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Neighbourhood Alert Reports

These reports are as received from the Police Cooordinators, and not edited by me
April 20, 2021

Reshaped Policing Areas Will Provide An Improved Local Response For Communities Across Dorset

Dorset Police today, Monday 19 April, sees the formation of two Local Police Areas (LPAs) in its drive to provide an outstanding service to the people of Dorset.

These changes will allow the Force to better respond to the issues that matter most to communities.

The newly structured LPAs share their borders with corresponding councils. The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council area forms the BCP LPA and will be led by Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan. The County LPA, which covers the Dorset County Council area, will be led by Chief Superintendent Steve Lyne.

By localising policing resources across a range of services, including key areas such as neighbourhoods, investigations and safeguarding, Dorset Police will be able to work more proactively with partners to strengthen plans and provide a local service that works for local people.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya said: “Dorset Police is dedicated to providing an outstanding service to the people of Dorset, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities.

“By taking this approach we can focus in on the issues that our communities are facing and provide a robust, engaging, proactive and visible policing presence.

“We want to take this opportunity to form strong connections with our communities and partnership agencies so that we can properly listen, understand and respond to local issues and concerns.”

It comes at a time of investment and growth in the Force. National investment has already seen 50 new officers join Dorset Police, with a target of a further 50 over the next year.

Local commanders will be able to make the best use of the resources and continually improve the level of service provided to the public.

There will be opportunities over the coming months to engage directly with local officers, both in person and on social media.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

April 17, 2021

Easing Lockdown Vigilance Campaign

The senior officer responsible for ensuring the UK is protected against the threat of terrorism is warning businesses and the public that they must be alert to more than just the threat of COVID-19 this summer.

Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, believes the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate.

He is appealing for business owners and the public at large to support the police’s 24/7 efforts to keep the country safe by remaining vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t seem right to security staff or the police.

The threat to the UK from terrorism remains at substantial, meaning an attack is likely, and as public places such as non-essential shops, hospitality and sports events begin to open up, the security experts at counter terrorism policing have launched a new vigilance campaign to encourage everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting any concerns.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: “Following a year of restrictions impacting all our lives, we recognise people will be keen to get out and about as the lockdown begins to ease and the importance of businesses being able to return to more regular trading patterns.

“But we must continue to follow public health guidance and remain vigilant, not just against the threat of the virus, but against the threat of terrorism as well.

“Terrorism will understandably not have been high on anyone’s mind in recent months, and I would describe the threat as temporarily suppressed during lockdown, because it was difficult to go out in public and actually do anything.

“But that means that as the crowded places, which have traditionally been the target for terrorists, start to fill with people again, there is always the potential for that risk to come back.

“The best defence against the terrorist threat is a collective community effort – where police, security staff, businesses and the public come together to minimise the chance of attack, and that is why counter terrorism policing (CTP) are launching this campaign.”

Much of CTP’s campaign activity will be focussed on encouraging businesses to play their part in the collective effort by reviewing and updating their security plans and properly risk-assess existing sites or any new areas such as outdoor spaces opened to meet COVID-19 safety rules.

The public can do their bit in protecting the UK from terrorism by completing the official Action Counters Terrorism online e-learning for free. Taking just 45 minutes to complete, the online training provides the latest advice from CTP experts, informing how to react in the unlikely event of a terror attack and how to spot and report suspicious activity and behaviour.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK have already participated. Visit https://ct.highfieldelearning.com/ to register for access.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist added: “This training could save your life, or the lives of others.

“Regrettably, we know all too well that a terror attack can happen anywhere and at any time. At Counter Terrorism Policing UK, we work with other national security partners to disrupt those intent on causing harm to our communities, but we need your help to do that effectively.

“Taking part in our free training and remaining vigilant when you’re out and about this summer helps keep us all safe and creates a hostile place for terrorists to operate.”

Remember, trust your instincts and ACT – Action Counters Terrorism. To report online and learn more about the signs to spot, visit Gov.uk/ACT.

Click here to download poster.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

April 8, 2021

Dorset Police Thanks Participants of Peaceful Protests In Bournemouth and Weymouth

The Force would like to thank organisers and participants following peaceful protests in Bournemouth and Weymouth during the Easter weekend.

The events took place at around 1pm on Saturday 3 April 2021 in The Square in Bournemouth and in Weymouth town centre without any reports of public order incidents.

Leading up to the protests officers liaised with the organisers to ensure compliance with the current law and to protect our communities. Following changes to COVID-19 regulations, there is now an exemption to allow peaceful protests. However, this exemption only applies if the organisers take the required precautions to ensure people’s safety is not put at risk.

The right to protest is well established in this country and police forces have a long history of upholding this by policing by consent and ensuring the safety of all those exercising that right.

Protest policing is challenging and complex – and even more so during these unprecedented times. Public safety is, and always will be police’s top priority, and this hasn’t changed throughout our approach to the pandemic.

Superintendent Richard Bell, of Dorset Police, said: “I would like to thank the organisers and participants for adhering to the current restrictions.

“We have always sought to find the right balance between the rights of protestors and those of residents and businesses, while also considering the very real risks from the spread of the virus.

“Coronavirus is a deadly disease and the current legislation in relation to it aims to prevent its spread. At this time officers are trying to strike a balance between established rights and policing of COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to maintain the confidence of all groups of our communities.

“We must remember that the threat of COVID-19 remains and we must do all we can to stick within the restrictions to help keep people safe.

“As the current restrictions begin to lift over the coming months, we are asking the public to continue to play their part so that we do not undo all of the good work.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

March 31, 2021

Neighbourhood Watch Launches Protect Your Car Campaign

As a valued Neighbourhood Watch supporter we want to tell you about our new PROTECT YOUR CAR campaign

Car crime is a real problem in the UK. Alarmingly, one car is stolen every ten minutes.(1) With Covid-19 and the recent lockdowns, many people aren’t driving or checking on their cars as much as they used to. At Neighbourhood Watch, we need your help to remind car owners to remain vigilant about where and how they park their cars, in order to keep them safe.

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, says

"Most car crimes happen because cars are left unlocked. There is a misconception that some cars are auto-locking and lock themselves if left unattended after a period of time. This isn’t always correct. Another misconception is that your car is too old and no one will bother stealing it. This is also incorrect – both new and old cars are at risk. Having a car stolen or broken into is more than simply a hassle, it can impact on people’s livelihoods. The good news is that there are simple steps everyone can take to help reduce the risk to their car. With only a 46% recovery rate3 we’re reminding everyone to leave your car locked, lit and empty.”

Remember - Leave your car:

1. Locked (2) A simple mistake that can prove calamitous: 44% of cars are broken into via an unlocked door. Leave your car locked video.

2. Lit (2) 80% of car crime occurs during the evening or at night. Parking near street lamps or in a busy area can deter thieves. Leave your car lit video.

3. Empty (or with no items on show) Owners often forget that personal belongings within the car are at as much risk of being stolen as the car itself. Leave your car empty video.

John Hayward-Cripps continues

“Car thieves are opportunists. Leaving items on a car seat or forgetting to lock your car can act as an invitation for crime. We want to instil the habit of double-checking where and how you’ve parked with our three simple steps: leave it locked, lit and empty. As a local charity with a trusted voice in the community, we’re asking everyone to proactively support their neighbours and friends by sharing our three steps with three others. By spreading the word, we’re confident we can crack down on car crime which can be deeply distressing and debilitating for its victims.”

How to support our campaign:

LEARN: Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourcar for top tips and advice on keeping your vehicle safe.

FOLLOW: Follow us on our social channels (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn) to share our messages within your communities. Tag #ProtectYourCar

SHARE: Forward this email to your friends and family, or download this image and share it on WhatsApp with the following message ‘Car crime remains a pressing problem in the UK – alarmingly, one car is stolen every ten minutes. The vast majority of car crimes happen through unlocked cars, parked in badly lit areas and where there are visible items to steal. Remember these simple steps to keep your car safe… leave it locked, lit and empty. For more top tops visit www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourcar

For more information, including requests for a press release or campaign pack, please contact our Senior Communications and Digital Manager Deborah Waller on Deborah.waller@ourwatch.org.uk

Data sourced from:
(1) ITV: ITV, 2020
(2) ONS data: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesappendixtables
(3) OPAL and Police National Computer: https://www.npcc.police.uk/NationalPolicing/OPALNationalIntelligenceUnitforSeriousOrganisedAcq.aspx

Best Regards
Neighbourhood Watch Network (the national umbrella charity for Neighbourhood Watches across England and Wales)

Message Sent By:
Central Support Team (NWN, Neighbourhood Watch Network, England and Wales)

March 30, 2021

Appeal For Information Following Assault In Christchurch

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward after a teenage girl was assaulted by a man in Christchurch.

The incident occurred at around 5pm on Thursday 4 March 2021. The 13-year-old victim was cycling along a cut through that runs from Smugglers Lane North to Nea Close with a friend and as she passed a man he kicked the rear wheel of her bike, causing her to fall off.

The man kicked the girl to the stomach and was then distracted by a call on his mobile phone. The girl got back on her bike and went to ride off, but the man kicked her rear wheel again and she fell off once more.

She was then kicked in the stomach again and the man stood over her with a small kitchen knife in his hand and threatened her before moving away.

The victim suffered grazes and soreness to the stomach as a result of the assault. The matter was reported to police on Thursday 11 March 2021.

The offender is described as white, aged in his 50s, around five feet eight inches tall, of medium build and with greying brown hair and a grey beard. He was wearing a black Puffa-style coat, dark blue jogging bottoms and red and black trainers.

Police Constable Aaron Harvey, of East Dorset police, said: “This was a very distressing incident for the young victim. We have been carrying out a number of enquiries into the incident and, after obtaining a full account from the victim, we are now appealing for anyone with information that might assist our investigation to please come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210038982. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Looking Back on Nine Years As Police and Crime Commissioner

Dorset Police has launched a new programme to protect victims of domestic abuse by disrupting, challenging and changing the behaviours of serial offenders and those deemed to be the most high-risk.

The DRIVE programme, which is delivered by Hampton Trust, is a partnership initiative between Dorset Police, Office of the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, BCP Council and Dorset Council. The first six months of the programme is funded by the Home Office.

While many services rightly focus on support for victims, far less put an emphasis on rehabilitation of offenders. DRIVE works directly with perpetrators to challenge and support changes in attitudes, beliefs and behaviour.

With one in ten offenders still living with the victim this can help to reduce harm to partners and children and stop cycles of abuse.

Dorset Police is only the second force in the South West to deliver this programme.

The first multi-agency tasking and co-ordination panel, which makes decisions on referrals to the DRIVE programme, took place on Wednesday 24 March. It brought together representatives from policing, adult and child social services, housing, drug and alcohol services, probation and health to provide a rounded view of each case discussed.

Dorset Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya said: “We need to change the narrative around domestic abuse and stop asking victims why they didn’t leave and start asking perpetrators why they didn’t stop. That’s exactly what the DRIVE programme does.

“Dorset Police is committed to delivering an outstanding service to the people of Dorset, particularly to those who are most vulnerable. This programme will not only deliver rehabilitation and real behavioural change for domestic abuse offenders, but also the justice that victims so rightly deserve.

“Hampton Trust has done a great job as our delivery partner for the Cautions and Relationship Abuse (CARA) project, and I’m really glad we could continue that relationship through the DRIVE programme.”

Inspector Alyssa Forrest from Dorset Police said: “I was proud to chair the inaugural panel and feel that this multi-agency approach really allowed us to get a 360-degree view of each case we worked through.

“We need to do all we can to protect victims of domestic abuse and, in many cases, this includes providing support to challenge the behaviour of offenders.

“This work is vital in stopping further harm and, in my view, murder prevention.”

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Domestic abuse is physically and mentally toxic, and the DRIVE Programme is an innovative scheme which will help stop perpetrators continue their abuse.

“It has had some huge successes in other parts of the UK and I’m confident it will now make victims safer and reduce reoffending rates here in Dorset.

“I’m proud my office has enabled this scheme to come to Dorset by successfully bidding for Home Office funding.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

March 26, 2021

Launch of Campaign To Reduce Motorcycle Collisions In Dorset

Dorset Police are working with DocBike and Dorset Road Safe Partnership to launch a campaign seeking to buck the trend in springtime biker fatalities.

In Dorset, per mile travelled, more motorcyclists will be killed or critically injured than any other road user. Nationally, approximately 10 motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured every day.

Dr Ian Mew, Intensive Care Consultant and Rider of DocBike, explains: “The problem is, the human brain is not very good at ‘seeing’ small objects travelling towards it at speed. A high proportion of motorcycle collisions on Dorset roads occur when another vehicle pulls into the path of a motorcycle which is unable to stop in time. “Furthermore, because motorcyclists and cyclists don’t have a roll cage, seat belts or air bags, they are often seriously injured or killed when involved in a collision. We want to keep people alive on Dorset’s roads and to do that, we need all road users to be aware of why motorcyclists get knocked off their bikes.”

In an effort to prevent road deaths across the county, all road users are being encouraged to take that extra bit of time, particularly at junctions, and THINK BIKE! The campaign which is called ‘Think Bike, Have You Been Seen’, runs from 1st April until 31st October 2021 and will see unique road signs in key locations where many motorcyclists have been injured in Dorset to date.

Jack Wiltshire, Dorset Council Head of Highways, has been working with the campaign to facilitate the rolling out of signs in accident hot spots. Following feedback from a month-long public consultation, there are two different signs - “THINK BIKE” reminding all road users to take that extra moment to look for a bike, especially at junctions, where the brain finds it difficult to see motorcyclists travelling towards them at speed. The second, “HAVE YOU BEEN SEEN?” reminding bikers they might not have been seen by other road users and that even though they have the right of way, being able to stop if a vehicle pulls out in their path might save their life.

Inspector Joe Pardey from Dorset Police added: “Every year motorcycle fatalities peak throughout the spring and summer time. This is likely due to the better weather encouraging riders to travel more readily on two wheels. The causes of collisions are a mixture of rider error and drivers not looking properly. We know that when lockdown is released that traffic volumes will increase with collisions becoming more likely. We want everyone to respect each other whilst using our roads. We are working really hard with all our partners to make the roads a safer place to be and we urge all road users to do the same by taking that extra time to look three times and for those vulnerable road users to ensure that they have been seen.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

Looking Back on Nine Years As Police and Crime Commissioner

As we come to the end of my time as Dorset’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, I look back on what we’ve achieved over the last nine years.

I say ‘we’ because I’ve been helped every step of the way by the dedicated officers and staff of Dorset Police, by members of my own team, and of course by the people of this county, who it’s been an honour to serve over my two terms.

It hasn’t been an easy nine years across policing. I came in at a time when austerity was starting to bite, and just as the taps were being turned back on, we were hit by a global pandemic in which forces nationally were given responsibility for enforcing unprecedented restrictions on people’s liberty.

Nevertheless, I’m incredibly proud to have worked so closely with Dorset Police, and will be glad to be handing over a force in such rude health to whoever succeeds me after the May elections.

The role of a Police and Crime Commissioner is complicated, and I appreciate many members of the public may not understand exactly what it is that I do. But I leave the role knowing I have been able to make a difference, either by enabling innovative projects to get off the ground, by lobbying for change or simply by putting the right people together.

Victims of crime

Victims of crime have always been at the heart of my work and many of the projects my office has funded have been aimed at improving services for them.

I was proud, during my first term, to launch the Dorset Victims' Bureau alongside Victims' Commissioner Baroness Helen Newlove. The bureau was aimed at supporting victims of crime, guiding them through the complicated world of the Criminal Justice System, and making sure they had someone who could talk to them.

I was also the first PCC in the country to award a local victims' contract, and under their recommissioned contract Victim Support are now providing an enhanced service to victims of domestic abuse.

And in 2017, I announced a new Victims’ Champion to provide greater support to victims of crime who are repeatedly targeted, causing them huge amounts of stress. The champion was responsible for making sure these people were able to get all the help and information they needed.

Maritime county

Dorset is of course a maritime county, and one thing I was keen to do in my first term was to revoke the Force decision to disband the Marine Unit, which patrols our 89 miles of coastline. Later I went onto fund an additional member, almost doubling the amount of time they could get in the water.

As well as this, I also helped provide the funds for a new police boat called Buccaneer – an impressive 11mt rigid inflatable boat with a top speed of 50 knots – which was launched last year, expanding the capacity of this important team.

Child sexual abuse is a horrible and damaging crime which sadly technology is helping to facilitate, and another early priority of mine was to make sure the Force had the specialist teams in place to deal with this.

I secured funding to enable the creation of the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) in my first term of office, and three additional officers joined the team early into my second term.

Supporting communities

I’m also proud to have been able to support residents across Dorset, particularly our veterans’ communities.

A huge proportion of the county’s population has served or grown up in Forces families, but sadly there are a disproportionate number of veterans nationally who are homeless or in prison because of mental health issues such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). My office has funded projects to help former service personnel cope with the transition to civilian life, such as helping create a gym at the Veterans’ Hub in Weymouth.

And it’s important that all our communities here in Dorset are connected with the police officers who serve them. Policing is far more complex than it used to be, with crimes often tackled by specialists rather than local officers patrolling beats. But despite this, those officers still need to have a close relationship with the people they represent.

That’s why I worked with the Force to develop a Neighbourhood Engagement Contract, setting out exactly what neighbourhood officers need to do to engage with local people.

I also made a commitment to retain the Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) role in Dorset. PCSOs form a vital part of neighbourhood policing, providing visible patrols to reassure and engage with the public.

As well as making sure the role stayed in Dorset, at a time when other Forces were getting rid of their PCSOs, I also helped introduce a new Police Community Support Investigator (PCSI) role to help meet the demands of modern policing – recording lower level crimes and carrying out initial investigations to help the Force manage demand.

Tackling fly tipping

Much of my work has been about trying to bring the right people together, and this is what I did to tackle fly tipping.

This is a blight that causes a nuisance to residents, makes neighbourhoods look run down and creates health hazards, and there is often public confusion over just who is responsible. It’s a problem that needs a partnership response, and I held a Problem Solving Forum to bring these partners together and come up with new ideas.

Many innovations to come out of that meeting have now been put into place, including creating a Dorset Fly Tipping Group to form a more coordinated response, while Dorset Police has agreed to provide additional investigative support to bring serious offenders to justice.

This was never going to be a comprehensive list, but I hope it gives you brief insight into what I’ve done over the last nine years.

Once again, I want to thank you all for the support you have given me as your PCC.
Remember, elections for my successor take place on May 6. Please remember to make sure you’re registered to vote so you can have your say on the future of policing.

Martyn Underhill
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner

Message Sent By:
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

March 23, 2021

Worried About Getting Hacked?

Over 15,000 hacked email and social media accounts reported in one year.

If a hacker got into your email or social media account, what would they find? Health and banking information? Names and contact details for your friends and family? Private photos and messages? For most people, it’s at least one of those.

Your email and social media accounts contain a wealth of personal information about you, which makes them a lucrative target for cyber criminals. Between February 2020 and February 2021, Action Fraud received 15,214 reports about email and social media account hacking. The majority of reports (88%) were made by individuals, with 12% of reports being made by businesses. Analysis of the crime reports revealed that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most affected social media accounts, with phishing messages being the most common tactic used by cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting victims.

The motivation behind the hacks are varied and can range from financial gain, to revenge or personal amusement. Some victims are extorted for money, whilst others have their accounts used to send malicious links to their contacts. One victim who had multiple email and social media accounts hacked paid over £2,000 to regain access to them. Another victim reported that her hacked Facebook account was used to trick her friends into sending money into a PayPal account they thought belonged to her.

Secure your email and social media accounts in just a few minutes. Here's what you need to do:

1: Use a strong and separate password for your email, as well as other important accounts, such as your banking or social media accounts.

2: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). It will help to stop hackers from getting into your online accounts, even if they have your password.

3: If you can't access your account, search the company's online support or help pages. You'll find information about how to recover your account.

For detailed instructions on how to reset your password or enable 2FA on your accounts, visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/secureyouraccounts

(Please forward this email to any friends, family members or colleagues that may find this information useful)

Message Sent By:
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

March 18, 2021

A Message from Deputy Chief Constable Scott Chilton and Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill Regarding Violence Against Women

Dorset Police Deputy Chief Constable Scott Chilton and Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill are issuing a message to Dorset's communities about violence against women.

"Over the last week many people in our communities have understandably felt the need to speak out about their experiences and fears of violence, abuse or harassment in this country.

"We acknowledge that this is a very real and concerning problem in our own communities in Dorset and we recognise that people are worried.

"We would like to reassure everyone that we understand your concerns and we are listening to them.

"It is completely unacceptable for women of any age to feel unsafe whether they are at home, on the streets, in school or at work.

"This is a problem that directly affects half of our communities and we need to ensure women and all in our communities are safe and feel safe. It is paramount that we as a police service are part of the solution, stand alongside women and girls in our communities and bring about real change that will benefit generations to come.

"Dorset Police remains absolutely committed to protecting everyone from violence and society as a whole must play their part in stopping this. We take reports of violence, harassment and assault very seriously. We will investigate these reports and do everything we can, working with partners across the criminal justice system, to bring offenders to justice. We will continue to work with those people affected to better understand the impact on them and how we can improve our response.

"As always, we encourage anyone who has been the victim of rape, sexual assault, abuse or harassment to have the confidence to report it to us. We are here for you."

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

March 11, 2021

Dog Theft Survey

Neighbourhood Watch Network is supporting Sussex's Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, who, in partnership with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), has created an online survey designed to understand the public’s perception of dog theft, enforcement, and the prosecution of offenders.

The survey includes a question seeking views on whether dogs should be treated in law merely as property when they are stolen. Having a common understanding of how the public feels about this issue will help inform discussions that PCCs and NWN will have nationally, as well as allow police forces to better understand the public’s views.

Mrs Bourne said: "Pet theft, dog theft in particular, is a growing concern for the public and their fear has been perpetuated over the last couple of weeks with shocking reports in the media of more dogs being snatched by criminals.

"I am incredibly eager to get more detail around this issue and understand residents’ views and if they feel more could be done to respond to their concerns or for more preventative measures to be put in place to better protect their pets.”

Neighbourhood Watch Network have just been approached to help support this campaign so apologies for the short notice as the survey closes on Friday12th March. Please, if you can, and haven't already, take a couple of minutes to complete the survey as your support and views are really valuable to us.

Link to survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogtheft

Kind regards


Message Sent By:
Central Support Team (NWN, Neighbourhood Watch Network, England and Wales)

March 4, 2021

Covid-19 Message from Assistant Chief Constable To Communities In Dorset

Dorset Police’s Assistant Chief Constable is issuing a message to the county’s communities to encourage them to continue to follow the COVID-19 restrictions.

The country remains in full National Lockdown, which means people are being asked to stay at home and only leave for a limited number of reasonable excuses including shopping for basic necessities, going to work and to exercise locally.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya said: “While people are allowed to leave home to exercise, the Government is asking the public to stay local when doing so. This means staying in your village or town and not travelling further to other areas because you’d like to visit your favourite beauty spot.

“No matter how challenging it may be, it is really important for everyone to continue to follow the rules over the coming months. We all have a responsibility to stick to the restrictions to ensure that we can move forward and not have to take a step back.

“I am really grateful to the large majority of our communities for behaving so responsibly. The Government has announced its roadmap for how lockdown restrictions will be gradually lifted this spring and summer and it is reassuring to know that we should soon be able to see our friends and family, take trips away and enjoy meals out.”

Officers are continuing to carry out patrols across Dorset to ensure that people are sticking to the rules. On Saturday 27 February and Sunday 28 February 2021 officers were called to Lulworth and Durdle Door following reports that car parks in the area were extremely busy.

On Sunday more than 100 vehicles had to be turned around due to the sheer volume of traffic in the area. In total 31 people were reported for breaching the travel rules over a five-hour period.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya continued: “We are aware that this weekend a number of people travelled from outside of Dorset to visit popular beauty spots in Purbeck and officers had to turn a large number of cars around and issue fixed penalty notices to some. I would like to reassure Dorset residents that our dedicated Op Tattoo officers are continuing to patrol these areas and the main routes into the county to ensure that people are sticking to the rules and keeping our communities safe.

“We will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules, however if blatant breaches take place we will move to enforcement.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 26, 2021

Missing Bournemouth Woman Located

Officers searching for missing Bournemouth woman April Howatt are very pleased to confirm that she has been found safe and well.

The 57-year-old was reported missing having last been seen just before 4pm on Tuesday 23 February 2021 in the area of the Kings Park Hospital.

Following enquiries and searches by officers, she has now been located in the Bournemouth area.

We would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 25, 2021

Renewed Appeal In Search For Missing Bournemouth Woman

Officers searching for a missing Bournemouth woman are issuing a renewed image to help locate her.

April Howatt, who is 57 years old, was last seen just before 4pm on Tuesday 23 February 2021 at Kings Park Hospital. When she left there, she was due to take a bus home, but has not returned as expected.

She is described as white, five feet two inches tall and of stocky build. She is wearing a black skirt, a purple top and fishnet stockings and has a lot of hair clips in her hair. She normally uses a metal pole as a walking stick.

Chief Inspector Greg Tansill, of Dorset Police, said: “We are continuing to carry out a number of enquiries to try and locate April as it is unusual for her not to return home.

“We have now obtained a recent image of April from when she attended her appointment at Kings Park Hospital that shows the clothing she was wearing on the day she went missing.

View image here : https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/article/11918

“I would like to renew my appeal for anyone who has seen April, or a woman matching the description given, to please get in touch. We urgently need to find her to ensure she is safe and well.”

Anyone with information or knowledge as to April's whereabouts is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210030844.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

A Thank You To Volunteers

Public sector organisations across Dorset are paying tribute to all volunteers who have given their time and expertise for free during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands of people across the county have provided an invaluable contribution to the emergency services and public services response during an unprecedented and challenging time.

Providing vital support to some of our most vulnerable residents, volunteer action includes delivering shopping and food parcels, collecting medication, coordinating hot meals and foodbanks, befriending phone calls, managing money, patient transport, doorstep chats to help with loneliness.

Chief Constable James Vaughan of Dorset Police, said: “I have been amazed at the level of commitment, dedication and selflessness shown by all the volunteers who have played such a huge part in the Dorset Local Resilience Forum’s COVID-19 response. “From coordinating the delivery of food parcels and medicine, to supporting care homes and the fantastic volunteer provision at the Bournemouth International Centre’s vaccination site, these men and women have stepped up and offered their time to help our communities through a very tough and difficult year. “I would like to thank them all on behalf of the residents of Dorset – our partnership response to this pandemic would not have been as successful without them.”
Cllr Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for COVID-19 Resilience and Public Health at BCP Council, said: “The work of volunteers during the pandemic has been incredible. So many people have stepped up to support others, whether helping with vital collections and deliveries, supporting the vaccination programme, offering a much-needed listening ear to those who have needed it or sharing their time in numerous other ways.

“We are enormously grateful to each and every volunteer for the time and energy they have given to support our community.”

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of our amazing volunteers for all that you have done and all that you continue to do to help our communities.

“The strength and resilience that you have shown has been outstanding. We could not have achieved all that we have, had it not have been for you.

“I encourage anyone who would like to volunteer to sign up. Although the Prime Minister has set out the roadmap for ending lockdown restrictions, many people may still be nervous about going out, but we are all in this together and we will get through this by supporting each other.”

Volunteers have also been helping out in hospitals and across the vaccination sites including GP-led hubs, hospitals and the large vaccination centre at the BIC, which alone has seen nearly 2,000 people sign up to give support 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Kate Harvey, the Dorset HealthCare Service Director responsible for the large vaccination centre in Bournemouth, said: “Volunteers have played an integral part in the roll-out of the vaccination programme and in many of our other services. They have been wonderful at welcoming and supporting our patients, keeping them at ease and guiding them through the process. They work absolutely side-by-side with our staff, and the vaccination programme just wouldn’t have been possible without them – our volunteers are fantastic and deserve a huge thank you!”

Chief Nursing Officer at Dorset County Hospital Nicky Lucey said: “Our volunteers have been absolutely amazing. They have been key in supporting the COVID-19 vaccination programme rollout and have brought with them an energy that has been inspiring and uplifting for our staff.

“They have also continued to volunteer across the hospital during the ongoing pandemic, bringing their passion for the community to the forefront. I am humbled and grateful for their support and thank them immensely on behalf of everyone at Dorset County Hospital.”

A partnership approach has been the key to success across the county. Both councils, NHS and emergency services along with the voluntary and community sector collaborated from the start to make sure people could get the help they needed.

Area Manager Seth Why, from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Over the last year, personnel from across our organisation have taken on roles very different to their usual day job. This has included driving ambulances, fitting facemasks for colleagues in the health and social care sector, delivering food parcels and now supporting the mass vaccination centres. This willingness to help has been reflected across our communities, and I sincerely thank everyone who has offered their time and enthusiasm to support other people.”

People of all ages regularly volunteer in Dorset and their work across the county is invaluable. Volunteering also brings its own reward. It can increase a person’s wellbeing, bring a closer connection to local communities, and provide new skills and experience.

The commitment and dedication volunteers have shown to help local people during the pandemic is outstanding and something we can be very proud of in Dorset.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 19, 2021

Message Sent on Behalf of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority - consultation of draft Community Safety Plan 2021-24

We are consulting on our draft Community Safety Plan, which sets out the key challenges and risks facing us over the coming years. With future financial uncertainty, the plan details what we intend to carry on doing and what we intend to review and do differently, in order to continue to provide a high level of service to our communities.

Working with others is central to how we deliver our services, and this will continue to be at the heart of everything we do. For that reason, we invite you to visit our website to view our draft plan and the accompanying video, which provides a short overview.

If the link does not work please cut and paste the following into your browser:

The consultation period runs from 17 February until 13 May 2021 and we would welcome your feedback, through a short set of questions on our website. If you wish to raise anything specific, or require any further assistance in accessing the information, please email us directly at consultation@dwfire.org.uk.

Kind regards

Cllr Rebecca Knox Ben Ansell
Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority Chief Fire Officer

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 12, 2021

Appeal For Information After Scam In Bournemouth

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward after a man was scammed and subsequently received threats and racially abusive messages in Bournemouth.

On Monday 8 February 2021 the victim, a man aged in his 20s, purchased a phone through Facebook Marketplace, which was advertised as an iPhone.

When he opened the sealed box for the phone, he discovered it was a fake and contacted the seller. He arranged to meet them at an address in Christchurch Road the following day to get a refund.

The seller never showed up and the victim and his partner subsequently received threats to damage their property and racially abusive messages on the number they had given to arrange the refund.

Police Constable Ryan Greenwell, of Bournemouth police, said: “This incident left the victim several hundred pounds out of pocket and he and his partner also received some very abusive messages from those involved.

“We are carrying out a full investigation to identify those responsible and I would appeal to anyone with information that might assist our enquiries to please contact us.

“I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have been the victim of a similar scam when purchasing phones or other items locally via social media.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210023920. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 11, 2021

Appeal For Information After Elderly Man Scammed In East Dorset

Officers investigating an incident where an elderly man was scammed out of thousands of pounds in East Dorset are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

At around 11.30am on Monday 8 February a man aged in his 80s from Alderholt received a call from a man claiming to be a detective from Manchester police and asked for their assistance in catching a man who had obtained a large amount of counterfeit money from the victim’s local bank.

He was put through to a woman claiming to be from the bank before he spoke to the man again, who asked the victim to withdraw £7,000 from the bank so police could check whether it was genuine or not.

The victim was only able to withdraw £5,000 and arrangements were made for someone to come and pick the money up.

At around 2.30pm on Monday 8 February 2021 a black man wearing a face mask came and collected the money.

Two further similar incidents were reported in the Alderholt area – one on Thursday 28 January 2021 and one on Monday 8 February 2021 – where elderly residents were contacted by people claiming to be from the police and asked to withdraw money, but on these occasions no money was handed over.

Fraud investigator Shane Cherrett, of Dorset Police, said: “We are carrying out a full investigation into these matters and I am appealing for anyone with information that might assist our enquiries to please come forward.

“We believe the man who collected the money may have been waiting in the Alderholt area on the afternoon of Monday 8 February 2021 and I would ask for anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the vicinity to please contact us.

“Finally I would urge people to make sure any vulnerable elderly family members, loved ones or neighbours are aware of this scam. Anyone who is contacted in similar circumstances is asked to please report it to us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210023725. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

Stay Local and Explore from Your Door

Dorset Police is joining forces with partner agencies in the county to ask the public to stay local and explore from their door this February half term rather than travel to Dorset.

With the country still in tightened restrictions as part of the National Lockdown, people must only leave their homes for a limited number of reasons. This includes to shop for essential items, to go to work if you cannot work from home, to exercise, meet support or childcare bubbles, seek emergency help or attend education or childcare.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “While the number of daily cases continue to fall, over 110,000 people have tragically lost their lives in the UK from COVID-19. We must stick with the rules and not become complacent or lose sight of why these restrictions are in place – to reduce the spread of the disease, protect the NHS and save lives.

“While the legislation allows people to travel locally to carry out their daily exercise with members of their household or one other person, there has been much discussion about what ‘local’ means. The Government states that local means staying within your village, town or city. It does not mean travelling for over 100 miles from out of the county to visit Dorset’s beaches, countryside or beauty spots. This is not within the spirit of the legislation. We know people love to visit Dorset, but trips here will have to wait and we are encouraging people to stay local and explore from their door. Disappointingly we have still seen people travelling for over 100 miles to visit our beauty spots. Travelling to stay in second homes or other rentals is also not allowed at this time.

“Our officers will be continuing their daily patrols on the main arterial routes in and through Dorset, as well as at popular beauty spots, and will be speaking to motorists about their journeys. If people are found to have travelled unnecessarily and in blatant breach of the rules, they could be handed a £200 fine and turned around.”

Between 27 March 2020 and 17 January 2021, Dorset Police issued a total of 1,083 fixed penalty notices (FPNs). Since 6 January 2021 almost 200 FPNs have been issued in the county. Between 6 January 2021 and 17 January 2021, 40 per cent of the FPNs were handed to people who live outside Dorset. During all three national lockdowns – 23 March 2020 and 17 January 2021 – 76.3 per cent of the total FPNs issued were handed to those living out of the county.

Last week the Force received 376 COVID-19-related reports. Examples of recent breaches include people travelling from as far away as London to surf off the Dorset coast and five people were fined after driving from Leicester to Lulworth to look at the coastline.

The number of people currently travelling on the county’s roads is far higher than that experienced in the first lockdown. On 1 February 2021, traffic flow in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area was 35 per cent lower than the same time the previous year and 72 per cent higher than the first lockdown. In the Dorset area it was around 39 per cent lower than the same time last year, but 94 per cent higher than the first lockdown.

Councillor Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for COVID-19 Resilience and Public Health at BCP Council, said: “We know families are facing a challenge as they look ahead to half term and think about how to keep everyone entertained. However, COVID-19 is still very much a real threat in our communities so it’s vital people stick to the rules and stay at home.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole when it’s safe to do so but for now, please play your part in helping to stop the spread of this deadly virus and if you do head out for exercise, stay local.”

Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who is continuing to follow Government advice to stay at home where possible. It is more important than ever that we all carry on acting responsibly, as the large majority of residents are doing in Dorset. We know how hard this lockdown is, with us all being affected by the restrictions in some way, but the light really is at the end of the tunnel as vaccines are rolled out every day to our most vulnerable people and front line workers. Please, continue to stay home and stay local this half term.”

Area Manager Seth Why, of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We completely understand and would like to encourage the public to get outside with their children this half term, but we also need everyone to respect the guidelines and stay local. We’re incredibly fortunate to have some of the most beautiful sites in the country on our doorsteps, but we still shouldn’t be making unnecessary journeys outside our village, town or city. These beauty spots aren’t going anywhere!

“Explore from your door, protect the NHS, save lives.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 9, 2021

Image Appeal Following Animal Cruelty Incident In Christchurch

Officers investigating an animal cruelty and public order incident in Christchurch are issuing images of a man they would like to speak to.

At around 9.30am on Monday 25 January 2021 a woman attended Central convenience store in Bure Lane, Mudeford, and left her dog – a small French Bulldog – outside with her mother and young son.

When the woman came out she was informed an unknown man had approached the dog and kicked it with some force to the stomach before going into the shop.

She went back in and challenged the man, who became aggressive and verbally abusive toward her.

Police Constable Jon Park, of Dorset Police, said: “This was a distressing incident for the woman as well as her family members who witnessed the attack on the dog.

“We are making enquiries into this matter and I am issuing images of a man who we would like to speak to as part of our investigation.

View images here:https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/article/11816

“I would urge anyone who has information as to his identity to please contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210015827. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 6, 2021

Long Term Partnership Project To Improve Services For Rape and Serious Sexual Assault Victims

This week organisations across the country have been raising awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence and the services that exist to help victims come forward and get help.

The national campaign has the hashtag #ItsNotOK. Dorset Police is also taking the opportunity to highlight a long-term partnership project aimed at improving services offered to those who report rape and other serious sexual assaults.

Developed in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and neighbouring Hampshire Constabulary and Wiltshire Police, the Wessex Tri-force Action Plan includes the introduction of a range of measures designed to increase victim confidence in the criminal justice system, and to ensure that victims receive the best possible support and care whilst investigations and prosecutions take place. The aim is to improve the outcomes for victims of rape and serious sexual assaults in both in terms of justice and of well-being.

Dorset Police’s Chief Constable James Vaughan has welcomed this improvement plan. He said: “We appreciate that it can be the hardest thing in the world for someone to come forward and disclose rape, abuse or historic offences.Dorset Police supports victims and works toward the very best outcome for them, but the Action Plan provides an opportunity to work with partners and internally to improve those processes and remove perceived barriers to reporting. “Our aim is to improve the experience for those who engage with the service at every point in their journey through the system, respecting their privacy and safeguarding them from further abuse at every step.”

Information about the support services for victims of sexual and sexual abuse can be found here: www.dorset.police.uk/rape-sexual-assault

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 4, 2021

Overall Crime Continues To Drop For Dorset Police

Dorset Police has seen a 6.1 per cent drop in recorded crime, according to new figures released on Wednesday 3 February 2021.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics, shows the Force has continued to see a drop in overall crime for the third consecutive quarter.

In early 2020 Dorset Police received a ‘Good’ grading from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) for accurate crime recording, which means the reduction of 6.1 per cent during the 12 months to the end of September 2020 is a real reduction, and gives us the ninth lowest crime rate in England and Wales.

A reduction within some crime types has very likely been impacted by COVID-19 and national restrictions requiring people to stay home during the first lockdown. Even with some crime returning to expected levels during the summer months, the overall reduction enabled the Force to proactively focus on the crimes that affect the most vulnerable members of our communities, such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and county lines.

Deputy Chief Constable Scott Chilton said Dorset remains one of the safest counties in the country to live and visit.

He continued: “2020 was an unprecedented and difficult year for everyone. National lockdown restrictions meant that while overall crime fell in Dorset, our officers and staff faced new challenges in enforcing Government stay at home guidelines. Our excellent officers and police staff not only rose to this challenge, but they also ensured business as usual was maintained. Crimes continued to be investigated so that offenders could be brought to justice and our communities were kept safe.

“All crime matters to our communities and we will maintain our focus on providing an outstanding service to the people of Dorset, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

“Reducing crime is important to everyone and I hope this latest reduction will help to reassure our communities that we are working with them and our partners to focus on what matters.”

The total number of crimes reduced from 54,387 to 51,088 over the 12-month period, a reduction of 4.3 crimes per 1,000 population.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset residents should be greatly reassured by these figures which demonstrate once again that not only do they live in one of the UK’s safest counties, but one in which crime levels are continuing to fall.

“I’d like to praise all our dedicated officers, staff members and volunteers who have worked so hard through this incredibly difficult period to make sure our residents continue to be kept safe.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

Dorset Police Show Support For First Race Equality Week In the UK

“The UK’s first Race Equality Week began on Monday 1 February, this UK-wide initiative, launched by Race Equality Matters, aims to unite organisations and individuals to address racial inequality affecting members of the workforce who are of a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse background.

“This important week champions “Silence is no longer an option”, and that only meaningful action will make a difference. We are 100 per cent behind this cause and as a Force we continue to work to stamp out racism, bias and discrimination.

“We understand there is always more that can be done to tackle inequality and facilitate positive change for our communities and for our workforce. The theme for this Race Equality Week is Transparency and action, which play such an important role and influences so much that we do in Dorset Police.

“Never has it been so important for us to tackle racial inequality in our organisation, this past year has highlighted to us that we need to do more. Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, protests and the disproportionate impact of COVID19 has shown us all that racial inequality continues to exist in our communities and we can and must do something to change this.

“We will always act meaningfully and thoroughly to better our organisation and we will never be silent to inequality.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

February 3, 2021

Vehicle Crime

Between 29th January and 3rd February there have been an increase in vehicle crime within the Christchurch area.

Officers are reminding members of the public to be vigilant and not to leave valuables in the vehicles – thieves know all of the hiding places.

We would also advise car owners to park their vehicles in a garage or on a driveway if at all possible.

Follow this link for crime prevention advice on keeping your vehicle safe from thieves - https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Sarah Burton (Dorset Police, PCSO 6093, Central Christchurch)

January 30, 2021

Catalytic Converter Thefts

olice are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after a number of Cat converter thefts from Honda vehicles in the Christchurch area over the last 3-4 days.

Officers would advise car owners to park their vehicles in a garage or on a driveway if at all possible and not to leave any valuables in the vehicle if possible.

Follow this link for crime prevention advice on keeping your vehicle safe from thieves - https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210016229. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Sarah Burton (Dorset Police, PCSO 6093, Central Christchurch)
Design A Croods 2 Inspired Treehouse and Win It For Your Local Community

We are delighted to announce our exciting new partnership with Universal Studios and the Co-op in the launch of The Croods 2: A New Age in the UK. The film (also known as The Croods 2) is a computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures.

The film centres around values of community, neighbourliness, inclusivity, and working together. These are values that are close to the heart of all Neighbourhood Watch supporters, and as part of our initiative to reach more young families and to add to the positive and approachable perceptions of Neighbourhood Watch, the opportunity presented by this partnership was too good to pass up!

The Croods and The Bettermans are thrown together, two very different families who have to learn to live with one another when an evil tribe of monkeys threaten their homes. Once safe from this threat, the Croods and the Bettermans realise that home is not a place, it’s people, and together they create history’s first neighbourhood!

Neighbourhood Watch’s partnership with the film provides the opportunity to reach young families and to promote the importance of neighbourliness and community spirit to new audiences and across diverse communities. We know many young people and their families believe in the values which we stand for and this partnership gives them the introduction to becoming Neighbourhood Watch supporters for life.

WIN! Design a Croods 2 inspired treehouse and win it for your local community

In partnership with ‘The Croods 2: A New Age’ and Co-op, we want children up to the age of 16 to design their very own Croods 2 inspired treehouse for their local community. What’s more, the winning entry will be brought to life and built within a nearby Wildlife Trust location to be enjoyed by the public for years to come!

What do you need to do to enter?

Head over to Co-op Insurance website to download the treehouse template and top tips for entering
Design a Croods 2 inspired treehouse for your local community – it can be as wacky as you want, let your imagination run wild!
You can draw, paint, use computer software or even cave drawings to create your design, but above all be sure to think about how this could be used by the community and bring a lot of fun.
Share the design on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Croods2Treehouse and tag Co-op (@coopukinsurance on Facebook and Twitter) and Neighbourhood Watch Network (Facebook: @ourwatch; Twitter: @N_Watch and Instagram: @neighbourhood.watch.insta) to enter.
The competition closes on 22nd February and the winner will be contacted within 5 days via social media. The treehouse will be built by 26th March, just in time for the film’s release and Easter holidays!
See the attached flyer, or click here, for more details.

How to support the campaign

We rely on the amazing Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and supporters to spread the messages of Neighbourhood Watch and to provide the first step for all people to connect with their neighbours for mutual support, a key strategic goal. We hope that you will promote this campaign within your community and use it to reach more families within your area.

We have secured some amazing prizes to be won over the course of the partnership. See the attached a fun activity pack (or view it on our website here) to keep children entertained whilst they are home schooling. Please feel free to share this with families in your area. If you cannot print at home and would like an activity pack and competition entry template posted directly to your door along with a treehouse template to enter the competition please email croods2@isg.media.

To support this campaign, you can:

SHARE: Follow us on social media to share our posts on the partnership and competitions
Facebook: facebook.com/ourwatch
Twitter: twitter.com/N_watch
Instagram: neighbourhood.watch.insta
INFORM: Share this email and the attached flyer and activity pack with your community. This could be via email, WhatsApp or in your local newsletter
WATCH: Go and see the film (COVID-19 restrictions dependant) when it comes out on the 26th March!

Neighbourhood Watch and Croods 2 special edition logo

The Neighbourhood Watch brand and iconic yellow roundel is undeniably widely recognised across the UK. To celebrate this partnership, we have created a unique and playful adaptation of our logo featuring The Croods and The Bettermans to be used on all material supporting the partnership. We will be using the fresh and fun adapted logo on all our social media channels, within our website and on all materials created for this partnership.

We hope you are as excited as we are by this unique partnership and the opportunity it presents for Neighbourhood Watch to engage young people. If you would like more information visit www.ourwatch.org.uk/croods2 or email Deborah.waller@ourwatch.org.uk

Central Support Team

Croods 2 competition flyer.pdf - 613.4 KB
Croods 2 Childrens Activity Pack.pdf - 11,319.6 KB

Message Sent By:
Deborah Waller (NWN, Senior Digital and Communications Manager, England and Wales)

January 29, 2021

Covid-19 Update

With the current restrictions in place, Dorset Police are seeing an increased demand with reports and concerns around Covid 19 breaches, this is in addition to existing contacts from members of the public who need help.

We would like to remind our communities there are many ways to contact us in a non-emergency and any concerns around Covid 19 breaches can be reported through the online national reporting form.

To make sure communities receive the best service from us, please follow these simple steps when contacting us:

1. Are you wanting to report a breach of Covid 19 restrictions?

If you are reporting a breach of restrictions then you can do this using the national reporting form on the Police.uk website - www.police.uk

2. Go online – dorset.police.uk

On our website you can find the answers to many of the questions people ask when calling the police plus lots of helpful information and advice.

3. Report Crime Online

If you need to report a crime or tell us something, then why not use our online Crime Reporting Form or Request a Call Back. Alternatively, you can email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk

4. Call - 101 Non-emergency number
Remember in an emergency, always call 999.

Please share this message in your communities.
We have created a poster to help people understand the different ways to contact the police – please feel free to share this with your friends, family and colleagues, or print the poster and display in your community. To download the poster please visit our website.

If you are wanting specific advice on current restrictions, please visit the FAQs section on our website which provides all the latest information and advice.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)
How To Avoid the Fake Vaccine Fraudsters

The UK's vaccine roll-out is offering light at the end of the tunnel, but sadly it is being exploited by cyber ciminals. Here, Dorset Police Cyber Crime Protect and Prevention Officer Chris Conroy provides advice about how to avoid these fraudsters.

It’s hard to believe that COVID-19 has been part of our lives for a whole year now. It was late in January 2020 that the UK recorded its first case, and few could ever have imagined what was to follow.

And now, here we are. One year and three national lockdowns later, waiting for the day we can see our friends and family again and forgetting what it’s like to do the things we once took for granted.

Amongst all the turmoil of the last year, there was at least one thing that has remained constant – the unscrupulous nature of cyber criminality. Throughout the pandemic, Dorset Police have warned of scams – fake PPE, fraudulent COVID maps, and Track and Trace scams to name just a few.

Vaccination scams

Now, as the UK embarks on the mammoth task of vaccinating millions of people, fraudsters are finding ways to use the roll-out to their advantage. The vaccines have promised us a light at the end of the tunnel, something to be truly excited about. This is a perfect set-up for scammers.

There’s often a theme when it comes to a scam. Be it an email, a text message, or a face to face exchange, a fraudster will usually try to exploit human emotion. They are experts at creating a sense of urgency, finding a way to short circuit our rational thought, and getting us to act against our better judgement.

The prospect of a COVID vaccine is undoubtedly emotive, so scammers have jumped at the opportunity, sending fraudulent emails about the rollout. These emails vary, with some asking for sensitive personal information, and others asking recipients to pay for their vaccine.

This has led to the NHS providing guidance on what to expect when you are contacted to receive your vaccine.

What to expect:

A letter – Those who are invited to a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy will receive notification in the form of a letter.
An SMS or email – Those who are invited to a local centre, such as a hospital or GP surgery, will usually receive a text message or email. In some cases, however, you may receive a letter.

What to look out for:

There is no charge for the COVID vaccine, which is available for free through the NHS. The NHS will never ask for:

Bank account, card or other payment details.
Banking passwords or PINs
Copies of personal documents to prove your identity, such as your passport, driver's licence, bills or pay slips.

If you receive a letter but do not book an appointment, you may receive a phone call from the NHS Immunisation Management Service.

This call will come from 0300 561 0240.
This call will be a reminder to book your appointment.
The caller will see if you need any help or support but will not book an appointment over the phone.

These tips will go a long way towards helping you avoid falling victim to a COVID vaccine scam but, it you’re not sure if the email you receive is genuine, there are a few things you can do to check.

How to check

Firstly, check the sender’s details. At the top of the email, you might see the sender’s name or an email address.

There is usually the option to expand this section, which we recommend doing. Check any email addresses in that section, keeping an eye out for misspellings. Criminals are crafty and will often swap letters for ones that look alike. For example, a capital I looks a lot like a lower-case L.

Secondly, if there’s a link or a button to click, you can check its true destination before you do so. If you’re using a phone or tablet, you can hold (don’t tap) your finger on a link or button. If you’re using a computer, you can hover your cursor over the button without clicking. This will cause the true destination to appear either in a box or at the bottom of your browser.

If these checks give you cause for concern, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume something isn’t right. After all, if you receive a genuine email and don’t respond, the NHS will call, as detailed above.

If you are suspicious

If you receive what you believe to be a fraudulent email, be sure to report it. Doing so can help keep other people safe. Simply forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. The automated system will do the rest and if it is deemed to be dodgy, the service will take steps to have the site removed.

If you are unfortunate enough to fall for a scam of this nature, please make sure you report it to Action Fraud.

As ever, if you have any questions about cyber safety, please feel free to email us at cybercrimeprevention@dorset.pnn.police.uk.

It’s been a tough year and whist it might be hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel, it is there. If you’re struggling, remember there is always someone to speak to. Organisations like Citizens Advice and Samaritans are helping people with financial and mental health concerns. We’ll get through this.

Until next time, stay safe out there, and please keep following the guidance.

Chris Conroy
Cyber Crime Protect and Prevention Officer
Dorset Police

Message Sent By:
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

Keeping You Safe and Warm During the Covid-19 Pandemic

As we find ourselves in another national lockdown, and while things are far from normal, we hope you’re continuing to stay safe and well at home.

During the unprecedented weeks and months ahead, your safety and the safety of our employees will remain our number one priority. Making sure that all of the gas appliances in your home are regularly checked by a gas safe registered engineer, and having an audible CO alarm in your property will help to ensure you and your family stay safe and warm.

So you're aware, we're continuing to operate the 24/7 National Gas Emergency Service across the south of England and Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our engineers are also carrying out safety-critical work under extra safety precautions to make sure everyone's protected, so you might still see us in your area.

For our latest COVID-19 updates, please visit our website: https://sgn.co.uk/

This pandemic is impacting all our lives, bringing with it challenges to our usual ways of working and home life. If you're finding it tougher adjusting to our new 'normal' and keeping the kids occupied at home, it's worth taking a look at our interactive education materials. Along with George and his friends, they'll learn all about gas, including where it comes from and why we need it in our homes. Our free resources are packed full of cool facts, gas safety tips and fun puzzles.

To find our education materials, please visit our website: https://bit.ly/3eYp1aA

Take care and stay well.

Message Sent By:
Katie Lobban (SGN, Communication, National)

January 28, 2021

Christchurch Neighbourhood Policing Team

Christchurch Neighbourhood Policing Team have visited a victim of rogue traders in Burton this afternoon. The individual came to the door cold calling stating the roof needed to be fixed yesterday morning. Without permission he pulled tiles off and quoted £3000 to repair. The victim refused and called the police. If you have any information about this please call 101. Thank you!

Message Sent By:
Anna Lillywhite (Dorset Police, PCSO 5331, Christchurch West)
Appeal For Information Following Incident Involving Dog In Christchurch

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward following an incident involving a dog in Christchurch.

On Wednesday 6 January 2021 the victim – a local woman aged in her 50s – parked on the slip road in Mudeford woods and began to get her dogs out of her car to go for a walk. The victim noticed a man and a boy nearby who had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and an American Bull Dog that was tied to the fence on an extendable lead.

The American Bull Dog broke free from its lead and ran straight toward the victim and her two dogs.

The lead became wrapped around the victim’s legs and she fell to the ground and hit her head. The victim sustained bruising to several parts of her body and a cut to her hand.

The man is described as white, around 40 years old, approximately five feet five inches tall and of large build with dark coloured receding hair. He was wearing dark jogging bottoms and a jacket.

The American Bull Dog is described as mainly white with tan-coloured patches and was pink underneath. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is described as having black fur that was going grey and is believed to be called Lola.

The incident was reported to Dorset Police on Tuesday 19 January 2021.

Police Constable Jennie Sykes-Martin, of Dorset Police, said: “I appreciate this incident took place at the beginning of January, but I am appealing to anyone who recognises the man or his dogs from the descriptions given to please get in touch.

“I am also keen to hear from anyone who may have any information to assist my enquiries.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210012968. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

January 20, 2021

Force Thanks Public For Staying At Home and Complying With Covid-19 Rules

Dorset Police has thanked members of the public for staying at home and complying with the current COVID-19 legislation.

Throughout the week the Force has continued to monitor plans to protest in Bournemouth on Saturday 16 January 2021.

Just last weekend officers were tasked to the town centre to deal with a number of protestors walking round in smaller groups and then coming together in a ‘flash mob’ style. They successfully disrupted and dispersed the groups and handed out fixed penalty notices, section 35 dispersal orders and made three arrests.

As on previous occasions, efforts were made to engage with the organisers this week to prevent another protest from taking place. Individuals were informed they could face action if they deliberately defied coronavirus regulations.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan, of Dorset Police, said: “I am really grateful to those individuals who have previously been involved in protest activity in the town for doing the right thing this weekend.

“A robust policing plan was in place to ensure that public safety was maintained, however we are thankful that they followed our advice not to protest and stayed at home.

“I fully appreciate the fact that under normal circumstances people have the right to protest under the Human Rights Act, but at this time there is no clear exemption for people to leave home to protest.

“Infection rates remain high in Dorset and our hospitals are nearing maximum capacity. Coronavirus is a deadly disease and we continue to ask everyone to play their part to prevent the spread, protect the NHS and save lives.

“Finally, I would like to thank all our officers and staff for all they do to protect our communities. They, along with all our emergency service colleagues, set an exemplary example of community service, selfless dedication and commitment.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

January 16, 2021

Open Letter To the Communities of Dorset

Communities across Dorset are being asked to keep up the good work in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Agencies tasked with stopping the virus in its tracks have written an open letter to everyone across the county thanking them for their efforts and urging them to keep following the restrictions.

Local authorities, NHS services, police, fire, utilities and voluntary and community sector organisations, under the banner of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF), are speaking with one voice.

Dorset Police Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “I am writing as chair of the Local Resilience Forum Strategic Coordinating Group to personally thank you, on behalf of all partners, for your unwavering support as we continue to tackle the challenges of dealing with this worldwide pandemic.

“Since March last year agencies from across Dorset have come together and are currently meeting three times a week to ensure we provide a multi-agency approach to this emergency and to support our local communities during these very challenging times.

“It is certain that a lot has changed in policing during this time. Asking people to stay at home and limiting people’s social interaction is something our officers and staff never thought they would ever have to do.

“As new restrictions and rules have been imposed by the Government, we have had to adapt quickly to these changes, and I remain so very proud of our officers, staff and volunteers for the way they have supported our communities. I believe we have taken a measured approach before carrying out any enforcement and have recognised these restrictions placed on all our lives are unprecedented.

“However, the stubborn minority of people refusing to abide by the regulations will be dealt with robustly.

“I would like to personally thank the good people of Dorset for your support as we continue to police this pandemic. We know from the messages we have received from many of you, particularly on social media, that the vast majority understands the gravity of the situation we are in and that you agree and support our approach to policing, especially with regards to recent protests in Bournemouth.

“We have always policed by consent in the UK and throughout the last year we have listened to local voices and this has influenced how we have policed this pandemic. In most of our daily encounters, it has been enough to engage with people, explain the rules and encourage compliance. The majority of the public have worked with us and I thank them for that.

“You are all aware that nationally and locally the situation is extremely serious. Thousands of people are losing their lives each week. Our NHS colleagues in Dorset are struggling to cope with the demand being placed upon them and are putting themselves at risk every day to protect the lives of others. The number of people in Dorset’s hospitals battling coronavirus has doubled since New Year’s Eve and it is anticipated we have not yet reached the peak.

“We need to keep working together and continue to have the collective approach across the county we have seen, from the majority, since the first lockdown began. It is only if we do this that we will beat the virus and save lives.”

As we continue to all live within these restrictions we wanted to share these collective messages:

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of people living in Dorset have followed the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines to keep themselves and others safe. It is only during the past couple of weeks that we’ve started to see higher numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Dorset Council area, and it’s possible the new variant of the virus is causing that.

“Can I offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has followed the rules, and urge you to keep doing so at this challenging time. Please stay at home where possible, stay safe, and together we’ll get through this.”

Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and BCP Councils, said: “I would like to thank people across Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole who have been following the rules to protect the public’s health, month after month.

“No one wants to be in a lockdown for the third time, but unfortunately this is the only choice we have to constrain coronavirus. Stopping social mixing is the best way we can collectively tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and do our bit to stop transmission levels rising.

“We are still seeing high case numbers particularly across the BCP Council area so please keep doing what you are doing. Stay at home unless it’s for essential reasons, like shopping for food or going to medical appointments – including getting your vaccine. We need everyone to follow the rules, it is the only way that we will break transmission and start to bring our coronavirus cases down.”

Cllr Drew Mellor, Council Leader at BCP Council, said: “We know this lockdown is incredibly hard for many and would like to say thank you to all those who are following restrictions and playing their part in stopping the spread of this deadly virus.

“Case numbers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have been rising at an alarming rate over recent weeks, and the single most important action we can all take is to stay at home. People across our community are making huge sacrifices – whether they are facing loneliness, struggling with home-schooling, dealing with a business suffering or missing the social interaction they value so much in day-to-day life – and we are extremely grateful for that. Please also remember that support is available for those who need it, so don’t be afraid to ask.”

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell, from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our priority at all times is to help keep our communities and our staff safe. We are grateful to everyone complying with the lockdown restrictions, and following the hands-face-space guidance, which helps us achieve this priority.

“As a service we are doing all we can to support our partners during the pandemic – for example, firefighters have been driving ambulances for many months now and staff across our service have been supporting NHS and other care workers by fitting face masks for them, as well as continuing with normal fire and rescue activities.

“We all need to keep pulling together to get through this difficult crisis and continued support from the public is central to this.”

Dorset Police Chief Constable James Vaughan continued: “Our joint message is very clear – please stay at home. We are all doing as much as we can to support you and to protect the health of your family, friends and communities. Please play your part in helping us to help you.”

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

Further Update In Relation To Reported Restaurant Bilking In Christchurch

An incident where two people allegedly made off from a Christchurch restaurant without paying their bill has been resolved.

At around 9pm on Wednesday 23 December 2020 a man and woman entered Soho in Church Street and ordered food and drink to the value of £68.25. It is reported they left the premises around an hour later without paying their bill.

Following an appeal, the matter has now been resolved and the outstanding value of the bill has been paid to the restaurant. After consulting with victim and taking their wishes into account, no further police action will be taken in relation to this incident.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

January 14, 2021

Missing Woman from Bournemouth Located

Officers searching for a woman who went missing in Bournemouth are pleased to confirm she has been located.

Katie Hunt, aged 27, was last seen in the Westbourne area at around 8.15pm on Friday 8 January 2021.

Following enquiries, she has now been located. We would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

Dorset Police Launch Domestic Abuse Awareness Campaign

Dorset Police is launching a campaign to raise awareness around domestic abuse and the emotional and psychological impact of controlling and coercive behaviour.

The campaign also aims to reassure people that they will still have access to vital police and support services despite restrictions related to COVID-19. Victims can also often see an increase in domestic abuse over Christmas and New Year.

The campaign will use a poem, released verse by verse at regular intervals throughout the campaign, to illustrate the story arc of an abusive relationship. These relationships often have a very positive and exciting beginning, but sadly descend into abuse.

The poem will use contributions from survivors of domestic abuse, which will be invited via social media. People will be able to watch the poem develop and see the completed poem at the end of the campaign via social media and the Force website.

Once completed, the poem will be turned into a video featuring survivors of abuse. The video will then be used to help further raise awareness around abusive relationships and encourage those suffering abuse to report to police and to seek help.

Domestic abuse is about control. Bullying and manipulation are used to control and coerce a victim into submission.

Sergeant Alan Marks, of Dorset Police, said: “It’s been a tough year for all of us dealing with COVID-19 virus. Sadly, things may have become worse for those suffering abuse, especially having to live through periods of lockdown.

“This lack of contact with the outside world, as well as being confined with their abuser may well have made things even worse for those in abusive relationships. The cycle of violence may also intensify with people having to isolate themselves and being unable to socialise in the normal ways.

“We hope this campaign will encourage those suffering abuse to seek help from both police and partner agencies. It is important that victims know how and where to get advice and support. We encourage people to report any incidents by phone or online via the Force website.”

Domestic abuse survivor, Becky (not her real name) said: ‘‘As a survivor of abuse with a young child, I have experienced the type of cruelty and manipulation an abuser uses to control a victim.

“At first my ex was a real gentleman and a good listener. The abuse started with him criticizing me for spending money on my nails, then we started arguing and the name calling began. Then it got more physical and he made threats to hurt me more. The abuse was a combination of physical, emotional and psychological abuse. I felt as if I could do nothing right. He moved us away from friends and family. I didn’t drive at the time either so felt really isolated. It all ended very violently and I was lucky to escape with my life.

“I know that other people experience similar things in an abusive relationship, and I’m keen that others don’t suffer what I did, which is why I am supporting this campaign. I hope that by creating this poem, people will understand how abuse happens and get help if they are in an abusive relationship.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill, said: “The pandemic has had a particularly corrosive impact on victims of domestic abuse, leaving them much more isolated and forcing them to stay at home with their abusers.

“As we get used to the harsh realities of the third lockdown, it’s vital victims realise help is out there for them and they don’t have to put up with abuse of any kind. In announcing the new restrictions, the Prime Minister even listed escaping domestic abuse as one of the legal reasons for leaving your home during the lockdown – highlighting just how serious this issue is.

“I ask anyone who is suffering – listen to the message of this campaign, report any incidents and please realise you do not have to suffer.”

Katie Bielec, Manager The You First Trust, added: "You First have continued to support those in Dorset who have experienced domestic abuse throughout the pandemic. Domestic abuse is about power and control over another and the lockdown provided an environment where victims became prisoners within their own homes. This campaign will provide important information for those experiencing abuse, as well as signposting to help.

“We saw an increase of enquiries to our service from family and friends who were concerned for loved ones. We adapted to become more easily accessible for those who may not have had the ability to see others or make a call. Our support has changed to fit these difficult times to ensure those within our communities have someone to speak to and seek support.”

The campaign will be rolled out via digital channels and will include mobile phone banner messaging. Signposting to help with be provided to the Dorset Police website, (www.dorset.police.uk/da), which lists the agencies that can provide help and support.
The campaign aims both to raise awareness that domestic abuse may increase with people self isolating, and to reassure people that help is available during these unprecedented times.

Crime can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via its website – www.crimestoppers-uk.org

The situation continues to change rapidly so for up to date advice on the Covid-19 virus please visit the Force website – www.dorset.police.uk and www.gov.uk

Help and advice around domestic abuse, together with a list of agencies who can help can found at: www.dorset.police.uk/da

The You First Trust: 24 hour Freephone number (0800 032 5204) or via social media (Twitter: @YouFirstUK; facebook.com/YouFirstTogether).

In an emergency, always dial 999.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

Message To Support Public Health

We are in a national lockdown which means we all need to stay at home.

Don’t take risks. 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms. You could pass on the virus without knowing.

The single most important thing you can do is to stay home and avoid meeting up with anyone you don’t live with.

It is the best way to contain the virus, protect our NHS services and save lives.

Thank you.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

January 13, 2021

Appeal For Information As Officers Search For Woman Who Went Missing In Bournemouth

Officers searching for a woman who went missing in Bournemouth are appealing for help from members of the public to find her.

Katie Hunt, aged 27, was last seen in the Westbourne area at around 8.15pm on Friday 8 January 2021.

View image here: https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/article/11666

She is described as white, around five feet six inches tall and of medium build with long brown hair. Katie was last seen wearing a brown waterproof coat, red and black tartan leggings and grey Vans shoes.

Inspector Greg Tansill, of Bournemouth police, said: “We are concerned for Katie’s welfare as she has not returned to her accommodation for a number of days and has not been seen by her family. We are keen to locate her to ensure she is all right.

“I am appealing to anyone with information as to her whereabouts, or who sees a woman matching the description given, to please contact us.

“I would also appeal to Katie directly if you see this appeal – please make contact with us or your family and let us know where you are as we just want to check that you are safe and well.”

Anyone with information or knowledge as to Katie’s whereabouts is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210003747.

Message Sent By:
Julie Heath (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Dorset)

January 10, 2021

Force Condemns Irresponsible Behaviour of Protestors In Bournemouth

Dorset Police’s Chief Constable has condemned the actions of protestors who breached COVID-19 lockdown legislation, which has been put in place to keep people safe and save lives.

During the week, the Force became aware of plans for protest activity in Bournemouth on Saturday 9 January 2021. There were repeated attempts to engage with the organisers to request that they did not go ahead with the planned protest, but this was not successful.

This action did however lead to the individuals changing their approach resulting in protesters walking around in smaller groups.

Officers attended the town centre to disrupt the protest and disperse the smaller groups. Three people have been arrested on suspicion of breach of the COVID-19 regulations for failing to provide their details to officers. At least seven fixed penalty notices were issued to individuals for breaching the coronavirus regulations. In addition to this more than ten section 35 dispersal orders were issued.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “I condemn the actions of these selfish individuals who knowingly flouted the lockdown restrictions to carry out this protest activity. Their reckless actions come at a time when our county is facing its highest number of cases since the beginning of this pandemic.

“Nationally and locally the situation is dire. On Friday alone at least 68,000 people contracted the virus in the UK and tragically 1,325 people died.

“Our NHS colleagues in Dorset are struggling to cope with the demand being placed upon them and are putting themselves at risk every day to protect the lives of others. The number of people in Dorset’s hospitals battling coronavirus has doubled since New Year’s Eve and it is anticipated we have not yet reached the peak.

“Our county is gripped with infections and yet these irresponsible individuals have ignored what is being asked of them and have left their homes to protest. Shame on them.

“I fully appreciate the fact that under normal circumstances people have the right to protest under the Human Rights Act. Now is not that time, people are dying. I want the people of Dorset to know that there is no clear exemption for people to leave home to protest and it will simply not be tolerated. Not only did these people put themselves, their families and the public at risk of infection, they also put our officers at risk while they policed it. I know the vast majority of the public in Dorset support our stance.

“Enough is enough. These people need to stop and recognise the gravity of the situation we are all facing and go home.

“We must not forget the good people of Dorset who are doing their very best, yet again, to follow these stay at home restrictions, protect the NHS and save lives. I fully understand the stresses and strain this third lockdown will have on everyone, but I would like to thank the vast majority of our communities for behaving so responsibly and coming together to protect each other.

“Finally, I would like to say how proud I am of our officers and staff, along with all our emergency service colleagues and other key workers, for all they are doing at this extremely difficult time.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I fully respect people’s right to protest, which is fully enshrined in our culture and laws. However, we are in an escalating situation and public services have never been so strained. It is completely irresponsible for people to come together to make their protests at this time. I support Dorset Police in their tougher stance. Please stay at home and help us keep Dorset safe.”

Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and BCP Councils, said: “I would like to thank the majority of people across Dorset, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole who have been following the rules to protect the public’s health, month after month.

“But now is the most risky time of all throughout the whole pandemic, with our hospital services close to being overwhelmed. Infection rates locally have been doubling in less than a week. If this carries on, our hospitals will not be able to cope with caring for those needing life-saving treatment.

“No-one wants to be in a lockdown for the third time but unfortunately this is the only choice we have to constrain coronavirus. I don’t believe that anyone with personal experience of just how seriously ill this virus can make people, would be breaching lockdown willingly. You can have the virus and spread it without having symptoms. Stay at home means exactly that - no-one should be leaving home unless for essential reasons like shopping for food, care or for exercise. This is the only way that we will break transmission and start to bring our coronavirus cases down.”

Message Sent By:
News Office (Dorset Police, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

January 9, 2021

Alert - Coronavirus Vaccination Scams

As of 7 January 2021, Action Fraud had received 57 reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations. The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:
“Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.”

How to protect yourself:

In the UK, coronavirus vaccinations will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a local GP surgery or pharmacy, to receive your vaccination. Remember, the vaccinations are free of charge and you will not be asked for a payment.

The NHS will never:

ask for your bank account or card details
ask for your PIN or banking passwords
arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Message Sent By:
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

January 7, 2021

Scam Alert - Covid-19 Vaccine Scam

Police would like to make you aware of the following scam which has occurred over a wide area.

Users have been sent a text purporting to be from a NHS body or similar informing the user that they are entitled to a COVID-19 vaccination. They are then invited to click on a link within the text message that takes them to a web page.

This web page will ask for personal details including " card payment details"

By supplying this information personal bank accounts are being raided by the scammers.

This is a very convincing text purporting to be from the NHS.
Any genuine invitation from your GP or other NHS body for the COVID-19 vaccination will NOT ask for any payment details.

Stay Safe, Stay Home ,Stay Well and beware of this Scam

Should anyone receive similar contact, please report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Follow this link to the Dorset Police website for crime prevention advice - https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/

Message Sent By:
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)


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