Dorset PEEL 2017
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Dorset Police is good at keeping people safe and protecting them from harm. Our findings this year are consistent with those from HMICFRS’ 2016 effectiveness report, and the force is making good progress.
Protecting vulnerable people is a priority for Dorset Police and it has a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability throughout the county. The force has good governance processes to co-ordinate its response to vulnerable people. Officers and staff use an effective risk-identification process and are good at recognising vulnerability and assessing risk. The force uses intelligence tools such as its strategic assessment and domestic abuse offender profile to help it understand and respond to vulnerable people.
However, the high demand on police resources means that sometimes there are delays in responding to non-emergency calls that may involve vulnerable victims, which the force needs to address. The force has begun to restructure its operating model to improve its capacity and services.
The force works well with partner organisations, such as local authorities, health or education services, and victim support groups. It works with partners to plan and implement joint working practices to support people with mental health problems and to manage safeguarding risks to domestic abuse victims. The force is also effective in reducing the risk that sex offenders pose to the public.
Dorset Police maintains high standards of crime investigation and provides a good service to victims. However, body-worn video cameras have not yet been provided to all operational officers. This means opportunities to gather evidence may be missed and police-led prosecutions in cases where vulnerable victims are unwilling to give evidence may be hindered.
We are satisfied that Dorset Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Dorset Police is good at keeping vulnerable people safe and protecting them from harm. The force has a good understanding of vulnerability within its county boundaries, and officers and staff are good at identifying vulnerability and assessing risk.
The force works well with partner organisations to:
- plan and implement joint working practices to support people with mental health problems;
- manage safeguarding risks to domestic abuse victims; and
- reduce the risk that sex offenders pose to the public.
Dorset Police investigates crimes involving vulnerable people well and provides victims with a good service. The force monitors its performance and uses feedback from vulnerable victims of crime to improve future services. It is introducing a new operating model to improve its capacity and services.
However, the force needs to:
- avoid delays in responding to non-emergency calls that may involve vulnerable victims; and
- ensure body-worn video cameras are provided to all operational officers as soon as possible.
Areas for improvement
- The force should improve the response to non-emergency incidents particularly where vulnerable victims are involved to ensure they are kept safe.
- The force should improve its initial investigation of cases involving vulnerable victims by providing responding officers with access to photographic and/or video-recording equipment to show evidence of injuries and crime scenes.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?
National threats often require forces to work together, across force boundaries. These threats include terrorism, large-scale disorder and civil emergencies. We examined the capabilities in place to respond to these threats, in particular a firearms attack.
Most positively, the force:
- works constructively with Devon and Cornwall Police to respond to national threats;
- tests its skills in training exercises;
- has developed an adequate understanding of the threat to the public from an armed attack; and
- has increased the availability of armed response vehicles in Dorset.
However, the force should:
- make better use of analysis the time taken for armed officers to attend incidents; and
- consider potential locations that are attractive targets for terrorists in planning how it deploys armed officers.