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Contact information for journalists and media

Dorset Police's Media Office deals with many thousands of media enquiries every year. It provides journalists with interviews and information regarding ongoing incidents, serious crime and policy issues. The team is also responsible for issuing dozens of proactive witness appeals and other news releases each month, to the media and online.

In addition to helping journalists, Media Officers provide 24/7 on-call advice to officers, assistance for victims of crime and support to partner agencies.

Media enquiries

Please be aware that we log all media contact on a secure database, comprising the name and contact details of the enquirer, the questions asked and replies given. This is done for auditing and legally required disclosure purposes.

Media enquiries are taken by the Media Office between 7.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Outside these hours, enquiries can be made to the Force Command Centre via 101. Colleagues will assist with routine enquiries if their policing commitments allow. If your out-of-hours enquiry is more complex, urgent and operationally-critical, they will pass it to the on-call media officer.

The Media Office is only able to take enquiries from accredited journalists and other media representatives. We must justify our work and, therefore, we are unfortunately not resourced to assist students, amateur film-makers or any other enquiries that will not result in information being widely published. Your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or the Safer Schools & Communities Team may be able to help.

For more information about how we handle media enquiries - such as what information may be released at each stage of an investigation - read our full Media Relations Guidelines.

Requests for statistics

If your enquiry is purely about statistics, you are advised to first research the matter on websites such as www.police.uk and, if the data is not already published, to submit your enquiry to the Freedom of Information team, who are better placed to research statistical information.

The Media Office will of course, provide a response to any questions arising from statistics and can advise the best way to frame your enquiry to get a quick response.

Follow-up enquires to social media posts

We also publish a wealth of information on Social Media. Where this appears on the Force's main accounts - Dorset Police on Facebook and @dorsetpolice on Twitter - we can assist with any follow-up enquiries. However, we do not have the capacity to respond to enquiries about posts on individual officer or team accounts.

For follow-up enquiries on these posts, please make contact using the same social media channel. When setting up a Force social media account, officers and staff agree to respond to any follow-up questions they generate, whether from the media or the public.

Media filming requests

We receive a large number of filming requests each week relating to both operational and non-operational matters. We are only able to support a fraction of the opportunities we are presented with.

We value openness, and recognise the role of documentaries in showing the public the realities of policing in action. However, we need to balance this against the requirement for confidentiality, possible disruption to operations arising from filming, the demand on operational policing and our capacity as an organisation to provide the necessary support, to ensure filming is carried out appropriately, legally and safely.

Facilitating filming with our officers and staff can involve significant resources and it is important that they can carry out their work with minimal disruption. Therefore, there must be a clear business case in terms of value to the public, and a policing purpose or need for the Force to agree to take part. Agreement will always be subject to current demand and resourcing. If access for filming is granted, Dorset Police may seek to be reimbursed for the time. These costs will be met by the production company or individual undertaking the filming.

To help us consider your request effectively, please complete the following form. A decision will be made as quickly as possible and you will be notified.

Media filming requests

If you have filmed with another police force in connection with a similar project, please provide details of a named contact
Please provide a summary of the subjects or areas you wish to cover
If you know the name of specific individuals or have details of locations, vehicles or equipment you wish to have access to please give details
If you are making a programme, please state what stage you are at. Are you putting together a proposal or has the programme already been commissioned?
Please state the names of other organisations or individuals. This will allow us to understand the context within which any facilities/filming will be used.

Frequently asked questions

Question: What are the reasons for collecting this information?

Answer: The information will enable us to make an informed decision on whether to accept or decline the filming request.

Question: Where is the information stored once it has been emailed?

Answer: The email generated from the form remains within the Force’s secure mail system and will also be stored on our media contact logging system.

Question: Who has access to this information?

Answer: The Alliance Corporate Communications and Engagement Department for Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police and administrators of our systems have access to this information.

Question: How long is the information held for?

Answer: The information will be held indefinitely.

Question: Request for deletion of information

Answer: If you would like to have your information deleted from our systems, please email the media office.

Media Office contacts

7.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

01202 223893

Click here to email us

Enquiries received by email outside opening hours will be responded to when the office is next open.

Out-of-hours contacts

Via Force Command Centre on 101

Simple enquiries can be answered by the Command Centre if operational commitments allow. More complex, urgent and operationally-critical enquiries (all clauses must apply) may be referred to the on-call media officer. Enquiries that are not urgent and operationally-critical will be passed to the team to respond during office hours.