Your Dorset Your Police Your View

‘Your Dorset . Your Police . Your View' was a way to make your views heard on policing in Dorset.  Over six months, Dorset Police and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner gave local people an inside look at, and sought their views on, the variety of policing activities carried out across the county.

You – the residents of Dorset – pay for your local policing, indirectly through grants from central Government that are allocated based on a complex funding formula, and more directly through Council Tax contributions. So it’s only right that we sought your views on what’s important and how we should focus in the future.

The project reached more than a million people – such as those who have read an online article, viewed a video, or interacted on social media. 5,500 detailed surveys were completed and thousands of social media comments have also been analysed.

The ‘Your Dorset, Your Police, Your View’ campaign highlighted a different policing topic each month from August to December 2015; including areas such as neighbourhood policing, offender management, serious crime investigation, and investment in technology. You can recap on these themes in the video below:

At the end of each month, the public were asked to give their views through an online survey or via comments on the Force’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. A final stage in February 2016 asked people to give their overall opinion on which of these areas were most important to them for the future and how they perceived local policing.

All of the feedback was analysed, to help Dorset Police assess the public’s current understanding of policing and the findings have been compiled into reports that can be used by the senior officers responsible for each area featured. Full results were also provided to all prospective candidates for the 2016 Police & Crime Commissioner elections.

In February’s final survey, participants were given 14 policing areas – which encompassed the work done by Dorset Police every day – and were asked to rank the top five that they felt the Force should be focusing on over the next five years.

Understandably, the highest ranking option was ‘Emergency Response and Patrol’. 68% of respondents placed this somewhere in their top five, and 50% of these chose it as their top priority.

Other high-ranking areas included ‘Neighbourhood Policing’, which involves local problem solving, tackling anti-social behaviour and engaging with local people and community groups. ‘Protecting Vulnerable People’ also registered very highly, which encompasses the work done by Dorset Police to safeguard people who may exposed to risk and harm through crimes such as domestic abuse or child abuse.

The other areas receiving high responses were ‘Major Crime Investigation’ into offences such as murders and sexual abuse, ‘Tackling Organised Crime’ such as drug dealing and fraud, and investing in ‘Crime Prevention’ which includes targeted advice to vulnerable people and wider awareness campaigns.

Two of the most vocal topics in social media comments were around the Force’s approach to road safety and methods of non-emergency contact used, such as the 101 service. However, despite these topics receiving lots of mixed views online, both were ranked in the bottom half of people’s priorities in the survey.

The February survey also asked a number of questions to clarify the public’s views following the topic-specific surveys in 2015. For example, this included identifying that 87% of people supported the use of drones by Dorset Police and that 68% were in favour of arming more officers if it would aid the response to major incidents.

A full summary of the findings from each monthly survey can be accessed here

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