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.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner