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Dorset continues to protect the public during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency

01 May 2020
Dorset Police’s Chief Constable has issued a message of reassurance to communities that the Force remains open for business during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “Our commitment to supporting our communities during this time remains as strong as ever. We will also help enforce the regulations issued by the Government to ensure we help reduce the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

“And while we maintain our approach to the COVID-19 crisis, we are also continuing to protect you in the same way we did before the pandemic and remind you that Dorset Police is still open for business. 

“Crime is down in the county in comparison with the same time in previous years and thankfully we have not experienced high levels of sickness due to the coronavirus, which has enabled us to maintain business as usual on top of the pandemic.

“We have continued to respond to incidents reported to us during this unprecedented time, support vulnerable people and continue to investigate crime as we always have, albeit with an adapted approach at times.

“The response from our officers and staff during this time has been exceptional and I would like to thank each and every member of the Dorset Police family for the commitment and dedication they have shown adapting to new ways of working and the various challenges we have faced. We have been inundated with letters and messages of thanks, which is really appreciated and shows our workforce that you appreciate their commitment as much as I do.  

“As you would have seen on our social media platforms we have a series of campaigns running which prioritises our focus on vulnerability and people at the greatest risk of harm, such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, online fraud and county lines.”

Between 23 March and 26 April 2020 the Force’s control room dealt with 9,208 emergency 999 calls, 18,813 non-emergency 101 calls and 10,639 other non-emergency contacts, including online and walk-in services.

The Force has recorded 3,732 crimes, 14,569 incidents and has searched for 373 missing people. 

Officers and staff in crime and criminal justice teams have investigated a range of serious offences, including a murder inquiry, drug supply, serious assaults and offences committed against children and other vulnerable people. As a result, 830 positive outcomes have been achieved.

A total of 753 people have gone through Dorset’s custody suites.

Chief Constable James Vaughan continued: “I’d like to praise those officers and staff working in our custody suites for their diligence and sensitive approach to dealing with detainees, some of whom have been displaying symptoms of the virus.

“Our officers and staff are working tirelessly to ensure we continue to keep Dorset as one of the safest places in the country and I’d like to pass on my personal thanks to all of them for keeping this standard maintained in these difficult times. 

“Yet again, a big thank you to the people of Dorset for sticking with the rules of staying at home. We are nearing the end of the first phase and we ask you all to continue to be patient – now is not the time to go easy and become complacent. Your actions are making a big difference to reducing the spread of this terrible disease and are truly saving lives.”
 

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