Third party reporting pilot begins in Dorset

Incidents of disability hate crime can now be reported to Dorset Police through a third party – which could help bring offenders to justice in cases where disabled victims may not previously have reported the crime.

The third party reporting system went live today – Tuesday 12 October 2010 – and will initially run in Bournemouth and Poole as a six month pilot.

This pilot – which has been created in partnership with the Bournemouth-based charity Disability Wessex – allows the third party to report disability hate crime to the Force via a special online reporting system on the Dorset Police website.

Members of staff from Disability Wessex will act on the victim’s behalf as the third party reporting the incident to the police.

However, all victims of crime, including disabled members of our communities, can report incidents to Dorset Police through the standard channels of visiting a police station or by contacting the Force by telephone.

Victims using the third party reporting system will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Force on their experiences of the scheme which will help to ensure that the system is effective and can be amended to provide the best possible service to victims.

Inspector Steve Marsh, of Dorset Police’s Community Engagement Department, said: “This third party reporting system will allow Dorset Police to provide an effective response to some members of our community who may otherwise have not contacted Dorset Police to report disability hate crime.

“This system will also help to identify any geographical hotspots of disability hate crime. We will then be able to respond to this information by targeting resources in these areas if required.”

Nikki Haswell, Chief Officer of Disability Wessex, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Dorset Police to try to encourage more disabled people, whatever their type of condition or impairment, to report incidents when they are picked on, bullied or are on the receiving end of anti-social behaviour because of their disability.

“If you are a disabled person, or their family member, friend or carer and you do not feel willing or able to telephone the police direct yourself, to report an incident or crime against a person because of their disability, then you can call us at Disability Wessex on 0300 3305514 from 10am to 4pm on weekdays.

“We will make a report to the police on your behalf. We will be there to support and encourage you, as well as to ask the questions which the police will need to know, and take you through the reporting process.

“We want to encourage more people to report disability hate crime and anti-social behaviour, so that a more accurate picture of the scale of this kind of incident is clear to the police.”

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