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PEEL Assessment

Peel Assessment (Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy)

Dorset is a largely rural county with only 6.3% of its total area classified as urban (1) and approximately half of the county designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (2).  It is one of the few counties in England not to have a motorway, with three trunk roads and a total of 3,332 miles of road passing through the county. (3).

In addition to patrolling 170 miles of coastline (4) there are three major ports in Dorset; handling passenger and freight traffic to the Channel Islands and the Continent. Bournemouth International Airport serves around 700,000 passengers each year (5).

People are attracted to Dorset to live, learn, work, relax or retire and nearly a third of the resident population is aged 60 or over (6).  More than 15 million tourists visit Dorset annually resulting in an average growth of the resident population by 6% (7).

The Index of Multiple Deprivation identifies urban areas of Boscombe, Melcombe Regis and West Howe as having a particular concentration of the most deprived areas nationally (8).

Whilst the urban conurbations have challenges, so too does the rural county. Thefts of livestock agricultural equipment, metal and fuel are real issues. During 2012, it is estimated that rural crime cost £5.6 million in the South West region (9).

In 2013/14 the Force had a total of 2,107 officers and staff, a reduction from 3,027 in 2009/10.  The Force dealt with just over 190,000 calls for service of which over 37,000 were crimes (10)

Although recorded crime is falling, new and more complex challenges to policing are emerging such as cyber and cyber-enabled crime, increased reporting of historic offences and incidents associated with mental health.  Many of these are difficult to investigate and are yet to fully impact on recorded crime volumes.



  1. Dorset County Council (Dorset Data Book 2011)
  2. Natural England (Dorset Data Book 2011)
  3. Department for Transport
  4. Ordnance Survey, 1992
  5. Civil Aviation Authority Passenger Movement Statistics
  6. Census 2011
  7. South West Research Council - Volume & Value of Tourism
  8. Department of Communities & local Government - Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010
  9. NFU Mutual
  10. Force stats – note officer and staff numbers are FTE


Issued: 26 November 2014