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Dorset Police

Dorset Police provides policing services to the county of Dorset. Although there are some areas of deprivation, Dorset is generally affluent. The police force area covers 1,024 square miles with approximately 140 miles of coastline in the south west of England. Around 0.8 million people live in a predominantly rural setting. The area has a number of distinct urban areas, including the towns of Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Dorchester. The resident population is increased by university students and the large numbers who visit, socialise in, or travel through the county each year. The transport infrastructure includes air and sea ports.

Read more about this area

  • Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMI): Wendy Williams is HMI for Dorset
  • HMIC region: The force is in HMIC’s Wales and Western region

Contact Wendy Williams

PEEL Assessment

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Dorset Police keeps people safe and reduces crime. PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) gives you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas. It does this in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year-on-year.

The extent to which Dorset Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which Dorset Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which Dorset Police is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

This year, for the first time, we have assessed leadership across the force. The assessment has led to a narrative rather than graded judgment, which is summarised below.

Read more about my assessment of Dorset Police’s performance this year, including exceptional events and where I would like to see improvements next year.

Find out more about your force's annual assessment

HMIC’s role in inspecting this force

HMIC independently assesses police forces and policing across activity from neighbourhood teams to serious crime and the fight against terrorism – in the public interest.

In preparing our reports, we ask the questions which citizens would ask, and publish the answers in accessible form, using our expertise to interpret the evidence. We provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their force against others, and our evidence is used to drive improvements in the service to the public.

Inspections in Dorset

There are currently no announced inspections scheduled.


Key facts

Force Area

1,024 square miles


0.76m people 9% local 10 yr change


73% frontline 78% national level
3.1 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
14% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.04 per person 0.05 national level
Local 5 year trend National 5 year trend (no change)


45p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Dorset PCC

Martyn-Underhill-PCC-DorsetMartyn Underhill

Dorset Police

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson, appointed in February 2013

Crime in your area