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Plan for more police officers in Dorset

Dorset plans for more Police officers & body cameras. Credit: ITV News West Country

Funding plans for 16 extra police officers and 300 body cameras are due to be considered by Dorset's crime panel.

County Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill wants to increase the police part of the Council Tax by just under two per cent to pay for it.

Gloucestershire is looking for a 2% increase in funding. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

Meanwhile in Gloucestershire the County Crime Panel will consider plans for a two per cent increase. Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl hopes the rise will pay for a crackdown on internet bullying and cyber crime.

Security firms guarding crime scenes

Major crime scenes in Dorset are being by private security staff rather than police officers. A trial is now underway in the county that'll see the idea tested for four months.

The force is taking the radical action in an attempt to free up police officers for other front line duties, meaning they don't have to spend hours standing by police tape.

But there are concerns this is just the first step in privatising parts of our police force. Martin Dowse reports.

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Security firm to take over guarding crime scenes

A private security firm will be guarding serious crime scenes in Dorset from now on.

Dorset Police are outsourcing this part of their security to Securitas in a four month trial. Police say officers can now concentrate on frontline policing.

The work our Crime Scene Officers conduct is of the highest standard, having been police vetted and specifically trained for such a role prior to any deployment. Our density of branch network and front line staff enables us to deploy with pace, professionalism and the reliability you would expect from an organisation of our strength, depth and expertise. We look forward to supporting Dorset Police in this way in the months and years ahead.

– Mike Clancy, South West Area Director of Securitas
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Trial for Securitas to guard major crime scenes

The private security firm Securitas Ltd will trial guarding major crime scenes so Dorset Police can go back on the front line.

Scenes of major crimes, such as murder and serious assault, were previously guarded by police officers taken from their day to day job.

But by getting the security company to guard the scene instead, between 2600 and 3600 hours will go back into police front line services.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Cooper, Head of Dorset Police Criminal Justice Department said, "Outsourcing has been tried and tested by other forces for a number of years and it has been found to be a very effective way of securing evidence."

More staff to answer police calls in Dorset

Dorset Police are to take on more staff and invest in new equipment for the force's non-emergency 101 number.

The Constabulary has had difficulties answering non-emergency calls promptly.

They say this was due to delays in recruitment and the roll-out of new technology.

It is vital, as we move into the busy summer holiday period, that we strengthen our plans to address these difficulties.

Both the Police & Crime Commissioner and myself are keen to ensure that we respond to public concern and we will keep the public updated on progress over the next few weeks.”

– Chief Constable Debbie Simpson, Dorset Police.

The public have, rightly, been vocal surrounding this crucial 101 non-emergency service and I have asked the Chief Constable to step up plans for service improvement.

I am pleased that the Force has announced its commitment to improving contact with our communities.”

– Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner.

Dorset's new Assistant Police Chief starts

Assistant Chief Constable David Lewis. Credit: Dorset Police.

Dorset's newest Assistant Chief Constable has started work.

David Lewis will be responsible for the operational side of policing the county.

The former University of Bristol law graduate previously held a senior position with the Association of Chief Police Officers, and before that, with Thames Valley Police.

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Dorset high school burglary

I am appealing to anyone who may have witnessed a man acting suspiciously in the area prior to the incident, or has details of his identity to contact us in confidence.

I would also like to speak to anyone who may have seen two suspicious vehicles make off from outside the school just after the incident occurred. We believe these to be a small white car or van and a blue Peugeot."

– INSPECTOR SHAWN WHITLEY, DORSET POLICE

Dorset's PCC seeks sponsorship for police budget shortfall

Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner is looking at other ways to meet shortfall in police budget Credit: ITV Westcountry

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset has confirmed he is looking at business sponsorship to meet the shortfall in the police budget.

Martyn Underhill says the force is the country's lowest funded and has seen the worst cuts.

He says he'll look at opportunities with other PCC's and reputable organisations to help projects that otherwise may not have gone ahead.

Motorists warned about rise in Dorset car thefts

Police are warning people to take extra care when locking their cars Credit: Hampshire Police/PA Wire

Motorists are being encouraged by police to take extra precautions when locking their cars. It's in a bid to reduce break ins.

The number of thefts from vehicles in Dorset has risen by more than 12 per cent so far this year. That means more than 350 offences. Dorset Police are reminding motorists to make their vehicles are securely locked and that there are no valuables left on display.

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