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Dorset PEEL 2017

More about this area

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The force says...

Dorset is a largely rural county with only 6.3 percent of its area classified as urban and half of the county designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty and sites of special scientific interest. Although it does not have a motorway, there are three trunk roads and a total of 3,332 miles of road.

In addition to approximately 90 miles of coastline there are two sea ports in Dorset, handling passenger and freight to the Channel Islands and the continent. Bournemouth International Airport serves around 692,000 passengers each year.

People are attracted to Dorset to live, learn, work, relax or retire. 30 percent of the population, estimated at 772,000, is aged 60 or over. Dorset also attracts over 25 million day visitors annually. Urban areas of Boscombe, Weymouth and West Howe are among the most deprived areas nationally.

To provide the highest levels of service, improved flexibility and efficiency the force has a well-developed strategic alliance with Devon & Cornwall Police and is now exploring a full merger. It also continues to build strong working partnerships with other agencies and forces.

In 2017 the force had 2,371 officers and staff, down from 2,693 in 2010. In 2016/17 the force dealt with just over 165,000 calls for service and 44,680 crimes. The force budget for 2017/18 is approximately £121 million.

Following a downward trend in reported crime the force recorded an 8 percent increase in 2016/17. Improved public confidence and better recording have contributed to the increase. In addition, crime has become more complex particularly in relation to domestic abuse and sexual offences. The force is also combating emerging complex threats of cyber-crime, fraud, child sexual abuse and exploitation and dangerous drugs networks. The risks associated with vulnerable young people and adults are also placing additional considerable demands on the force and partner agencies.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Dorset Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

Key facts

Force Area

1024 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

0.05 per person 0.06 national level
Local 5 year trend National 5 year trend (no change)


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