scorpion has seen all five police forces from the South West join together to send a clear message to organised criminals and those who cause harm in our communities that there is no place for them in our region.

“I would like to thank our public for the intelligence they continue to provide us. We rely on this information to help provide us with a picture of what is taking place. Thanks to information we have received from members of the public, we have been able to disrupt organised criminal gangs, remove drugs from the streets of Dorset and safeguard members of the public.

“Please remember, if you see something that doesn’t seem right or doesn’t feel right, tell us. Your information could be the missing piece of the puzzle.

“We will continue to execute warrants and target organised gangs to make our county a hostile place for criminals, while protecting our communities and those individuals who need our help the most.”

If you have concerns about drug use or county lines in your area you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or go to our website www.dorset.police.uk – always call 999 if a crime is in progress.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




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Latest crime statistics show that Dorset remains one of the safest areas in the country.


The Office for National Statistics released data on Thursday 19 October 2023, which confirms that Dorset remains one of the safest areas in the country.

During the 12 months from June 2022 to June 2023, overall crime in Dorset has decreased by 0.5 per cent, against a national average increase of 2.2 per cent.

During this latest period, violence against the person fell by 1.3 per cent in, lower than the national decrease of 0.8 per cent, while violence with injury fell by 7.2 per cent, compared to a national average of 0.8 per cent.

Reports of sexual offences dropped by 11.4 per cent, compared to a national decrease of 1.6 per cent. Additionally, reports of rape offences reduced by 10.7 per cent, compared to a national decrease of 3.3 per cent.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/d5f28732-1b6f-ee11-9d5c-6045bdd24049




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




October 19, 2023


Dorset Police and businesses work together to tackle crime

Officers from Dorset Police are supporting a national week of action to strengthen relationships between retail, security and police in an effort to tackle business crime.

Today, Monday 16 October 2023, is the start of a week of action, co-ordinated by the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) that aims to equip business owners and security staff with the tools to tackle business crime and raise awareness of the support available to help protect them and their business.

During the week of action, local policing teams across Dorset will carry out various crime prevention activities and initiatives to increase engagement with local businesses and retail outlets, to improve relationships and offer signposting advice to help prevent crimes from occurring in the first place.

Businesses can be affected by a wide variety of crimes from theft, burglary and cyber crime to abusive or violent behaviour directed at staff. A Safer Business Action Day is all about partnership working, with the police, business, private security, Business Crime Reduction Partnerships and Business Improvement Districts, working together to reduce crime.

With the rising cost of living, businesses are potentially more vulnerable to crime. Businesses need to be able to deter people before they commit crime, which means knowing how they are vulnerable to criminals and making it difficult for individuals and organised crime groups to commit a crime against them.


View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/519869b6-016c-ee11-9d5c-6045bdd24049


Dorset Police can carry out crime prevention surveys on commercial properties. For more information please contact: crimereductionwest@dorset.pnn.police.uk. For further help and advice on business safety please visit https://www.dorset.police.uk/business or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team via the
Force website.




Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dorset Police warn against social media scammers

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month this October, Dorset Police are encouraging the public to turn on two-step verification for their email and social media accounts.


A recent report from Action Fraud shows that a number of people in Dorset have been targeted by scammers attempting to take control of their WhatsApp account.

Email and social media account hacking is the most reported cyber-dependent crime in the UK. Nationally, a staggering 18,000 people reported their accounts hacked in the 2021/22 financial year, with many more going unreported.

In the current scam affecting Dorset residents, criminals add their victim’s phone number to a new phone, prompting the app to request a code for two-step verification (2SV). The scammer will then contact the victim and, one way or another, persuade them to provide the code. Once they have the code, the scammer can then take over the account and use it for further fraud.

Chris Conroy from the Dorset Police Cyber Crime Unit said: “Used correctly, enabling 2SV can keep criminals out of your account, even if they know your password. Never give your code to someone else, no matter how hard they try to convince you. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre recommends that people set up this extra level of security on their 'important' accounts - accounts that protect things that you really care about and would cause the most harm to you if the passwords were stolen.”

Two-step verification is also known as two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). 2SV is a way of 'double checking' that you really are the person you are claiming to be when you're using online services.

Chris continued: “Data from Action Fraud suggests that no one age group is more likely to targeted. This can happen to anyone. Our free cyber awareness sessions are available to anyone in Dorset. We regularly speak to community groups, businesses, schools, and charities who want to feel more confident using the internet and online services.”

The sessions offer impartial advice and guidance about common cyber threats like phishing, malware, and email scams, as well as providing advice on how you can keep your online accounts safe.

If you are interested in booking a cyber awareness session for you, your business or community group please visit the Dorset Police website: www.dorset.police.uk/cyber

For more information about protecting your accounts, visit the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Aware website: www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home





Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




October 16

Rural Mounted Volunteers scheme launched to help tackle Rural Crime



This week I am delighted to announce the launch of the Dorset Police Rural Mounted Volunteers scheme. The scheme will see volunteers on horseback work with the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, providing intelligence and information to support and protect local rural communities.

Yesterday, I was pleased to welcome the first four volunteers into the scheme at the launch ceremony at Kingston Maurward College. The volunteers will engage with local rural communities while out on their regular hacks along bridleways, lanes and country roads, gathering intelligence and reporting anything suspicious.

I have wanted to introduce this scheme for a while, so seeing it come to fruition is really pleasing. Having mounted rural volunteers will help further connect the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team with the communities they serve as well as offer a unique vantage point that will not only gather intelligence that may have been missed by standard patrols but improve visibility within our rural communities.

Rural Mounted Volunteers will be the eyes and ears for rural communities, similar to Neighbourhood Watch groups. They will work closely with the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, providing intelligence and information to help support crime prevention.

With their elevated positions on horseback, the Rural Mounted Volunteers have a unique vantage point and can spot many things that someone on foot or in a vehicle might not otherwise be able to see or even be able to get near to. This is all valuable information, which might not otherwise come to police attention.

Dorset Police volunteers come from all walks of life and bring with them an array of skills and experiences. Sharing their knowledge and time with the police will make a positive impact on all rural communities across Dorset. All volunteers are issued with a high-visibility jacket featuring the Rural Mounted Volunteer logo, while their horses are equipped with reflective sheets and leg wrappings.

I look forward to seeing the scheme expand and encourage anyone with a horse who wants to support police in their communities to get involved. This is just one more weapon in the armoury when it comes to taking the fight to the criminals who plague our countryside.

If you are interested in becoming a Rural Mounted Volunteer please email: contact.vol@dorset.pnn.police.uk


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner






October 11

Dorset PCC joins forces with Dorset Council to discourage speeding



Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has worked with Dorset Council to bring in a 12-month road safety sign trial which launches today.

The commissioner has funded the new information signs that will be placed around North Dorset to combat speeding in villages.

The trial comes after numerous speed complaints from North Dorset residents and will be carried out in up to ten village locations where no other measures, such as speed cameras are currently in place.

PCC, David Sidwick said: “This trial comes as a direct result of Dorset residents telling me of their concerns around speeding in their villages. I have heard their concerns and I hope that these new signs will encourage road users to think about their speed and take more care on Dorset’s roads.”

“Road safety is a hugely important issue and any death on Dorset’s roads is a tragedy. When you decide to get in a car and speed you are putting your own and others' lives at risk. In Dorset, we have an excellent Community Speed Watch scheme and the police Road Safety team, both of whom work tirelessly to keep our roads safe. However, they cannot be everywhere. These signs will help to fill the gaps in villages where there are not other measures in place to combat speeding.”

Dorset PCC, Dorset Council and Dorset Police have developed the new ‘vivid’ signs for the trial in North Dorset. The signs are temporary signs which will act as a reminder to drivers to watch their speed through villages. BCP Council already have a similar sign in use.

Eligible areas will be selected to be part of the trial if they do not use electronic speed indicator devices or have mobile safety camera enforcement. The scheme requires there to be Dorset Council, Dorset Police and Parish Councillor support for a location to be selected.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We fully support this trial aimed at improving road safety within our local communities. We encourage our local parish and town councils in the north Dorset area which don’t currently have campaigns to reduce speeding, to contact Dorset Council Road Safety Team if they’d like to take part. We will review the pilot at the end of the trial period.

The group hope that the signs will help to reduce speeding and hope parish councils will evaluate the success of the scheme through pre and post speed surveys. The trial is supported by Dorset Council as well as the Dorset Road Safety Partnership.


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner




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Dorset Police recognises its officers, staff, and volunteers at awards event

Chief Constable Amanda Pearson presented awards to several teams for their outstanding contribution towards meeting the Force's responsibility to achieve the Government's target of recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers.

The event, which took place on Monday, 2 October, provided an opportunity to recognise the remarkable work they have done to deliver the Police Uplift Programme, enabling the Force to put more officers into frontline policing roles.
Chief Constable Amanda Pearson said: "It truly was a privilege to celebrate the exceptional work everyone has achieved over the past three years.

Since 2019, Dorset Police has recruited 552 officers, all through the new entry routes, the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, the Degree Holder Entry Programme, and the Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme.

“This recruitment is the highest level ever undertaken, alongside introducing the entry routes, demonstrating exceptional flexibility and a 'can-do' attitude from all departments and teams across Dorset Police.”

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/817eb6b6-b866-ee11-9d5b-6045bdd24049



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)




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NCA investigation launched after drugs found off south coast of England

The National Crime Agency has begun an investigation following the recovery of a significant quantity of what is thought to be cocaine from the coast of Dorset and Hampshire.

Holdalls containing hundreds of kilos of powder were discovered in the sea off the St Aldhelm’s point and Durdle Door areas in Purbeck. And earlier today a further quantity washed up on a beach on the Isle of Wight.

The initial find was made on Monday 2 October 2023 by a fisherman who alerted Dorset Police. The packages are currently being examined to confirm their contents and quantity.

The investigation is being supported by Border Force, Dorset Police and Hampshire Police.

NCA senior investigating officer Tracey Lake said: “We believe this a significant amount of class A drugs which would have originated in South America. A loss of a consignment of this size would represent a significant hit to the criminal networks involved.

“Our investigation is being assisted by both Dorset and Hampshire Police as well as Border Force. Any additional suspect packages encountered by members of the public should be reported to the relevant Police force”

Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Farrell, of Dorset Police, said: “Officers from our marine team, supported by colleagues from across the Force and HM Coastguard have been working tirelessly with the NCA and Border Force to recover these suspect packages.

“Searches remain ongoing and I would ask anyone who finds a holdall or similar package in suspect circumstances to please not touch the item, but contact Dorset Police immediately.

“We remain committed to joining forces with our partner agencies to relentlessly pursue criminals and organised gangs suspected of being involved in drug supply offences so that we can keep the public safe.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s ACC Stuart Murray said: "We have been supporting the ongoing investigation with searches across the West Wight today, after a number of packages were discovered this morning by a group who were out litter picking.

"This work is ongoing, and you will continue to see police throughout the evening and into tomorrow, and we would ask anyone who finds any suspicious bags or packages on the coastline of Hampshire and the Island to get in touch with us immediately.

"There is a member of the litter picking group, a man in his 60s, who we want to make contact with as we continue to speak with everyone in the vicinity this morning, and we would ask him to get in touch with him. He is of slim build, around 5ft 6ins tall and had short grey hair, with a birth mark on the right side of his mouth.

"Anyone who does locate any suspicious packages should call 999, with our call handlers able to provide further advice."

"Working with the National Crime Agency and our other partners, we will continue to do all we can to protect the safety of our communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and make life as difficult as possible for those taking part in criminal activity."






Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)



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Trust & the Internet

Dear resident,

The internet’s unequalled choice, 24/7 convenience and flexibility are benefits that suit people of all ages, wherever they live or work and whatever their circumstances. Others, however, prefer to carry on doing things the traditional, offline way for many reasons, a major one being trust. We’ve all either experienced at first hand or heard about negative experiences including online fraud or abuse which are, unfortunately, all too commonplace.

In order to go online with safety and confidence, it’s important to get to know who and what you can trust … and who and what you can’t. And it’s vital that everybody who uses the internet can do so with safety and confidence – regardless of gender, ability, appearance, background or beliefs – by being able to trust others’ behaviour and behave responsibly themselves.

For more information about the internet and trust please read our latest advice here: https://www.getsafeonline.org/trust/

And if you would like to learn more, then please feel free to join our hour-long webinar tomorrow afternoon at 2pm where Get Safe Online will be joined by Neighbourhood Watch, the British Polio Fellowship, and DeafBlindUk to talk about the internet, trust and inclusivity in more detail. To register visit: https://www.getsafeonline.org/you-the-internet-and-trust-webinar/

The Get Safe Online team




Message Sent By:
Get Safe Online





October 10

Continuing to Fix the Future for a Safer Dorset



This week, I was delighted to launch round two of my Fix the Future Community Fund. Enforcement alone cannot combat the crimes affecting our communities. To truly tackle the root cause, we must also have clear prevention and education pathways. The Fix the Future Fund aims to help create more prevention and diversion schemes across Dorset by supporting projects and initiatives which will benefit young people and their local community.

We have some great young people in Dorset, but we also have some who may get into trouble or start being involved in crime and ASB. This fund is about offering opportunities for those young people at risk to do something different.

The first round of the fund was hugely successful with over £40,000 being awarded to nine community projects across Dorset. Earlier in the year I went to visit some of the funded projects and was impressed with the impact they are having not just on the young people involved but on the wider community.

In Sherborne, Future Roots received funding for a youth outreach project that sees staff patrol hotspots where young people hang out, acting as a friendly face and a deterrent to bad behaviour. I spoke to two local supermarkets that are visited as part of the patrols and both reported seeing a decrease in incidents of ASB and abuse towards staff since the outreach programme launched. (You can find out more about this project in the video here.)

I also visited the Andrew Simpson Foundation Centre at Portland Sailing Academy, where funding was used to launch a Maritime Education Project in partnership with Compass Learning Centre. The project saw at-risk young people develop new skills, build confidence, and learn about career opportunities in the Maritime industry, opening up their future options by offering practical experiences. The Compass Learning Centre deputy head teacher told me that he’d seen an improvement in students’ behaviour both in and outside of school as a result of the project. (You can find out more about this project in
the video here.)

These are just two examples out of the nine projects funded through the first round and I am eager to see more great projects supported across Dorset. That’s why I am pleased to say that applications are now, once again, open for community groups and organisations to bid for funding for projects and initiatives that reflect the needs of younger people, give them development opportunities, add value to the community and ultimately, make Dorset a safer place to live.

Applications from £100 up to £5,000 are welcomed, the projects must meet the funding criteria and have a local focus. The fund is particularly aimed at helping those from deprived or isolated areas. So, if you are a charity or local project and you fit the criteria – I would encourage you to bid for funding. Together, we can Fix the Future and make our county safer for everyone.

Find out more: https://www.dorset.pcc.police.uk/working-in-partnership/fix-the-future-fund/


David Sidwick
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner





Message Sent By:
Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner






October 5, 2023


Help us make Dorset #NoPlaceForDrugs

Dorset Police is appealing to local communities to continue to report suspected drug-related crime and activity to the Force via a new intelligence portal so offenders can be targeted and communities safeguarded.

Drug-related crime and other associated offences, including theft and violence, has a significant impact on communities and tackling them remains a force priority.

Every year the Force takes action to disrupt individuals and criminal gangs who have been directly linked to illegal drug activity as a direct result of information and intelligence received from the public.

View full article here: https://news.dorset.police.uk/news-article/453a3a6f-0262-ee11-9d5b-6045bdd24049

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan, from Dorset Police, said: “I would like to thank the public, including our business communities, for coming forward and reporting information about drug-related activity to us.

“The public of Dorset are our eyes and ears and our ability to bring criminals to justice and combat crime is greatly enhanced by the information and intelligence they provide us. If something doesn’t feel right, quite often it isn’t so please trust your instincts and tell us what you know.

“To make it even easier for the public to come forward, we have created an intelligence portal on our website www.dorset.police.uk. Every piece of information and intelligence has a value so if you have seen or heard something that you think we should know about, please come forward.

“The information and identity of anyone reporting intelligence to us is protected, but if you aren’t comfortable talking directly to us, you can report anything anonymously through our partners at Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Every piece of intelligence that is received by Dorset Police helps to build a picture. Things may not be actioned immediately, but as more information and intelligence is gathered, it helps to build a picture which could lead to the police taking enforcement action, safeguarding a possible victim or identifying someone involved in crime.



Message Sent By:
Julie Heath
(Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)





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