08 November 2017
Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner welcomed a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published today, Thursday 9 November, which assesses force efficiency and leadership. The report graded Dorset as ‘good’ overall at keeping people safe and reducing crime, understanding and making the most of its available resources and demands, and planning effectively for the future.
Dorset Police was found to have a comprehensive understanding of the full range of demands for its services. This ranges from answering and responding to 999 calls, to protecting victims and uncovering unreported crimes.
The Force was found to make good use of its resources and can clearly identify the skills needed to operate effectively. There is a clear understanding of the benefits of joint working, with good collaborative links with other police and partner organisations across the region.
Dorset Police was found to have good plans for the future with an extensive evaluation of likely future demand, demonstrating Dorset Police is ambitious and well prepared.
Savings of £32.2m have been made over the last spending review period with an increasing focus on the strategic alliance with Devon & Cornwall Police.
The Force aims to achieve further savings in the future through continued collaborative working and the exploration of a full merger between the two forces, uniting Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police into one police force.
Deputy Chief Constable, James Vaughan, said: “I am pleased that HMICFRS have assessed Dorset Police as a good and efficient force.
“We have been faced with significant reductions in funding and this grading result is a testament to the hard work that has taken place by officers and staff, ensuring we can continue to provide a good service to the residents of Dorset.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, welcomed the HMICFRS grading. He said: “I am pleased to see Dorset Police has been recognised as ‘good’ at making the best use of resources and planning for the future.
“Now is a pivotal time for policing nationally. We are seeing an increase in demand and an increase in complex, investigatory work as well as a rise in violent and knife crime. It has never been so important to make best use of available resources to keep people safe.
“HMICFRS has recognised our significant efforts to improve efficiency, but it is important that the public note that the low hanging fruit has been picked and opportunities for further meaningful savings are reducing. The Home Secretary recently advised all forces to rely on spending their reserves, but situations vary from force to force. I inherited very little and while I have increased Dorset’s reserves since I was first elected, this is not a sustainable solution.
“This is one of the reasons why the operational leaders of Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police are examining a closer working relationship between the two forces. We must consider all our options to ensure we operate efficiently, both now and in the future, and this will be a key focus of mine over the coming months.”
The Force continues to collaborate and build on its strategic alliance with Devon & Cornwall, to share services and reduce costs with clear plans for future operations and services.
The Force is also part of other regional collaboration projects looking at issues such as organised crime, forensics, fraud and counter terrorism.
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