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Police Provide a Good Service to Vulnerable Vctims

Dorset Police welcomes a report issued by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) today, which assesses the way the Force identifies and protects vulnerable victims of crime.

In July 2015 the HMIC reviewed all 43 forces in England and Wales and also interviewed representatives from partner agencies.

Dorset Police was praised for putting victims and vulnerable people at the centre of police activity. The Force’s overall performance was judged to be ‘good’.

The report states that the Force has a significant focus on this area and this is understood by officers and staff at all levels.

The Force was found to consider the vulnerability of all individuals who ask for its services, irrespective of the nature of their request.

The Force was found to have a well-developed and effective process of risk assessing vulnerability issues, which is monitored robustly ensuring long term support measures are put in place where necessary.

Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) David Lewis said: “We are pleased that HMIC has viewed the Force’s ongoing work positively, and that the public in Dorset can have confidence that we provide a good service those that need us the most, although it must be stressed that we will not become complacent.

“We will continue to work in partnership with other agencies to ensure we share information at the right time to provide support and improve outcomes for victims.”

The report made recommendations for the Force to improve its obligations under the code of practice for victims of crime. The code sets out the service that victims can expect from organisations within the Criminal Justice System.

ACC David Lewis continued: “We recognise that we still have work to do to ensure that victims receive the best service. We have recently introduced the Victims Bureau and we continue to train our frontline staff in public protection issues and are continually reviewing our processes.”

The report also looked at how the Force deals with three specific areas; domestic abuse, missing children and child sexual exploitation (CSE).

HMIC found that Dorset Police responded well to victims in all three areas, effectively identifying risk, managing investigations and working well with partners to ensure the ongoing safeguarding and support of victims. 

ACC David Lewis goes on to say: “We have taken a number of steps to help support victims in reporting these crimes and we work in close partnership with other support agencies. We have a dedicated team of specially trained and experienced officers and police staff to respond to and investigate these crimes and to provide the best possible support and protection to victims and their families.

 “All of our officers and staff are committed to the safeguarding of victims and children. This remains a priority for Dorset Police.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I am delighted that the HMIC inspection has identified Dorset Police as having a significant focus on the protection of vulnerable victims and that the Force is working effectively with partners in responding to, and supporting, high risk victims.

“Any abuse of the vulnerable is a dreadful crime with far-reaching consequences and I am encouraged that an increase in reporting in recent years suggests increased confidence in the police’s ability to respond to such circumstances.

“The inspection has also highlighted some areas for improvement and I will be working with the Chief Constable and other chief officers to ensure that the policing response in Dorset continues to develop and improve.”

Issue Date: 15 December 2015