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New Dorset Police contact point opens in Dorchester

A new volunteer supported Dorset Police Contact Point will open in Dorchester Library & Learning Centre on Thursday 4 June 2015.Contact Point

Following changes to Dorset Police counter service provisions, the Force is working in partnership with Dorset County Council Libraries to implement the first of its pilot contact points at Dorchester Library & Learning Centre.

The new service, which launches on Thursday 4 June 2015, will be open every Monday and Thursday from 10am until 2pm to provide convenient online services, 101 telephone access and crime prevention information to the local public.

A review of the Force counter service provision in March 2015 identified underutilisation of these services, which resulted in the closure of Dorchester Police Station enquiry office. The new contact point, which will be handled by dedicated Dorset Police volunteers, will now be an integral support in assisting the local public to engage with the police.  

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “The opening of Dorchester’s community contact point is just one of the ways the public in that area can now get in touch with the police.

“We are working in times of austerity and sadly the closure of some front counter services was unavoidable. However, this is a step in the right direction in order to provide the public with important police contact services.

“Valuable collaborations with our partners such as Dorset County Council Libraries and utilising our valuable police volunteer resources are vital if we are to continue to expand this new service and provide the public with alternative methods of contacting Dorset Police.”

Dorset Police and Dorset County Council Libraries are still looking for Contact Point Volunteers for other locations which are planned for implementation in Sherborne. Further information and a job description can be found on the Force website [here].

Cllr Colin Jamieson, Cabinet member for community services at Dorset County Council, said: “Having a contact point in the library provides a great platform for the police to reach out to the local public and gives residents a vital service to discuss their issues in a safe, accessible place in one of our central community facilities.

"We are pleased to be able to work with Dorset Police to offer local people the opportunity to talk to someone personally, or to access crime prevention information.”

Provided the pilot contact point in Dorchester Library & Learning Centre is successful, further contact points will be implemented at other locations across the county after the summer.

The opening of community contact points is just one of the alternative ways that members of the public can get in touch with Dorset Police; improvements have already been made to the 101 non-emergency service and work is also underway to develop the Dorset Police website.

Issued: 1 June 2015.