Ask NED - How can we help?

Ask NED is a Non-Emergency Directory. It is a service that combines the questions that members of the public have asked with contact details of those that can help.

Ask NED includes the Ask the Police database and common questions asked of our partner organisations.

A

Arranged marriage is a cultural norm for many people across the world. Men and women who are ready to be married meet their future spouse through family or friends and will spend some time getting to know each other. Both parties consent to this arrangement.

Forced marriage is illegal and occurs when one or both spouses do not, or cannot consent to the marriage and duress is used by family, friends or the community to force the person(s) to get married. Duress can come in many forms and can include threats, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, emotional pressure, blackmail and even bribes. It is a form of domestic abuse and in some cases can be child abuse. The person(s) have no choice and sometimes are not even aware that they are being taken to get married. Unlike arranged marriages there has been no consent.

Report

Forced marriage is illegal. You can report your concerns via our online form here, alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call 101. If there is an emergency always call 999. We have specialists who can provide advice and information you give will be treated in confidence.

Forced Marriage Unit - If any woman, man, girl or boy is worried about the threat of forced marriage either here or abroad you can also contact the HM Government Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 008 0151 or outside office hours on 0207 008 1500, or seek advice online at www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage

Leaving the country? If you are at an airport you must approach a uniformed staff member – police officer, UK Border Force or HM Customs & Revenue official or a uniformed airline official urgently requesting to speak with police.

The Karma Nirvana honour crimes and forced marriage charity can be contacted on their Honour Network Helpline 0800 5999 247 or advice can be found at: www.karmanirvana.org.uk

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is a broad term used to describe the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people’s lives a misery – from litter and vandalism, public drunkenness or aggressive dogs, to noisy or abusive neighbours.

Such a wide range of behaviours means that responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour is shared between a number of agencies, particularly the police, councils and social landlords.

Victims can feel helpless, bounced from one agency to another and then back again. In many cases, the behaviour is targeted against the most vulnerable in our society and even what is perceived as ‘low level’ anti-social behaviour, when targeted and persistent, can have devastating effects on a victim’s life.

Examples of anti-social behaviour that can be dealt with by the police include:

  • Vandalism that is linked to threatening and/or offensive behaviour
  • Graffiti linked to threatening and/or offensive behaviour (e.g. involving racism or other hate crimes)
  • Buying drugs on the street
  • Drinking on the street
  • Threatening or drunken behaviour
  • Setting off fireworks late at night
  • Off road motor bikes.

Examples of anti-social behaviour that can be dealt with by your local council include:

  • Rowdy and noisy neighbours including loud music and late parties
  • Uncontrolled or stray dogs - only contact Dorset Police if the dog is causing a road obstruction or being aggressive towards other people
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Unkempt gardens, rubbish dumping
  • Littering
  • General vandalism
  • General graffiti, such as 'tagging'.

If you need to contact the police to report anti-social behaviour please complete our Online Enquiry Form or call us on 101.

The links between alcohol and crimes such as anti-social behaviour, assault and robbery are well known. Recent crime statistics show that.

  • More than a million crimes and 1.2 million hospital admissions are linked to alcohol every year
  • Overall, alcohol-related harm is estimated to cost society £21 billion annually
  • The levels of binge drinking among 15 and 16 year olds in the UK compare poorly with many other European countries.
  • In nearly half (45 per cent) of all violent incidents, victims believed their attackers to be under the influence of alcohol.
  • This figure rose to 58 per cent in cases of attacks where victims did not know their attacker.
  • A total of 37 per cent of domestic violence cases involve alcohol.
  • More than 25,000 deaths every year are believed to be alcohol-related.
  • Alcohol is a factor in between 60 and 70 per cent of homicides, 75 per cent of stabbings, 70 per cent of assaults, and 50 per cent of fights and domestic assaults.
  • Alcohol misuse amongst 18 to 24 year olds in the last 12 years is up at 32 per cent for men and 70 per cent for women.
  • A total of 17 million working days are lost in Britain each year due to hangovers and drink-related illness. The annual cost to employers is estimated to be £6.4 billion, whilst the cost to the National Health Service is in the region of £1.7 billion.

Alcohol-related crime and disorder has a major impact on the quality of life for many people. If you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol please click the alcoholics anonymous link below for advice on what help and support is available.

If you wish to travel through Dorset with an abnormal load you must first notify and obtain authorisation from Dorset Police. To submit your application, please contact the Abnormal Loads Department on 01202 227652 or via email: Abloads@dorset.pnn.police.uk

All notifications received by the Abnormal Loads sections will be authorised or refused and the applicant advised prior to movement. If notification is not received this means the application has not been received by the Abnormal Loads department.

Drivers and escort vehicles need to carry a copy of the authorisation. Failure to do so may result in the driver being reported under Construction and Use offences.

An assault can be defined as 'any act by which a person intentionally or recklessly causes someone to think that they will be the subject of immediate unlawful violence'.

There are varying degrees of assault which are governed by the seriousness of the injury, the harm done and the attendant circumstances, for example, common assault, actual bodily harm (ABH), grievous bodily harm (GBH) etc.

 

Report an Assault

If you ever witness an assault taking place you should call 999 immediately.

If you wish to report an assault that has already taken place, please go online here or call 101.



Domestic assault

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, including domestic assault, please click here for further information, such as to how to recognise the signs and how to report it.

If you have located an abandoned vehicle in your area, we firstly recommend that you check with neighbours to see if they have any knowledge of who owns the vehicle.

You should then check if the vehicle has valid road tax by visiting the Gov.uk website on the following link:

 

If the vehicle does not have valid road tax and appears abandoned please inform DVLA and/or your local authority via their websites where further assistance may be possible.

       

 


If the vehicle does have valid road tax, please contact Dorset Police via our do it online form, with the registration of the vehicle, approximately how long it has been in its current location, and the concerns you have.

You can also call us on 101 to report.

Air weapons/BB guns

Conventional air weapons do not fall within the remit of the Firearms Enquiry Team, as they do not, except in certain circumstances, require certification. However many people are interested in this subject and have asked for information.

An air weapon differs from a conventional firearm by the fact that it, and the pellets discharged, do not contain any explosive substance.

When the trigger is pulled the pellets are forced from the barrel by the discharge of compressed air or other gas.

Most air weapons are of such limited power that they do not require to be licensed, however there are exceptions to this rule.

The Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969 require that certain air weapons can only be held legally on a firearm certificate. It is possible to measure the velocity of pellets, discharged from an air weapon, by the use of an electronic chronograph. From these measurements the kinetic energy of the pellet at the muzzle can be calculated. Air weapons deemed especially dangerous have a muzzle energy in excess of:

  • In the case of an air pistol: 6 ft/lbs (8-13 Joules)
  • In the case of an air weapon other than an air pistol: 12 ft/lbs (16-27 Joules)(and metric equivalents) 

Such weapons are classified as Section 1 firearms and are required to be held on a firearm certificate. These weapons are subject to all the controls and regulations pertaining to Section 1 firearms, although the "ammunition" (pellets) is not.

These rules do not apply to an air weapon designed for use only when submerged in water, e.g. harpoon gun.

Security systems are an effective deterrent against burglars.

There are two types of alarm:

  • Audible/bells only
  • Monitored.

Audible/bells only

When activated, an audible alarm sounds an internal and external sounder at the premises. The external sounder should shut off after 20 minutes unless silenced earlier by an authorised user. This alarm is classed as a Type B alarm.

Dorset Police will not attend reports of Type B alarms sounding unless there is some additional indication from a person at the scene that a criminal offence is in progress, for example, there are suspicious persons in the area or sounds coming from the property that are unusual. There is no guarantee of police response to Type B systems. If there are additional indications that a crime is in progress when a Type B alarm is sounding, you should inform Dorset Police by dialling 999. 

Monitored

This still functions in the same way as an audible/bells only system, but in addition the system will signal to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) to notify the alarm has activated. The ARC will then take action according to the instructions given to them by the alarm installation company. This will involve contacting the nominated keyholders and may include contacting the police.

If you are planning on installing an alarm on your premises, we advise that you ensure installers are registered with and inspected by one of the following inspectorates listed below. They can provide a list of current approved companies, which can be requested directly from them or accessed from websites.

National Security Inspectorate (NSI) Telephone 01628 637512

NSI website

Security Systems and alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) Telephone 0191 2963242

SSAIB Logo

For additional crime prevention and security advice, as well as details on the Dorset Police Alarms policy (also known as the NPCC Security Systems Policy) please click the link below to be redirected to the Secured By Design website:

For information on our Keyholder Scheme, please see here.

An adult at risk of abuse is defined as; someone who has needs for care and support, is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and is unable to protect themselves against the abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

An adult at risk may therefore be a person who;

  • Is frail due to age, ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a physical disability and/ or a sensory impairment
  • Has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • Has a long-term illness/condition
  • Misuses substances or alcohol
  • Is a victim of domestic violence or abuse
  • Is a carer such as a paid or unpaid family member/ friend who provides personal assistance and care to adults and is subject to harm
  • Is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support
  • Is aged 18+ and is continuing within the Special Education system

However this list is not exhaustive and can also include ‘self-neglect’ to cover a range of behaviours such as poor personal hygiene or health, and neglect of surroundings such as cleanliness and ‘hoarding’.

Signs that an adult may be at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation can include;

  • Drug or alcohol misuse
  • Self-harm
  • Change in appearance/temperament
  • Increasing frailness or poor health
  • Increasing low self-esteem or anxiety
  • Criminality
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Poor cleanliness
  • Inability to dress, feed or clean themselves

It is important that we do not make assumptions in relation to vulnerability on the basis that an adult may be older or they have an identified disability or mental health issue. Abuse of adults can occur in many different forms and can be as a result of various factors.

Report

If you think anyone is being abused, exploited or neglected in any way please report your concerns to either social services on the numbers below or to the police via our online form here. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call 101 or if a crime is in progress or life is in danger, always call 999.

Dorset Police has a dedicated team working for our Public Protection Unit. These officers and staff investigate incidents of adult abuse in Dorset as well as working to safeguard those at risk.

For information and advice about care and support for adults and their carers please click below.

B

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.

Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.

Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical; teachers and schools have to make their own judgements about each specific case. You can get more information on our Safe Schools team site here.

Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is a method of bullying which includes bullying via text message, instant messenger services and social network sites, via email and via images or videos posted on the internet or spread by mobile phones.

Click here for more information about cyber-crime.

Bullying and the law

Some types of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the Police. These include bullying that involves:

  • violence or assault
  • theft
  • harassment and intimidation over a period of time including calling someone names or threatening them, making abusive phone calls, and sending abusive emails or text messages (one incident is not normally enough to get a conviction)
  • anything involving hate crimes - click here for more information

If bullying involves the above, report it to the police via the online form here, alternatively if you wish to speak to someone call 101. If a crime is in progress or life in danger, call 999.

Oher forms of bullying are not police matters, but there are many charities and organisations that are there to help and support you.

Where to go for advice and support

Many incidents of bullying are not actually crimes, and therefore the best people to deal with them are parents, teachers or other responsible adults.

If you or someone you know has been bullied there are lots of places to go for help:

Local Authority:

 National Organisations:

Being burgled is often a traumatic time for the person that it happens to. It feels like an invasion of privacy to have complete stranger(s) rifling through your belongings and taking whatever they see fit as theirs. 

If you get home and notice signs of a break in:

  • Don’t go in or shout as the burglar could still be inside
  • Go to a neighbour’s to call the police. If you think the burglar is still inside call 999. If there are no signs of the burglar being inside then please call 101.
  • Don’t touch anything, you could destroy valuable evidence.


What you should do if you are burgled?


After being burgled you should:

  • Phone the police immediately and give them all the information you know regarding the crime
  • Identify what items have been stolen. Make a note of the make, model, serial numbers and any other identifying marks of items stolen.
  • Don’t touch anything, you could destroy valuable evidence.

What will Dorset Police do?

  • Visit you as soon as possible
  • Go through a full crime report with you to start the investigation process
  • We will conduct house-to-house enquiries with your neighbours to see if they saw or heard anything that could assist us with identifying the offenders, and make them aware that a burglary has occurred in the local area
  • We will check the local area for any CCTV that may show images of the offenders
  • We will keep you updated on the investigation process and promise to guide and support you as much as possible to make dealing with this traumatic time, that bit easier for you.

Solicitors

Please click this link and complete our online Bail Enquiry Form to make an enquiry about a clients bail conditions.

 

Members of the public

Offenders - If you are a member of the public wishing to ask a non-urgent enquiry about your own bail conditions, such as what they are and if and how they can be changed, then please email the officer dealing with your case using our Message For Officer Form. If the enquiry is urgent in relation to your bail conditions please call us on 101.

Victims - If you are a victim wishing to make a non-urgent enquiry regarding the bail conditions imposed upon an offender, please email the officer dealing with your case using our Message For Officer Form. If your enquiry is urgent in relation to the offenders bail conditions, please call us on 101. If an offender is in breach of their bail conditions and you believe you are currently at risk of harm please call us on 999.

Air weapons/BB guns

Conventional air weapons do not fall within the remit of the Firearms Enquiry Team, as they do not, except in certain circumstances, require certification. However many people are interested in this subject and have asked for information.

An air weapon differs from a conventional firearm by the fact that it, and the pellets discharged, do not contain any explosive substance.

When the trigger is pulled the pellets are forced from the barrel by the discharge of compressed air or other gas.

Most air weapons are of such limited power that they do not require to be licensed, however there are exceptions to this rule.

The Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969 require that certain air weapons can only be held legally on a firearm certificate. It is possible to measure the velocity of pellets, discharged from an air weapon, by the use of an electronic chronograph. From these measurements the kinetic energy of the pellet at the muzzle can be calculated. Air weapons deemed especially dangerous have a muzzle energy in excess of:

  • In the case of an air pistol: 6 ft/lbs (8-13 Joules)
  • In the case of an air weapon other than an air pistol: 12 ft/lbs (16-27 Joules)(and metric equivalents) 

Such weapons are classified as Section 1 firearms and are required to be held on a firearm certificate. These weapons are subject to all the controls and regulations pertaining to Section 1 firearms, although the "ammunition" (pellets) is not.

These rules do not apply to an air weapon designed for use only when submerged in water, e.g. harpoon gun.

All wild birds, their eggs, nests and chicks, are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The term "wild bird" effectively applies to all native birds other than game birds.

The level of protection depends whether a bird is rare or endangered. Rarer species are afforded special protection. However, even the most common birds are still protected.

It is an offence to recklessly or intentionally disturb a rare species at or near its active nest or its dependant young. The act also makes it an offence to intentionally take an egg of a wild bird, to possess a wild bird's egg taken after the implementation of the 1982 Act, to intentionally and recklessly disturb a rare species at or near a nest with eggs or young, to attempt to commit an offence under the Act or to have items capable of being used to commit offences.

Offences against rare species are arrestable and we can apply for warrants to search premises where we believe such birds are present. Anyone convicted of offences against rare birds can face a fine or custodial sentence. If you suspect an offence has taken place please complete an Online Crime Reporting Form or call us on 101.  If you have a general welfare concern for a bird, or require advice, please contact the RSPCA. 

It is not an offence under the Act for a person to take a sick or injured bird in order to tend to it and ensure its release back to the wild as soon as possible.  Neither is it an offence to  humanely kill a sick or injured bird that has no hope of recovery, or to kill or take a wild bird if it can be shown it was the incidental result of a lawful act, for example a road accident. However, it is an offence for any person to have in their possession any live or dead bird or part thereof.

 

A whole range of offences are illegal under the Badgers Act 1992 but sadly it is estimated that 10,000 of the animals are nevertheless killed each year, often suffering terrible cruelty.

It is an offence to:

  • Willfully kill, injure, take or attempt to kill, injure or take a badger
  • Possess a dead badger or any part of a badger
  • Cruelly ill-treat a badger
  • Use badger tongs in the course of killing, taking or attempting to kill a badger
  • Dig for a badger
  • Sell or offer for sale or control any live badger
  • Mark, tag or ring a badger
  • Interfere with a badger sett by damaging a sett or any part thereof, destroying a sett, obstructing access to a sett, causing a dog to enter a sett or disturbing a badger while occupying a sett. For more information visit the national federation of badger groups website (please click the link below)

If you find evidence of a badger sett having been tampered with, please report to us via an Online Reporting Form or call us on 101. The details will be passed to a Wildlife Crime Officer in your area for further enquiries to be made.

Common methods of catching badgers include: using terrier dogs or using rocks or similar to block openings to a badger sett to force the badger out of one particular entrance or pegging netting over the openings to the sett. Once caught the badger is then pitted against dogs often causing horrific injuries to both animals.

For information on bailiffs, what their powers are, what to do when they visit and how to complain about a bailiff, please go to the direct.gov website.  The police will only attend if there is a report of a breach of the peace.  Disputes with bailiffs are civil matters and not something that the police will get involved in.

Bonfire advice:

  • Set well away from roads, houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs
  • Before lighting the fire, check that no pets or children are hiding inside it
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side
  • Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire
  • Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols and tins of paint or bottles
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised at all times
  • Never light fireworks near the fire

 

Nuisance and dangerous bonfires

There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.

For further information on garden bonfires, please see the Gov.uk website on the following link:

Government website - Bonfire guidance

 

For help and advice on who deals with nuisance or dangerous bonfires, please contact your local Environmental Health office on your local council website, that can be found on this links :

Poole council      Dorset County Council

How do I report a bicycle theft?

If you are wishing to report the theft of your bicycle, please use our online crime reporting form.

If the crime is in progress, please dial 999

How can I protect my bicycle from being stolen?

If you own a bicycle and you want to do more to protect it, please go to the national police-approved website Bike Register, where you can add your bike details and purchase marking kits and additional identifiable markers for your bike should it become lost or stolen.

 

 

Where can I find more information on bicycle safety?

According to RoSPA 90% of cycling accidents occur in urban areas and cyclists riding into the path of a motorist, often riding off a pavement are in the most at risk category.  You can find out more about Cycle Safety from the RoSPA website, which can be accessed using the following link:

It is an offence to beg in a public place. Someone begging in a public place can be arrested for committing such an offence. If you see someone begging please contact Dorset Police via our online enquiries form with the location and a description of the person begging.

C

Cyber-crime is where a crime is committed via the use of a computer and/or networks such as hacking and DDOS attacks (cyber-dependent crime) and also includes traditional crimes that are committed using computers, mobile phones and networks (cyber-enabled crimes) such as fraud, theft, sexual exploitation, sextortion, bullying and stalking.

Dorset Police has a dedicated Cyber-Crime Unit which is focused on ensuring that the Force provides a quality response to all forms of online crime in our communities.

Our Cyber-Crime Prevention Officer Jake Moore regularly gives talks and presentations to various groups giving out advice and information on way to stay safe online.

Online fraud and financial based cyber-crime

It is very easy to clone a real website and does not take a skilled developer long to produce a very professional-looking, but malicious site.

Guidance to staying safe online:

  • Check that a websites address is genuine by looking for misspellings, or a completely different name from what you would expect
  • Roll your mouse pointer over a link to reveal its real destination. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text
  • Do not enter personal information on a website that has no padlock in the browser or https:// at the beginning of the address
  • Websites which request more personal info than you would expect are probably malicious
  • Check the address in the browser address bar to ensure it matches the address you typed
  • Always get professional advice before making any investment decisions
  • Promises online of high returns are often fraudulent
  • Be wary of websites which promote schemes that involve the recruitment of others, receiving money for other people or advance payments
  • Be wary of websites that are advertised in unsolicited emails from strangers
  • Some cookies can be used by criminals to build a profile of you with a view to fraud
  • Use an anti-spyware program that scans for so called tracker cookies
  • UK websites must gain your permission to enable cookies
  • Always ensure you are running the latest version of your chosen browser
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online

For further guidance and advice visit Get Safe Online

For advice on how to stay safe when dating online please go to our online dating section of the cyber-crime page here.

For regular updates on recent scams in Dorset please click here

Sextortion

Sextortion is a specific kind of cyber-enabled crime where victims are lured to perform sexual acts in front of their web-camera. Unbeknown to the victims, their acts are recorded by the criminals who then use it in an attempt to extort the victims and threaten that if they do not comply with their demand, the recording(s) would be uploaded to the internet and sent to the victims’ friends and/or family. In the majority of cases the motive is financially driven.

Click here for additional information and advice on sextortion.

Child online safety

None of us – of whatever age – are immune from encountering problems online. But our children are certainly more vulnerable and naturally more trusting than adults which can create potential issues such as;

  • Inappropriate contact: from people, who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them.
  • Inappropriate conduct: because of their own and others’ online behaviour, such as the personal information they make public, for example on social networking sites. Unfortunately, children can also become cyberbullies, especially when encouraged by others.
  • Inappropriate content: being able to access or being sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material, either through choice or in error. Use the Dorset Safe Schools and Communities Team checklist to help you keep your children safe online:    
  1. Talk, talk, talk. The most important thing for parents and carers is to have lots of conversations with their children and young people about what they are using, how these website/apps work, why they enjoy them, who else is using them etc. In this way they may be able to identify any risky content, inappropriate contact or conduct at an early stage.
  2. Allow access to the internet from devices within the family space. We do not recommend children and young people having computers or games consoles etc. in their rooms.
  3. Check virus protection. Ensure that mobile devices and laptops have the relevant software to protect from viruses and other malware. There are several free brands that update regularly and provide good protection or there is other commercially available software.
  4. Subscribe to their Internet Service Provider’s family filtering service. All major providers now have this service free of charge – the account holder simply goes to their account online and ticks the relevant boxes. This will prevent different types of content from being available via the router in a particular location. Note that this does not have any effect on devices that are not accessing the internet via the router e.g. 3G/4G phone signal.
  5. Use Safe Searching. Most search engines such as Google and YouTube have a safe search facility under the settings menu. Parents and carers of young children particularly may wish to use this to stop them coming across inappropriate material.
  6. Tighten privacy settings on websites and apps. Parents and carers should try to ensure that any social media accounts or apps are set to the highest privacy settings to prevent unknown or inappropriate people from viewing or contacting children and young people – this can be found under Settings in most websites/apps. Often the default setting for these types of account is public meaning that everyone can see content including pictures and videos.
  7. Consider using Parental Controls on devices. Parents and carers may wish to use Parental controls on laptops, mobile devices or games consoles. These controls can limit the times the device can be used, whether apps/games can be downloaded and whether the internet can be accessed. iPads, Windows and new Android (4.3 or higher operating system) have built in parental controls: for older Android devices, apps may need to be downloaded to provide parental controls.

If you are concerned about the type of content your child is accessing online Stop It Now can provide support and advice: www.stopitnow.org.uk

If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to Dorset Police online here, on 101 or in an emergency 999 and make an immediate report.

Alternatively contact;

  • Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
  • Local Authority Children’s Social Care:
  • You can also report concerns directly to The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency, and is dedicated to tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people. CEOP is here to help young people (up to age 18) who have been forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity with anyone online or in the real world: www.ceop.police.uk  

Report

If you have been a victim of an online crime you can report it to Dorset Police via the online form here, or alternatively if you need to speak to someone call 101.

Click here for help and advice on online safety.

 

If you have hit a cat with your car, you do not need to report this RTC (road traffic collision) to the police. If the cat is still alive but injured, you should contact a local veterinary surgery and take the cat there as soon as possible for treatment. If it is out of office hours, you can take the cat to an emergency out-of-hours veterinary surgery. A list of these can be found online. We are unable to recommend any veterinary practices. 

Please go to our 'Make a Complaint' page for information on how to make a complaint and how it will be dealt with.

Bournemouth Crown Court and Bournemouth & Poole County Court
Courts Of Justice
Deansleigh Road
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH7 7DS

Tel: 01202 502800

Follow this link for a map showing Court location

Dorchester Crown Court
County Hall
Colliston Park
Dorchester
Dorset
DT1 1XJ

Tel: 01305 265867

Follow this link for a map showing Court location

Bournemouth Magistrates Court
The Law Courts
Stafford Road
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH1 1LA

Tel: 01202 745309

Follow this link for a map showing Court location

Poole Magistrates Court
The Law Courts
Park Road
Poole
Dorset
BH15 2NS

Tel: 01202 745309

Follow this link for a map showing Court location

Weymouth Magistrates Court and the Weymouth & Dorchester Combined Court Centre
The Law Courts
Westwey Road
Weymouth
Dorset
DT4 8BS

Tel:01305 783891

Follow this link for a map showing Court location

For more information on all of the Courts within Dorset you can view online information at https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/

Dorset Police has two main custody suites – one at Bournemouth and one at Weymouth. We have an additional custody suite situated at Poole for occasions when one of our main suites is out of use or if additional custody space is likely to be required – for example on particularly busy shifts such as New Year’s Eve.

We are unable to provide information about someone in custody if they are over the age of 18 years due to the Data Protection Act 1998. The person will be given the opportunity for someone of their choosing to be advised of their situation.

If someone aged 17 or under is arrested, we will endeavour to inform their parent or guardian as soon as possible.

For more information please visit the following website:

Link for information on the treatment of people in custody:

Link for information on the treatment of people aged 17 and under:

If you are wishing to report a crime in progress, please call us immediately on 999.

If you are wanting to report a crime committed against you or someone you know, that is NOT currently in progress you can do this via the following methods:

Online Crime Reporting – This will be the quickest and easiest method of reporting crime. Depending on what you are reporting, we will either email you back with your crime reference number, or contact you for further information and to arrange an officer to attend.

Call our non-emergency number 101. Our call handlers will take the details of the report and will either issue you with a crime number or arrange for an officer to attend if necessary.

If you are the victim of a crime and it is believed that there will be some forensic evidence at the crime scene that will help us identify the offender, such as blood, fingerprints, foot prints or saliva, a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) will be tasked to attend to examine and take samples of this evidence, to assist in the investigation. Samples collected will be run through the database of known offenders and, if a match is identified, officers will look to bring this person in for questioning.

Not all crimes committed will have forensic evidence available. Sometimes forensic evidence can be lost due to factors such as the weather, or if another person is known to have touched or used an item since the crime occurred. A Dorset Police call handler will be able to advise, based on the information provided to them by the caller, whether it is necessary to send CSI out.

If you have been the victim of a crime, and you believe there is forensic evidence available, you should do the following:

  • DO NOT TOUCH the item(s) that you believe will have forensic evidence on them, as this could contaminate the evidence
  • Try and preserve the forensic evidence as best as possible, for example place newspaper/cardboard over any footprints so as to avoid others treading over them
  • When reporting the crime, be it via our online reporting form, or via a police call taker, advise us of the forensic evidence you believe is available, so we can make an assessment as to whether an Investigator should attend.

If you are interested in a career as a Crime Scene Investigator and wish to find out more about what is required, please see our Recruitment page.

If you have had damage caused to your property you can report it to us via the following methods:

If the damage is occurring now dial 999

If the damage has already occurred, you can report it by:

Using our Online crime reporting form

Alternatively, you can call 101.

For information relating to the Citizens Advice Bureau, what they can help you with and where they are located, please visit their website:

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously to report crime by clicking the link below.

 

 

For information on the Crown Prosecution Service please visit their website:

Where a death which occurred within Dorset is required to be reported to the Coroner, the death must be reported to the staff at the Coroners Office, Bournemouth.

Such deaths include all non natural or violent deaths, industrial diseases, deaths where the cause is unknown or a doctor is unable to issue a cause of death certificate, deaths where a GP had not seen the deceased within 14 days of death, and deaths where a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding Order had been applied for and/or granted (DOLS).

If a person dies abroad but is brought back to Dorset for funeral arrangements the Coroner must be advised.

In total approximately 4500-5000 deaths are reported each year from various sources including the police. 

Where an inquest is required following a non natural cause of death, these hearings will also be held at Bournemouth Coroners Court. 

Once the Coroner’s office have received notification of a death and contact details of the next of kin, an officer will be allocated to deal with the case and as part of that will speak with the next of kin to advise of the processes required to be carried out and what we will need from the family. If next of kin have not already been informed the Coroners officer will usually arrange for a local police officer to advise with a personal visit to the family if address details are known.

The responsibility for a Coroners service is that of the local authority but all investigation staff are employed by Dorset Police and seconded on a partnership funding agreement. 

For more information on what happens when a death is reported to the Coroners Office, please see the link below:

Cold calling is not illegal. However, any trader that ignores a sticker or notice on your door stating that you do not wish to receive cold calls may be committing a criminal offence. Also, any trader that ignores any requests by you to leave and not return is committing a criminal offence.

Anyone who does cold call and offers to sell you goods or services that cost more than £42 must provide you with a written notice giving you 14 days to cancel the agreement. Anyone who fails to give this notice will also be committing a criminal offence, which Trading Standards can investigate.

Our advice is never to deal with cold callers. Cold calling is a favourite method of rogue traders whose only aim is to get as much money from their victims as possible. Even if you avoid dealing with rogue traders, those who cold call will usually be persuasive and often catch you when you least expect it and your guard is down. It is difficult to make the right buying decision on your doorstep, and they know this.

For more information about doorstep crime please click here.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is child abuse and children and young people who become involved face risks to their physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being.

CSE is the organised and deliberate exploitation of a child purely for the sexual gratification of adults.

Any young person could become a victim of child sexual exploitation; the crime affects both girls and boys, from any background and of any ethnicity.

There are three main types of CSE

  1. Inappropriate relationships – this usually involves one perpetrator who has inappropriate power or control over a young person.  There is often a significant age gap and the victim may believe they are in a loving relationship.
  2. ‘Boyfriend’ model – the perpetrator befriends and grooms the young person into a ‘relationship’ and then convinces or forces them to have sex with friends or associates.  This is sometimes associated with gang activity. Peer exploitation is where young people are forced or coerced into sexual activity by peers and associates. Sometimes this can be associated with gang activity, but not always.
  3. Organised sexual exploitation – young people are passed through networks, possibly over geographical distances, where they are forced into sexual activity with multiple men.  This often occurs at ‘sex parties’ and the young people may be used to recruit others into the network. Some of this activity is described as serious organised crime and can involve the organised ‘buying and selling’ of young people by perpetrators.

The Signs of CSE

Even something that seems like normal teenage behaviour could be a sign that a child is being sexually exploited. Some of the visible signs include that family members or people who know young people might identify are:

  • Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night
  • Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn.
  • Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewelry, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for.
  • Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use
  • Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults
  • A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
  • Spending excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online
  • Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending
  • Sexual health problems

 Members of the public and those in Service industries such as taxi drivers, hoteliers and food outlets might notice signs like:

  • being taken into a hotel room by one or more adults who do not seem to be family members
  • being in a hotel room which is visited or requested by a number of additional adults
  • going by taxi to a hotel or other venue to meet a group of adults who do not seem to be family members
  • being out late with older adults who do not seem to be family members
  • being bought alcoholic drinks by adults although the young person is already intoxicated
  • being in the company of adults who are known or suspected of being involved in adult prostitution
  • being bought food or drinks by a much older adult whom they seem to see as a boyfriend / girlfriend 
  • indications of sexual activity with one or more adult who is significantly older than the young person
  • indications of sexual activity involving a young person who you know or suspect to be under 16

Report:

If you have any concerns, no matter how small, please report them via the online form here, alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call 101. If you believe a child in in immediate danger, call 999.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Or contact your Local Authority Children’s Social Care:

Alternatively, talk to someone who works with them, such as their teacher, support worker, a youth worker or social worker.

Other resources, available charities and agencies that can help:

Barnardo’s http://www.barnardos.org.uk/ >

NSPCC - 0808 800 5000 help@nspcc.org.uk > www.nspcc.org.uk/childsexualexploitation >

National Helpline for male victims of sexual exploitation - 07808 863 662

Child abuse can relate to any situation where a child does not receive the proper standard of care expected from a reasonable parent. This includes sexual, physical, neglect or emotional abuse.

The Dorset Police Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) consists of specially trained, nationally accredited detectives who are responsible for the investigation of allegations or suspicions of child abuse. The team works closely with other agencies, including local authorities. CAIT officers also investigate allegations of child abuse reported by victims who are now adults.

Adult on child abuse

Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and cruelty where the victim is a child or young person under the age of 18 years, provided that any of the following criteria are met:

  1. The victim and suspect are related (by blood or law)
  2. The suspect was acting as carer or in a professional or voluntary capacity when entrusted with the care of the victim at the time of the alleged offence
  3. When the offence(s) have taken place historically and either 1 or 2 above applied at the time of the offence
  4. In the case of a serious sexual assault where the victim is aged under 16 years irrespective of any relationship with the suspect.

 Child on child abuse 

Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and cruelty involving a child victim where the alleged suspect is a child (provided that the following criteria are met): -

  • The victim and suspect are related (by blood or law).
  • The suspect was acting as a carer or had responsibility for the victim at the time of the alleged offence.
  • When the offence(s) have taken place historically and either 1 or 2 above applied at the time of the offence
  • In the case of a serious sexual assault where the victim is under 16 years of age.

 Report

If you think a child is being abused, exploited or neglected in any way please report your concerns to the police via our online form here. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call 101 or if you believe a child is in immediate danger please dial 999.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Or contact your Local Authority Children’s Social Care:

Alternatively, talk to someone who works with them, such as their teacher, support worker, a youth worker or social worker.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) known as Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood who was murdered in 2009 by her boyfriend.

The DVDS gives members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquires about an individual who they are in a relationship with, or who is in a relationship with someone they know, where there is a concern that the individual may be violent towards their partner.

Members of the public can make an application for a disclosure, known as the ‘right to ask’. The scheme is for anyone in an intimate relationship regardless of gender. Anybody can make an enquiry, but information will only be given to someone at risk or a person in a position to safeguard the victim.

Partner agencies can also request disclosure is made of an offender’s past history where it is believed someone is at risk of harm. This is known as ‘right to know’.

If a potentially violent individual is identified as having convictions for violent offences, or information is held about their behaviour, which reasonably leads the police and other agencies to believe they pose a risk of harm to their partner, a disclosure will be made. 

The intention is to give potential victims information about the history of their partner, so they can make an informed decision about the relationship.

Members of the public who wish to make an application under the DVDS are asked to call Dorset Police on 101.

More details about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme can be found here (556kb PDF) >

Details of services available to help and support victims of domestic abuse in Bournemouth, Dorset County and Poole can be found at:  www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp>

If you think anyone, of any age, is being abused, exploited or neglected please report your concerns to the Police.

Dorset Police has a dedicated team working for our Public Protection Unit. These officers and staff investigate incidents of abuse, exploitation and neglect in Dorset as well as working to safeguard those at risk.

Everyone, from all walks of life, should think, spot and speak out. There is a responsibility on everyone in society to do all they can to protect vulnerable people.

For more information about abuse affecting children click here.

For more information about abuse affecting adults click here.

If you think you have any information, please report it to either social services or via the online form here. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call us on 101. If a crime is in progress, or life is in danger, always call 999.

D

Domestic abuse includes any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional.

New legislation was introduced in December 2015 which also makes the actions of coercive or controlling behaviour a criminal offence.

Click here for information on the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) known as Clare’s Law. [link to Clare’s law section].

Police officers have extra powers through Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders to bar a suspected perpetrator of domestic violence from contacting a victim and stop them returning to a victim’s home. For further information on injunctions click here [link to Injunctions section].

Report

No one should have to live in fear of their partner, ex-partner or a family member and the cycle of domestic violence can only be broken if people come forward and report it. It is so important that victims do not suffer in silence. If you are a victim, or if you know someone who you believe is suffering domestic violence, please report it to the police via the online form [here]. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone call 101, or if a crime is in progress or a life is in danger then call 999.

For other help and advice:

  • 24 hour National DV helpline: 0808 2000247
  • Outreach Services (24 hours): Outreach workers can support you wherever you are. Outreach workers can talk to you on the phone or meet you on a one to one basis. They also run drop-ins across Dorset where you can meet other people in similar situations and receive ongoing support.
  • Bournemouth Outreach - 01202 547641
  • Dorset County You First - 0800 0325204
  • Poole Outreach - 01202 710777
  • Victim Support: South West Victim Care Unit - 08 08 1689 111
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) – Freephone 24hr emergency 0800 970 2070. For help with getting an injunction and free legal advice - 0844 8044 999
  • Dorset ARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)- 0845 519 8638
  • Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre – 01202 308 855
  • Men’s Advice Line – 0808 8010327
  • Broken Rainbow, LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline - 0300 9995428
  • Refuge Accommodation (24 Hours)
  • Bournemouth - 01202 547755
  • North Dorset - 01747 858555
  • Poole (can also accommodate men) - 01202 748488
  • West Dorset - 01305 262444
  • Housing Information: for support with housing options or advice on how to stay safely in your own home contact your local authority housing department or housing advice center:
  • Christchurch and East Dorset - 01202 495256
  • North Dorset - 01258 454111
  • Purbeck - 01929 557370
  • Weymouth and Portland - 01305 838400
  • West Dorset - 01305 251010
  • Poole BC - 01202 633633

Further information on Domestic Violence and Abuse visit can be found here: www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp or the This is Abuse website here: http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/need-help >

The Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is where local agencies meet to discuss the highest risk victims of Domestic Abuse in their area. The aim of the MARAC is to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of the victim – adults and any children. Find out more about MARAC >

Dorset Police regularly receive calls from members of the public regarding herds of deer stood on the side of busy roads, such as the A35, during daylight hours when traffic is particularly heavy. Although we understand that this sight can be quite unnerving for drivers who are concerned that the deer may walk into the road and cause an accident, there is very little that Dorset Police are able to do about this. The deer will regularly find grazing spots to the sides of busy roads, and police attendance to attempt to move the herds is likely to have a negative effect and cause the animals to run into the road out of fear.

Wild animals by their very nature roam and are likely to have moved by the time officers arrive.  Dorset is rural and there are warning signs in key locations which we ask drivers to adjust their driving according to the hazards.

If you are involved in a collision with a deer, you do not need to report this to Dorset Police unless the deer is seriously injured and distressed or causing an obstruction.

If a deer is injured on the side of the road, please call the RSPCA or visit their website, which can be found on the link below. Please DO NOT attempt to hold, “comfort”, wrap up or go near an injured deer. Not only could this cause the deer to bolt into traffic, the deer would likely suffer with “capture myopathy”. This means they get extremely stressed with any such forms of human contact so although well-meaning, you can actually increase their suffering. Furthermore, if you see a fawn in a field alone please do not approach it or have any form of contact with it, unless clearly injured.

If a deer is causing a serious obstruction to the carriageway, please call us on 999.

 

If you have been bitten by a dog:

If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, you can pass us all he details using our online services here, or by calling our non-emergency number 101.

If your dog has been bitten by another dog:

If you are wishing to report that your dog has been bitten or attacked by another dog, you need to report this to your local dog warden, who is contactable via your local council. Dorset Police do not take reports of dog on dog attacks. For contact details of your local council, please see the following pages:

If you live in Bournemouth or Poole:

     

 

If you live anywhere else in Dorset:

If your dog is lost:

To report a dog as lost please contact your local dog warden via your local council.

 

                                                       

 

If your dog has been stolen:

If you are wishing to report your dog as stolen, you can do so via our online reporting form or by calling our non-emergency number 101.

If you are concerned that a dog is suffering abuse from its owner, please contact the RSPCA via the following link:

 

 

If you see a dog shut in a hot car:

If you have an immediate concern for the welfare of a dog shut in a car, for example the dog is not conscious or you know that it has been in the vehicle for a long period of time please call the RSPCA on 0300 123 0244/0288. You can also contact Dorset Police on 999 if the RSPCA are unlikely to make it to the scene in a sufficient amount of time.

Can you legally smash a car window to save a dog?

Under Sections 18 and 19 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the law states that “only a local authority inspector or a constable have a power to enter a ‘premises’ for the purpose of assisting an animal that is, or is likely to be, suffering.”

“Any member of the public who breaks into a vehicle to assist a suffering dog would not be protected by the powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and would no doubt be subject of an investigation for an offence of criminal damage.”

For information on driving licenses, how to apply for one, change details on your license, or anything else, please visit the gov.uk website below.

If you need to use a defibrillator, you should call 999 and ask to speak to the Ambulance Service straight away. They will assist you in locating the nearest device, and how to use it.

If you are wanting to find out more information on defibrillators and what they do, please visit the following website:

If you are witnessing dangerous driving that is happening now, please contact us on 999 to report.

If you have witnessed dangerous driving but the situation has now passed, please contact us via our Online Contact Form. We would require the registration number of the vehicle, as well as the time, date and location you witnessed the incident.

If you are wishing to report a road rage incident:

There is no specific offence of "road rage". It is a term that can be used to describe minor incidents from a gesticulating driver or a driver shouting obscenities, to incidents where drivers have been assaulted or their cars damaged by other drivers or pedestrians.

If you have been the victim of threats or damage to your vehicle as a result of a road rage incident then you can report this to us using our Online Crime Reporting Form. It is important to have as much information about the offending person and/or the vehicle involved.

If you are involved in an on-going incident and you are in fear for your safety then call 999.

Please be aware that the police may not be able to bring a prosecution against the offender as the Crown Prosecution Service do not bring prosecutions for road rage type incidents without supporting evidence, such as an independent witness.

E

Ebay is an online auction service used to buy and sell items. If you have experienced problems in relation to an item you have bought from Ebay, please contact them directly using the link below, where they will be able to assist you:

If you have been the victim of fraud through Ebay:

If you have been the victim of fraud in relation to an ebay purchase please contact us via our online reporting form, or call us on our non-emergency number, 101.

For full details on employment law, what your rights are in relation to dismissals and anything else relating to employment, please click the link below to be re-directed to the Gov.uk website, which holds all the information you need:

Your local Environmental Health Officer can help you with a variety of different things, including:

  • Noise complaints
  • Bonfires
  • Fly-tipping
  • Animal welfare
  • Health and safety
  • Pollution
  • Pest control
  • Food hygiene

For information on how to contact your local Environmental Health Officer, please click the links below to be redirected to the website of your local council:

        

 

F

Arranged marriage is a cultural norm for many people across the world. Men and women who are ready to be married meet their future spouse through family or friends and will spend some time getting to know each other. Both parties consent to this arrangement.

Forced marriage is illegal and occurs when one or both spouses do not, or cannot consent to the marriage and duress is used by family, friends or the community to force the person(s) to get married. Duress can come in many forms and can include threats, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, emotional pressure, blackmail and even bribes. It is a form of domestic abuse and in some cases can be child abuse. The person(s) have no choice and sometimes are not even aware that they are being taken to get married. Unlike arranged marriages there has been no consent.

Report

Forced marriage is illegal. You can report your concerns via our online form here, alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call 101.

If there is an emergency always call 999. We have specialists who can provide advice and information you give will be treated in confidence.

Forced Marriage Unit - If any woman, man, girl or boy is worried about the threat of forced marriage either here or abroad you can also contact the HM Government Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 008 0151 or outside office hours on 0207 008 1500, or seek advice online at www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage

Leaving the country? If you are at an airport you must approach a uniformed staff member – police officer, UK Border Force or HM Customs & Revenue official or a uniformed airline official urgently requesting to speak with police.

The Karma Nirvana honour crimes and forced marriage charity can be contacted on their Honour Network Helpline 0800 5999 247 or advice can be found at: www.karmanirvana.org.uk

For information on fireworks, when they can be legally used and by whom, please click the link below to be re-directed to the Gov.UK website where you will find all the relevant information you will need:

Dorset has a large number of rivers throughout the county, as well as six harbours. As a result, flooding is unfortunately quite common in certain parts of the county.

If you are in immediate danger or your life is at risk from flooding, call us on 999.

If you are reporting flooding on the road that is immediate and severe, please contact us on 999.

If the problem is not an emergency, please contact your local council using the links below. There you can report all forms of flooding issues, get up to date weather warnings and have access to contact details for other useful agencies such as the Environment Agency and the Highways Agency:

             

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. You can report fly-tipping to the local council.

Please click here for more information.  

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises of all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

FGM is child abuse and is an extremely harmful practice with devastating health consequences for girls and women. It is sometimes known as female genital 'cutting’ or female circumcision. Communities tend to use local names for referring to this practice, including ‘sunna’.

FGM is illegal in the UK with a penalty of up to 14 years in prison for anyone found guilty of FGM crimes, including if an individual is taken overseas to undergo FGM.

As well as penalties for those found guilty of FGM crimes, there is now also a mandatory reporting duty which requires health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report cases of FGM, which they identify in the course of their professional work, to the police.

Although usually practiced on young girls, FGM can sometimes be conducted on women in relation to marriage or following childbirth.

Spotting the signs of FGM

The lead-up to the school holidays is a time of increased risk for victims, who face the prospect of being taken abroad for the procedure. A girl at immediate risk of FGM may not know what’s going to happen. But she might talk about:

  • Being taken ‘home’ to visit family
  • A special occasion to ‘become a woman’
  • An older female relative visiting the UK

Signs FGM has taken place:

  • A girl may have difficulty walking, sitting or standing.
  • She may spend longer than normal in the bathroom/toilet.
  • A girl may have prolonged or repeated absences from school.
  • There may be behaviour changes to that individual such as withdrawal or depression.
  • A girl may ask for help, but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.

Report

FGM is illegal; please report your concerns to the police via the online form here. Alternatively if you want to speak to someone please call 101 or if you believe an individual is in immediate danger call 999.

Other contacts:

NSPCC FGM Helpline (help for victims/potential victims of female genital mutilation) 0800 028 3550, email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

FGM Support Services - FGM help and advice postcode finder >

If you are abroad and require help or advice, please call the Foreign Commonwealth Office on +44 (0) 20 7008 1500.

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour) or visit: www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp

G

If you can hear gunshots call us immediately on 999

DO NOT investigate the sound yourself.

If you are a firearms licence holder, or looking to obtain a firearms licence, you can find further details on our Firearms Licensing page.

Graffiti is a form of visual communication, usually illegal, involving the unauthorised marking of public space by an individual or group. Graffiti is widely considered as a form of anti-social behaviour that creates a negative impression of an area.

If you have located some graffiti on your own personal property or on council owned property, you can report this to your local council, via the links below. They will attend and remove the graffiti from the council owned property, and can assist with removal of graffiti from private property for a fee.

     

What if I consider the graffiti I have located to be offensive or prejudice in nature?

If you locate graffiti that you or someone else considers to be offensive or prejudice in nature, this is considered to be a hate crime, and should be reported to Dorset Police via our online hate crime reporting form.

GAS EMERGENCY? CALL 0800 111 999

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, please call the free Gas Emergency Services line immediately on 0800 111 999.

If you smell gas you are advised to:

  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the property
  • Do not turn on/off any electrical switches
  • Extinguish all naked flames, do not smoke, strike matches or do anything which could cause ignition
  • If there are any electrical security entry phones/locks, please open door manually

H

Harassment is conduct targeted against a person or group of people to cause alarm or distress, or puts that person(s) in fear of violence.

It can also include harassment by two or more perpetrators against an individual or harassment against more than one victim. Closely connected groups may also be subjected to 'collective' harassment. The primary intention of this type of harassment is not generally directed at an individual but rather at members of a group. This could include: members of the same family; residents of a particular neighbourhood; groups of a specific identity including ethnicity or sexuality, for example, the racial harassment of the users of a specific ethnic community centre; harassment of a group of disabled people; or of those engaged in a specific trade or profession, etc.

Stalking

Stalking is a criminal offence. It is repeated, unwanted contact from one person to another which causes the victim to feel distressed or fearful. It is different from harassment as it involves fixated and obsessive behaviour.

Stalking behaviour can include, but is not limited to:

  • Watching or spying on someone
  • Nuisance telephone calls
  • Being followed
  • Death threats
  • Making false complaints
  • Criminal damage
  • Blackmail
  • Sexual assault
  • Sending excessive emails
  • Sending girls or letters
  • Monitoring behaviours
  • Abuse or excessive contact through social networking sites
  • Visiting home/place of work
  • Physical assault
  • Computer hacking

The effect of such behaviour is to curtail a victim's freedom, leaving them feeling that they constantly have to be careful. In many cases, the conduct might appear innocent (if it were to be taken in isolation), but when carried out repeatedly so as to amount to a course of conduct, it may then cause significant alarm, harassment or distress to the victim.

Where to get help

Dorset Police treats all reports of stalking and harassment seriously, report it via the online form here, alternatively if you wish to speak to someone call 101. If you believe that you or another are in immediate danger, or it’s an emergency, call 999. 

Other Support:

The National Stalking Helpline provides guidance and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking – 0808 802 0300, http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/

Paladin assists high risk victims of stalking throughout England and Wales. A number of Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISACs) ensure high risk victims of stalking are supported and that a coordinated community response is developed locally to keep victims and their children safe. Email: info@paladinservice.co.uk Telephone: 0207 840 8960

Visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website on: www.suzylamplugh.org.

An emergency is defined as;

A crime in progress, or life or property in danger.

If you or someone you know is in an emergency situation and you need assistance from Dorset Police, please call us immediately on 999.

Hoax calls to 999

Misuse of the 999 emergency system can have serious consequences for both yourself, and other residents of Dorset. If you dial 999 when you are not in an emergency situation or there is not a crime in progress, you are potentially preventing others who are in need, from accessing the help they require.

It is a criminal offence to make a hoax call.

Consequences for the hoaxer

All calls to 999 are voice recorded and it is very easy for the telephone operator to trace the telephone that the hoaxer has called from and, in turn, the address that they have called from. This makes it fairly easy to detect hoax callers.

Criminal proceedings can be brought against any person making a hoax call to the emergency services and they can be taken to court. If they are found guilty of the offence and successfully prosecuted, they may face heavy fines, imprisonment and a criminal record.

It is important that parents or guardians educate children as to the consequences of hoax 999 calls, as children may commit an offence of this nature as part of a practical joke. However, they should be aware that this may be endangering other people’s lives.

It is important to remember that 999 should only be used in an emergency requiring the attendance of the police, ambulance or fire services. For all non-emergency policing matters, you should use our Online Reporting form, or alternatively contact us on our non-emergency number 101

If you find a hypodermic needle please contact your local authority. They have the equipment required to dispose of the needles safely.

If there are a large amount of needles appearing on a regular basis, please report the details to the police here. The information will then be passed on to the drugs team.

Do not pick up the needle yourself as you may be putting yourself at risk of infection.

Please click on the links below to contact your local authority.

 

   

So called honour based abuse is defined as an incident or crime which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of the family and or the community, and can include physical, psychological, sexual and emotional abuse.

It is described as a way to prevent a person from bringing shame to a family or community, or punish them for doing so. Honour based abuse will often go hand in hand with forced marriages, although this is not always the case. Click here for more information on forced marriage.

Report

Report your concerns via our online form here. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call 101.

If there is an emergency always call 999. We have specialists who can provide advice and information you give will be treated in confidence.

The Karma Nirvana honour crimes and forced marriage charity can be contacted on their Honour Network Helpline 0800 5999 247 or advice can be found at: www.karmanirvana.org.uk

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purposes of slavery, forced labour (including bonded labour or debt bondage), and servitude.

Modern slavery is real and is happening right now in towns, cities and rural areas up and down the country. Men, women and children are moved and exploited for sex, labour, domestic servitude and other criminal activities.

It is important to remember such offences are not carried out in isolation. Quite often they are linked with individuals who are involved in a range of other serious and organised crimes.

Report

If you have any concerns that someone is being trafficked or enslaved please report it to the police via the online form here. Alternatively if you want to speak to someone please call 101 or if you believe someone is in immediate danger call 999.

You can also make a report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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If you come across or are aware of any indecent images online, or suspect anyone possesses, is making or is accessing indecent images you should report them immediately to the Police via the online form here or on 101. Alternatively contact one of the agencies below:

Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is the UK’s national police agency for dealing with child protection, particularly tackling offenders who use online technology to abuse children. To make a report or for advice visit their website here: www.ceop.police.uk

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is a hotline service which can be used anonymously to report criminal online content including; child sexual abuse images and criminally obscene adult content. Make a report or access advice here: www.iwf.org.uk

Sexting

Information on ‘Sexting’, the sending or receiving of sexual images by text, email or social media, can be found here.

Sextortion

Sextortion is a specific kind of cyber-enabled crime where victims are lured to perform sexual acts in front of their web-camera. Unbeknown to the victims, their acts are recorded by the criminals who then use it in an attempt to extort the victims and threaten that if they do not comply with their demand, the recording(s) would be uploaded to the internet and sent to the victims’ friends and/or family. In the majority of cases the motive is financially driven.

If you have become a victim of sextortion or need to know more click here.

If intimate photos or videos of you are posted online against your will, report it to Dorset Police by calling 101.

When using online dating sites ensure you are aware of how to keep yourself and your money safe. Follow this guidance to date safe online:

  • Don’t reveal too much personal information that could lead to fraud or stalking
  • Choose a username that doesn’t let everyone know who you are, don’t include your surname, date of birth, or any other identifying information such as your place of work on your profile.
  • Don’t include contact information such as your email address, home address or phone number in your profile.
  • Don’t take your clothes off or perform intimate acts in front of your webcam.
  • Don’t reveal any financial details or respond to any requests to send money. Always report any of these requests immediately to the dating site.
  • Don’t click on links or open attachments from someone you have met online.
  • Choose and use safe, reputable dating sites.
  • Choose and using safe passwords and keep them strictly to yourself.
  • Take your time and always think twice:
    • Is the person you’re dating really who they claim to be?
    • Are their intentions honourable?
    • Are they seeking your affection, or after your money?
  • However difficult it is, don’t be too embarrassed or ashamed to report problems, otherwise it will probably continue and others may be subjected to the same.

Meeting someone you have met online in person:

  • Remember someone you have met online is still a stranger.
  • Plan your date. Agree what you both want before you meet up. Don’t feel pressured to meet before you are ready or for any longer than you want to.
  • Meet in public and stay in public.
  • Make your own way there and back.
  • You don’t owe the other person anything, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or what’s been suggested.
  • No matter what the circumstances, sexual activity against your will is a crime. Report it to the police.

For further advice and support visit: www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-yourself/online-dating

For information on cyber-crime click here.

Report

If you have been a victim of an online crime you can report it to Dorset Police via the online form here, or alternatively if you need to speak to someone call 101.

An injunction is a court order that either;

  • Protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who’s abused you (non-molestation order)
  • Decides who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area (occupation order)

The person named in the injunction can be arrested if they break it.

For more information and to apply for an injunction visit: www.gov.uk/injunction-domestic-violence/how-to-apply

No one should have to live in fear of their partner, ex-partner or a family member. If you are suffering from domestic abuse seek help and report it by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.

For further information and advice on domestic abuse click here.

None of us – of whatever age – are immune from encountering problems online.

Guidance to staying safe online:

  • Check that a websites address is genuine by looking for misspellings, or a completely different name from what you would expect
  • Roll your mouse pointer over a link to reveal its real destination. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text
  • Do not enter personal information on a website that has no padlock in the browser or https:// at the beginning of the address
  • Websites which request more personal info than you would expect are probably malicious
  • Check the address in the browser address bar to ensure it matches the address you typed
  • Always get professional advice before making any investment decisions
  • Promises online of high returns are often fraudulent
  • Be wary of websites which promote schemes that involve the recruitment of others, receiving money for other people or advance payments
  • Be wary of websites that are advertised in unsolicited emails from strangers
  • Some cookies can be used by criminals to build a profile of you with a view to fraud
  • Use an anti-spyware program that scans for so called tracker cookies
  • UK websites must gain your permission to enable cookies
  • Always ensure you are running the latest version of your chosen browser
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online

For further guidance and advice visit: www.getsafeonline.org

For information on online dating click here.

Child online safety

Children are generally more vulnerable and naturally more trusting than adults which can create potential issues online such as;

  • Inappropriate contact: from people, who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them.
  • Inappropriate conduct: because of their own and others’ online behaviour, such as the personal information they make public, for example on social networking sites. Unfortunately, children can also become cyberbullies, especially when encouraged by others.
  • Inappropriate content: being able to access or being sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material, either through choice or in error. Use the Dorset Safe Schools and Communities Team checklist to help you keep your children safe online:    
  1. Talk, talk, talk. The most important thing for parents and carers is to have lots of conversations with their children and young people about what they are using, how these website/apps work, why they enjoy them, who else is using them etc. In this way they may be able to identify any risky content, inappropriate contact or conduct at an early stage.
  2. Allow access to the internet from devices within the family space. We do not recommend children and young people having computers or games consoles etc. in their rooms.
  3. Check virus protection. Ensure that mobile devices and laptops have the relevant software to protect from viruses and other malware. There are several free brands that update regularly and provide good protection or there is other commercially available software.
  4. Subscribe to their Internet Service Provider’s family filtering service. All major providers now have this service free of charge – the account holder simply goes to their account online and ticks the relevant boxes. This will prevent different types of content from being available via the router in a particular location. Note that this does not have any effect on devices that are not accessing the internet via the router e.g. 3G/4G phone signal.
  5. Use Safe Searching. Most search engines such as Google and YouTube have a safe search facility under the settings menu. Parents and carers of young children particularly may wish to use this to stop them coming across inappropriate material.
  6. Tighten privacy settings on websites and apps. Parents and carers should try to ensure that any social media accounts or apps are set to the highest privacy settings to prevent unknown or inappropriate people from viewing or contacting children and young people – this can be found under Settings in most websites/apps. Often the default setting for these types of account is public meaning that everyone can see content including pictures and videos.
  7. Consider using Parental Controls on devices. Parents and carers may wish to use Parental controls on laptops, mobile devices or games consoles. These controls can limit the times the device can be used, whether apps/games can be downloaded and whether the internet can be accessed. iPads, Windows and new Android (4.3 or higher operating system) have built in parental controls: for older Android devices, apps may need to be downloaded to provide parental controls.

If you are concerned about the type of content your child is accessing online Stop It Now can provide support and advice: www.stopitnow.org.uk

If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to Dorset Police on 101 or in an emergency 999 and make an immediate report. Alternatively contact;

  • Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
  • Local Authority Children’s Social Care:
  • You can also report concerns directly to The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency, and is dedicated to tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people. CEOP is here to help young people (up to age 18) who have been forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity with anyone online or in the real world: www.ceop.police.uk  

Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is a method of bullying which includes bullying via text message, instant messenger services and social network sites, via email and via images or videos posted on the internet or spread by mobile phones.

Click here for more information about cyber-crime.

Sextortion

Sextortion is a specific kind of cyber-enabled crime where victims are lured to perform sexual acts in front of their web-camera. Unbeknown to the victims, their acts are recorded by the criminals who then use it in an attempt to extort the victims and threaten that if they do not comply with their demand, the recording(s) would be uploaded to the internet and sent to the victims’ friends and/or family. In the majority of cases the motive is financially driven.

Click here for additional information and advice on sextortion.

Report

If you have been a victim of an online crime you can report it to Dorset Police via the online form here, or alternatively if you need to speak to someone call 101.

For information about indecent images online click here.

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You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you’re 15 years and 9 months old and can start driving a car when you’re 17.

You must have a provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland when you’re learning to drive or ride.

When you have your provisional licence you can drive on all roads except for motorways.

You must be supervised when you’re learning to drive a car. This can be by a driving instructor or someone else who meets the rules, eg family or friends.

The car you learn in must display ‘L’ plates.

For more information about learning to drive, please click here.

If you find yourself locked out of your property or vehicle you will need to contact a locksmith or mechanic.  We are unable to recommend any local tradesman. You have the right to force entry to your own property if necessary.  The police will only assist in this instance if there is a concern for safety or a threat to life i.e. you have locked the keys inside your vehicle and your baby is inside. In this case you should call the police immediately on 999.

Who do I report a concern to?

If you wish to report a concern about your local pub around any of the following licensing issues, please report to the licensing department within your local council.

  • Noise
  • Serving alcohol to already intoxicated persons
  • Alcohol measures
  • Opening hours
  • Irresponsible alcohol promotions

If you wish to report an incident of crime or disorder, such as the examples below, then please contact us either by completing an Online Enquiry Form or by telephoning us on 101.  If what you are reporting is a crime in progress or you believe there is an immediate concern for someone's welfare, please dial 999.

  • Assault
  • ASB - Anti-social behaviour
  • Underage drinking
  • Drug dealing/drug taking



How do I make a complaint about door staff?


Please click the link below to be re-directed to the Security Industry Authority website where there is further advice regarding how to raise a complaint.  If you are reporting a criminal offence committed by a member of door staff, then please contact us direct as per the advice above.


Report My Loss is an online service used by thousands of people each month to securely and conveniently submit details of lost property.

Provided to the public since 2008 Report My Loss operates nationally with the support of many police forces, including Dorset Police.

You can report lost property quickly online here. This process is much more effective and efficient than reporting the loss directly to us.

Landlord/tenant disputes fall under civil law, which the police do not give advice on.

Please click here for advice regarding your rights as a landlord and as a tenant, and advice on resolving disputes.

The police will only attend disputes if there is a breach of the peace.

It is an offence to drop litter but it must be witnessed by a police officer/police community support officer or council warden.

It is likely that if any course of action is pursued it would be a penalty notice for disorder, which is a £50 fine.

 

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A missing person is anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.

Click here for information on people the police are concerned for.

Report

If you need to report someone missing please call 101. Call 999 if a crime is in progress or a life is in danger.

More information can be found here.

Missing Children

When a child goes missing they potentially face many dangers. These young people are at serious risk of sexual and other forms of exploitation.

Please do not make presumptions as to whether you believe a child may or may not be vulnerable. A missing child is always vulnerable as they are exposed to other risks. It is also important to remember that boys and young men can be just as vulnerable to child sexual exploitation (CSE) as girls.

Do you know the signs of CSE? Click here to find out.

If anyone is concerned that a child or young person is regularly missing, is at risk of child sexual exploitation or any other type of exploitation, please report your concerns to the Police here or on 101, or 999 if a child is in immediate danger.

For full details regarding the rules and regulations around getting an MOT test for your vehicle, please click the link below. If you suspect someone is driving a vehicle on the public highway without a valid MOT then please report it via our Online Reporting Form or call us on 101.

Please click on the link below to re-direct you to the direct.gov website for full details regarding the laws relating to the riding of a motorcycle or moped. Here you can access advice and guidance about learning to ride and safety recommendations.

Unfortunately, we no longer keep items of this nature however we would like to thank you for your interest in Dorset Police. You can learn more about Dorset Police by exploring our website.

Thousands of mobile phones are being stolen every month in the United Kingdom. Young people are especially vulnerable, but taking a few simple steps can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

Please click here for more information about keeping your phone safe.

If your phone has been lost you can report it online at Report my Loss here.

If your phone has been stolen please report this to us online here, or by calling 101.

 

Using mini-motos in parks, on pavements and in public places is almost always illegal. The only legal area would be on private land and with the owners permission; so long as its use does not cause harassment, alarm or distress, or a statutory nuisance.

Someone using a mini-moto illegally could be liable to a fine of up to £1,000, have their driving licence endorsed and see their mini-moto seized resulting in it either being crushed or having to pay for its storage and removal.

For report illegal use of mini-motos, please click here.

You don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. Only certain types can be driven on the road.

​For information regarding the use of mobility scooters please click here.

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purposes of slavery, forced labour (including bonded labour or debt bondage), and servitude.

Modern slavery is real and is happening right now in towns and cities up and down the country. Men, women and children are moved and exploited for sex, labour, domestic servitude and other criminal activities.

It is important to remember such offences are not carried out in isolation. Quite often they are linked with individuals who are involved in a range of other serious and organised crimes.

Report

If you have any concerns that someone is being trafficked or enslaved please report it to the police via the online form here. Alternatively if you want to speak to someone please call 101, or if you believe someone is in immediate danger call 999.

You can also make a report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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How to spot a scam:

  • You don’t know the sender
  • Contains misspellings designed to fool spam filters
  • Makes an offer that is too good to be true
  • The subject line and contents do not match.
  • Contains an urgent offer end date (for example “Buy now and get 50% off”).
  • Contains a request to forward an email to multiple people, and may offer money for doing so.
  • Contains a virus warning.
  • Contains attachments, which could include .exe files.

Guidance on using email safely:

  • Do not open emails which you suspect as being scams.
  • Do not forward emails which you suspect as being scams.
  • Do not open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Do not click on links in emails from unknown sources. Instead, roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination, displayed in the bottom left corner of your screen. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text of the link from the email.
  • Do not respond to emails from unknown sources.
  • Do not make purchases or charity donations in response to spam emails.
  • Don’t click on ‘remove’ or reply to unwanted email.
  • When sending emails to multiple recipients, list their addresses in the 'BCC' (blind copy) box instead of in the 'To' box. In this way, no recipient will see the names of the others, and if their addresses fall into the wrong hands there will be less chance of you or anybody else receiving scam emails.
  • Similarly, delete all addresses of previous parties in the email string, before forwarding or replying.
  • Most email clients come with spam filtering as standard. Ensure yours is switched on. 
  • Most spam and junk filters can be set to allow email to be received from trusted sources, and blocked from untrusted sources. 
  • Most internet security packages include spam blocking. Ensure that yours is up to date and has this feature switched on. Click here for more information.
  • For further information on spam and scam emails click here.

Noise complaints are dealt with by the Environmental Health Officers within your local council. The police have no powers with regards to loud noise going on inside a private residence or garden.

Please click here for more information about reporting noise complaints to your local council.

 

Neighbourhood Watch was introduced to Dorset in 1983 and plays a vital part in preventing crime in todays society. 

Research shows that you are less likely to be a victim of crime if you belong to an active Watch scheme.

The main objectives of Neighbourhood Watch groups are:

  • To Prevent Crime - by improving security and increasing awareness
  • To Protect the Vulnerable by encouraging a caring community spirit
  • To help with the detection of criminals - by promoting effective communication
  • To reduce the undue fear of crime - by providing accurate information about risks and promoting a sense of security
  • To improve Police/Community relations - by fostering regular contact and liaison

For more information about Neighbourhood watch, how to register and how to become involved, please click here.

 

 

The 'no excuse' campaign is an enforcement operation supported by all the road safety partners in Dorset. 

The campaign tackles the fatal five contributory factors and is enhanced by education and public engagement.

  • Speed
  • Drink/drug driving
  • Distractions while driving (for example, mobile phones)
  • Careless and inconsiderate driving
  • Not wearing a seatbelt

The aim of 'no excuse' is to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Dorset’s roads with the long-term reduction in the number of bad and careless driving offences reported to the police.

The “no excuse” team by use of marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles WILL take appropriate action against ANYONE breaking the laws on our roads putting themselves and other road users at unnecessary risk.  There is no excuse for that behaviour and the team can be anywhere at any time – if you break the law the team will catch you eventually.  We will make Dorset roads feel safer and Dorset roads to be safer.

If you have received a fixed penalty notice in relation to a driving offence and have a query about it, please refer to our Central Ticket Office information page for advice.

To read more about the 'no excuse' campaign please click here.

 

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In the UK the act of prostitution in itself is not illegal. However, it is an offence for a person in a street or public place to solicit another for the purpose of obtaining a sexual service as a prostitute; this includes the act of ‘kerb-crawling’ to look for these services. The reference to a person in a street or public place includes a person in a motor vehicle in a street or public place. It is also an offence for a person to offer their services by way of loitering or soliciting in a street or public place for the purposes of prostitution.

It is an offence to run and/or keep a brothel and that includes a landlord letting premises for use as a brothel, a tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel and/or a tenant permitting premises to be used for prostitution.

If you have concerns about prostitution you can report it to the police via the online form here. Alternatively if you need to speak with someone please call 101.

If you are concerned that someone is particularly vulnerable and could be putting themselves at risk please report your concerns via the online form here or on 101. Find out more about Adults at Risk information and support here.

If you are concerned that someone under 18 is working as a prostitute (whether or not they believe they have consented) please report it to the police immediately on 101. Call 999 if you believe a child is in immediate danger. Prostitution of those under 18 is considered as child sexual exploitation (CSE) click here for more information.

Forced Prostitution

If you suspect that someone is being forced to work as a prostitute and/or is a victim of human trafficking, you should report your concerns immediately to the police on 101. Call 999 if you believe someone is in immediate danger.

A person may be forced into prostitution if he/she;

  • is being forced to have sex for money, but has to hand over the money;
  • is being forced by his/her partner to have sex with friends or acquaintances;
  • is being forced by his/her partner to pay off debts by having sex with friends or acquaintances;
  • is being forced to have unsafe sex;
  • is being physically abused, blackmailed or threatened;
  • is younger than 18 (this would be considered child sexual exploitation (CSE) click here for more info

For more information on human trafficking and modern slavery click here.

Agencies and other support:

  • Sex Workers Risk Assessment Conference (SWRAC)
    • Joanna Cain: 07785 682 885, 01202 458 058
  • Drug and Alcohol Social Work Team
    • 01202 458 007

Contact by telephone

101 non emergency - 101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. 101 will connect you to your local force unless you select the option to contact an alternative force. 

999 emergency - You will automatically be directed to the police force covering the area you are currently in. If you are calling about an immediate concern for someone within another force area, the operator you speak to will contact the relevant force on your behalf.

 

Contact via the Internet

Please click the link to access a list of further links to all other Police Force websites within the UK.

If you have a vehicle parked across your drive which mans you are unable to leave your property:

You should initially make enquiries with your neighbours to see you can locate the owner and request they move the vehicle. If this proves unsuccessful, you can contact us via our online enquiries form at the following link:

Contact Us Form

Alternatively, you can contact us on 101 to report.

If you have a vehicle parked across your drive which means you are unable to gain access to your drive:

You should initially make enquiries with your neighbours to see you can locate the owner and request they move the vehicle. If this proves unsuccessful, you should contact your local council. Please select the link below for further information from your local council:

 

              

                                     

If this is a regular problem that you are experiencing and you feel that you are being specifically targeted, please contact us via our online contact form with further information.

Contact Us Form

Alternatively, you can contact us on 101.

If a vehicle is parked on double yellow lines, or an area that is restricted:

This would be dealt with via your local council. Please see the links above for further information.

To find out what information Dorset Police holds about you on their systems, including statements, photographs, crime reports and custody records, please click on the link below.

Accessing Information about You.

If you suspect that your post has been stolen, please complete our online crime reporting form, which you can access via the following link:

Online Crime Reporting Form

You can also contact Royal Mail directly via their website, following the link below, to make them aware of the situation and see if they are able to offer any assistance to prevent further occurrences:

If you have been involved in an incident on a train or in a railway station, you need to report this to the British Transport Police, who are contactable via the following link:

 

If you have been involved in an incident on any other means of public transport, and the incident is happening now, please contact us on 999.

If the incident has already occurred, please contact us via our Online Reporting Form, or by calling 101.

If you are experiencing a power cut, please call the National Grid on 105. It is a free number to call for advice and information, no matter who your electricity provider is. For more information on the 105 service, please follow the link below:

If you have a billing enquiry you should contact your provider using the number provided on your bill or statement.

Lost property

Report My Loss is an online service used by thousands of people each month to securely and conveniently submit details of lost property.

Provided to the public since 2008 Report My Loss operates nationally with the support of many police forces, including Dorset Police.

You can report lost property quickly online here. This process is much more effective and efficient than reporting the loss directly to us.

 

Found property

If the property you have found is not identifiable, for example a jumper or an empty handbag, you can report this to us using our online general enquiry form here. We will provide you with a reference number in relation to your report. You can then either retain the property, or dispose of it accordingly.

If the property is identifiable, for example it has a serial number, you can report this to us via our general enquiry form here. Please include as many details about the item as possible, including any identifiable marks, and provide a detailed description.

Please also confirm if you are happy for us to pass your contact details on to the loser so they can arrange collection of the item. If you are not happy to have your details shared with the loser, please make this clear to us.

We will contact you with a reference number in relation to your report and request that you bring the item to your local police station to hand in. Please provide the reference number to the receiving officer/staff. If you are unable to get to your local station please let us know and we will arrange someone to come and collect the item from you.

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Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual contact or harassment. It includes pressurising someone to have sex or take part in sexual activity such as groping and sexual touching when they don’t want to or they haven’t, or can’t give their consent.

Rape and sexual assault include any unwanted sexual acts. Even if you agree to have sex with someone, you have the right to say "no" at any time, and to say "no" to any sexual acts.

Abuse and sexual violence in relationships is not normal or acceptable – if you are in an abusive relationship or have been sexually assaulted or raped it’s never your fault and you don’t have to put up with it. Being in a relationship with someone does not make it ok for them to force you to do something you don’t want to do. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Sexual violence can be stopped if you seek support.

Rape does not have to involve physical force – threatening violence, or having sex with someone who is incapable because they’re drunk or asleep is rape.

If you are sexually assaulted or raped, it is never your fault - you are not responsible for the actions of others.

Report

If you have been raped or sexually assault report it to the police immediately on 101, or call 999 if the crime is in progress or life is in danger.

Dorset Police always respect the wishes of the victim and a specially trained officer will talk to you in confidence and explain fully all the options open to you and will be guided by your wishes.

You can also talk in confidence to a number of support organisations and agencies. The links are listed below.

However it is very important to get immediate medical attention whether or not the incident is reported to police. Sometimes injuries that seem minor at first can get worse. If you report the assault to the police, an immediate medical examination may be necessary to collect potential evidence for the investigation and prosecution.

Perpetrators – For advice about changing behaviour, call the Respect helpline on: 0845 122 8609.

If Dorset Police are required to close a road due to an RTC or an obstruction to the highway, we will endeavour to remove these as soon as we are able. We update our Facebook and Twitter feeds (the links for which can be found at the bottom of this page) as regularly as possible to keep you up to date with what is going on around the county. Please monitor these for up-to-date information regarding any road closures we have put in place.

Prolonged road closures, road works or highway maintenance are the responsibility of the local council or highways agency. Please contact them for further information by following the links below:

 

        

I have been involved in an accident / RTC where there are no injuries and the road is not blocked:

If you have been involved in an RTC with another vehicle, where there are no injuries and the road is not blocked, you do not need to report this to the police. You simply need to exchange details with the other driver and contact your insurance company. THE POLICE DO NOT APPORTION BLAME for an RTC, this will be down to your insurance companies to deal.

I have been involved in an accident / RTC where there are no injuries but the road is blocked:

If you are at the scene of an RTC where the road is blocked and the obstruction cannot be removed, please contact the police on 999 for assistance.

I have been involved in an accident / RTC where there are injuries:

If you have been involved in a minor injury collision that does not require medical assistance and there are no obstructions of the highway, please attend your local police station. Click here to find you nearest station open to the public.

If you have been injured in a road traffic collision and require medical assistance, please dial 999 and request ambulance and police attendance.

I have been involved in an accident /  RTC where the other party has failed to stop and exchange details:

If you have been involved in an RTC where you have been unable to exchange details with the other party involved, please attend your local police station to report. Click here to find you nearest station open to the public.

I have been involved in an accident / RTC which has caused damage to public property (no injuries or road obstruction):

If you have been involved in an RTC with an item of public property, such as a lamp-post or road sign, and as a result have caused damage to that property, please contact the council covering that area to report.

           

 

I have been involved in an accident / RTC which has caused damage to private property (no injuries or road obstruction):

If you have been involved in an RTC which has caused damage to private property, for example someone’s garden wall, you should exchange details with the homeowner. It is not necessary to report this to the police.

If a vehicle collides with your property and fails to stop and exchange details, please contact us using our Online Contact Form. If you have been able to obtain the vehicles registration, partial registration, make and/or model, please provide us with these details when you report it to us.

I am a cyclist that has been involved in a collision with another cyclist:

If you are a cyclist involved in a collision with another cyclist, but you do not wish to report a case of “careless cycling”, it is not necessary for you to report this to the police.

If an injury has occurred and one party is wishing to report a case of “careless cycling”, please contact us via our Online Contact Form to report.

I have been involved in an RTC involving an animal:

If you’ve had a collision with one of the following animals, please report it to us via our Online Reporting Form:

  • Horse
  • Cattle
  • Ass
  • Mule
  • Sheep
  • Pig
  • Goat
  • Dog

If you’ve had a collision with any other animal you do not need to report it to the police, unless the animal is injured in the road and cannot be moved, or the carcass is causing an obstruction. If this is the case and it is a main road, please contact us on 999. If it is a residential street please contact us on 101.

I've collided with something, but I'm not sure what it was:

If you've had a collision with something but you're not sure what it was, please report it to us via our Online Reporting Form.

The definition of robbery is as follows:

(1)A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.

(2)A person guilty of robbery, or of an assault with intent to rob, shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for life.

If you have been the victim of a robbery which has only just happened, please call us on 999 to report.

If you have been the victim of a robbery which did not occur recently, please call us on 101 to report.

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The internet is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, with many of us using social media on a regular basis. But do you really know who you are communicating with and who can see your posts? It is easy for cyber-criminals to get personal details from social networking sites.

Follow this advice to stay safe online:

  • Make sure your privacy settings are set to the highest level so that only your friends can see your details.
  • Don’t post details and photographs of your summer holidays while you are away. It may seem innocent enough, but to a burglar you have just advertised you have an empty house. 
  • Be wary about who you invite or accept invitations from on social networking sites and internet telephone services.
  • Do not accept friendship requests from complete strangers. You would not do this in real life.
  • Be wary of publishing any identifying personal information either in a profile or in posts – such as phone numbers, pictures of your home, workplace or school, your address or birthday.
  • Think twice before clicking on any links. These can lead to hoax pages and sites designed to defraud you or steal your identity.
  • Choose safe passwords – careless use of passwords can lead to an account being hacked.
  • What goes online stays online. Do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment. 

For further guidance and advice visit

If intimate photos or videos of you are posted online against your will, report it to Dorset Police online here or by calling 101.

For information regarding spent convictions and how long they last on your record, please go to the Ask The Police website, using the link below.

For information on what to do if you believe there are squatters in your property, or in a property nearby, please see the Ask The Police website, using the following link:

 

If you believe someone is breaking into a property now, please call us on 999.

If you have an enquiry relating to seized property you will need to speak to the officer dealing. You can do this by completing our Message For Officer form.

Sextortion is a specific kind of cyber-enabled crime where victims are lured to perform sexual acts in front of their web-camera. Unbeknown to the victims, their acts are recorded by the criminals who then use it in an attempt to extort the victims and threaten that if they do not comply with their demand, the recording(s) would be uploaded to the internet and sent to the victims’ friends and/or family. In the majority of cases the motive is financially driven.

Advice to victims of sextortion:

  1. Do NOT panic. You have already taken the first big step by recognising you are the ‘victim’ in this and that you may require support to help you through this difficult time. The Police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence, and will not make judgements on your behaviour.

 

  1. Do NOT pay. Although some victims who have paid what the offenders have demanded and hear no more about it, many others who have paid have then continued to receive further and often increasing demands. In some cases even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the videos anyway.

 

  1. Do NOT communicate further with the offenders. Obtain screen shots of any communication. Deactivate your Facebook account and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account rather than shutting it down will ensure data is preserved and will assist law enforcement in obtaining evidence. The account can also be reactivated at any time ensuring online memories are not lost forever.

 

  1. In general once they're blocked, the offenders can't contact you. If they are unable to do so then they can't threaten you or make demands, so they tend to move on fairly quickly. However, they may try to utilise other contact routes that they are aware of, so be mindful of all sites where communication has been made or you are linked to.

 

  1. If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn't, then you can cancel the payment - and the sooner you do that the better.

Report

If you have been a victim of any online crime you can report this to Dorset Police via the online form here, or alternatively if you need to speak to someone call 101.

‘Sexting’ is the act of sending sexually explicit photographs, primarily between mobile phones but also using the Internet.

‘Sexting’ and under 18s

Includes incidents of sexting by and between young people when a young person has taken an explicit photograph of themselves and sent it to their boyfriend or girlfriend via their mobile phone. Then the recipient has disseminated the photograph to their peers via mobile phone or the Internet. This causes enormous distress to the young person.

Legislation in relation to ‘sexting’

In the UK, sending or receiving sexually explicit photographs of children (anyone under 18) is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

However, ‘sexting’ involving teenagers sending explicit photographs of themselves to their peers has led to a legal grey area – as a majority of teenagers engaging in ‘sexting’ are unaware they may be committing an offence.

Dealing with ‘sexting’ and under 18s in Dorset

Dorset Police is aware that the majority of teenagers engaging in sexting are unaware they may be committing an offence. When a report is made to Dorset Police of sexting involving teenagers sending explicit photographs of themselves to their peers a restorative approach is considered.

The use of Restorative Reprimands in these cases has put victims at the forefront of the process and ensures the teenagers committing the crimes face up to the consequences of their actions but do not receive a criminal record.

The Dorset Police Safe Schools and Communities Team deal with these reports. A case of sexting involving teens sending explicit photographs of themselves to their peers, should be reported to police as soon as possible. The quicker the Safe Schools and Communities Team is made aware and can intervene, the less impact on the victim.

Reports of sexting should be made to Dorset Police by calling us on 101.

Further information is available on the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) ThinkUKnow website, which has information for young people as well as parents. Follow this link to the site: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

The following link gives information for parents around sexting: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Secondary/Risks/Losing-control/

Working with online safety experts, InternetMatters.org are here to guide you through the many issues children can experience when using the internet.

Everyone, from all walks of life, should think, spot and speak out. There is a responsibility on everyone in society to do all they can to protect vulnerable people.

If you think anyone, of any age, is being abused, exploited or neglected please report your concerns to the Police.

Dorset Police has a dedicated team working for our Public Protection Unit. These officers and staff investigate incidents of abuse, exploitation and neglect in Dorset as well as working to safeguard those at risk.

For more information about abuse affecting children click here.

For more information about abuse affecting adults click here.

If you think you have any information, please report it to either social services or via the online form here. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call us on 101. If a crime is in progress, or life is in danger, always call 999.

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I left something in a taxi, how do I get it back?

In the first instance, especially if the driver may still be on duty, contact the taxi firm.

Should the firm be unable to assist, contact the local authority for the area from which you were picked up. Drivers must hand lost property into the Local Authority within 48 hours.

I wish to dispute a fare - what should I do?

The maximum fare for a Hackney Carriage is set by the council, although most private hire vehicles will work from the same rate. If you believe the fare is incorrect you will need to dispute this with the Local Authority for the area from which you were picked up.

You may need the drivers license number and / or vehicle registration number.

How do I make a complaint about a taxi driver?

Hackney Carriages and private hire vehicles are licensed by the Local Authority in which they operate. Any complaints should be directed to the Local Authority where you were picked up.

My passenger is refusing to pay - what should I do?

If your passenger is refusing to pay and not causing a risk to your safety, please call 101.

If your passenger has become abusive, threatening, or violent dial 999.

My passenger if only offering part of the fare - what should I do?

This is a civil matter between driver and passenger and a solution will need to be agreed between the parties involved. This may include, but is not limited by, exchanging details and agreeing a date and time when full payment can be met.

Before you pick up the telephone and call us, your query could be quickly answered by clicking on the following links;

How to fill out the Notice of Intended Prosecution form >

FAQs Driver Awareness Scheme >

FAQs Tickets and Offences >

If the links above have not answered your question and you still need to speak to someone, you can telephone us on one of the numbers below.

On your ticket you will find a reference number. It is important to look at this number as it will help us deal with you enquiry quickly.

If you have been issued with a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and have an enquiry about your driving licence or your payment, please contact:

The Fixed Penalty Office, PO Box 5992, Southend on Sea, SS1 9PX - Tel 01702 283860 Telephone lines are open between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday

Or email: es-fixedpenalty@hmcts.gov.uk .

The Central Ticket Office is unable to provide answers to queries of this nature.

If you were issued a ticket by a Police Officer or have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution, please contact the Central Ticket Office on the number below:

Please note:  you will be required to quote your ticket number.

We will not be able to discuss any offence with you that is not in your name, unless prior permission has been given to speak with you.

Dorset Police Central Ticket Office:

01305 227549 Lines are open 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday. 

An answering machine operates outside these times and at times when all phone lines are busy.

Alternatively please email Central Ticket Office at cto@dorset.pnn.police.uk

Oxford Dictionary describes a threat as the following:

“A statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done.”

If threats have been made against you, be it verbally or otherwise, and you do not believe these threats are going to be carried out imminently, please contact us via our Online Reporting Form or call us on 101 to report.

If you believe that you are in danger of these threats made against you being acted upon immediately, please call us on 999.

Theft is described as:

“A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”

If you wish to report a theft happening now, please call us on 999.

If you wish to report a theft that has already happened, you can do so via our Online Crime Reporting Form. Alternatively you can call us on 101.

 

If you have made an agreement with someone regarding your property, and they have failed to abide by this agreement, please see the Ask The Police website below for further information:

U

In England and Wales the age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women. The age of consent is the same regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of a person and whether the sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.

It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16. However, there is no intention to prosecute teenagers under the age of 16 where both mutually agree and where they are of a similar age.

For additional information visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Sexandyoungpeople/Pages/Sex-and-young-people-hub.aspx

It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust (for example a teacher or social worker) as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust.

For information about child sexual exploitation click here.

For information on rape/sexual assault click here.

You can register with the Mail Preference Service if you do not wish to receive unwanted mail.

Most direct mail companies do abide by this as they do not want to waste time and money sending mail that is not wanted.

There are three ways to register with the Mail Preference Service:

  • Online here
  • Telephone - 0845 703 4599
  • Post - The Mailing Preference Service, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London. W1W 8SS.

V

Everyone, from all walks of life, should think, spot and speak out. There is a responsibility on everyone in society to do all they can to protect vulnerable people.

If you think anyone, of any age, is being abused, exploited or neglected please report your concerns to the Police.

Dorset Police has a dedicated team working for our Public Protection Unit. These officers and staff investigate incidents of abuse, exploitation and neglect in Dorset as well as working to safeguard those at risk.

For more information about abuse affecting children click here.

For more information about abuse affecting adults click here.

If you think you have any information, please report it to either social services or via the online form here. Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone please call us on 101. If a crime is in progress, or life is in danger, always call 999.

My vehicle has been recovered by the police because I didn't have any insurance /  a driving license - what should I do?

If your vehicle has been recovered by the police because you didn't have any insurance or a driving license, you will have been issued with the appropriate paperwork by the officer at the scene. Details of where your vehicle is being held, and what actions you need to take to retrieve it can be found on this paperwork. If you cannot locate this paperwork, you will need to attend your local police station with the relevant documentation which proves that you are now in an appropriate position to drive the vehicle (for example, an in-date insurance certificate). Counter services staff will take you through the process.

My vehicle has been recovered by the police following an RTC - what should I do?

If you know the officer that was dealing with the incident you can contact them using our Message an Officer Form. If you are not sure of the name or collar number of the officer dealing with your incident, please contact us via our Online Contact Form. Please include as many details of the incident as possible, including the registration of your vehicle, where the accident happened and when. This will help us to locate the officer dealing and pass your message on to them.

For information regarding vehicles towing trailers, please see the Ask The Police website on the following link:

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