Thursday, 16 February 2017 07:27

Police restructure to meet rural needs

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Police restructure to meet rural needs

POLICING in North Dorset is being restructured to better meet rural needs.

Previously, Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) were organised based on location alone and covered both town and rural areas.

Now a new team structure will reflect the need to respond to competing priorities in town and rural areas.

Blandford Town, for example, will have a dedicated team of five police community support officers (PCSOs) and one police constable (PC), overseen by a police sergeant.

    See also: Rural police need fairer funding, says report

A further town-based team will cover Gillingham and Shaftesbury, made up of six PCSOs, two PCs and overseen by a police sergeant.

The final team will police the rural areas of North Dorset.

The current Gillingham Rural, Shaftesbury Rural, Blandford Rural and Sturminster Newton teams will be combined into one team, dedicated to rural policing.

A police sergeant will manage two PCs and six PCSOs.

North Dorset Neighbourhood Inspector Rob Chalkley, said: "The issues facing our towns and our rural areas are different, so they require a bespoke approach.

"This restructure will ensure that teams have the correct expertise, resources and time to assist the communities they serve."

Rural communities would receive the policing support they required, without resources being diverted to deal with demand in the towns.

A Pan-Dorset Rural Crime Team will work alongside the rural Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "Over half of Dorset's residents live in rural areas, so it is critical that we continue to develop our approach to rural crime.

"The introduction of the Rural Crime Team last year represented an important step towards consistency in intelligence, reporting and crime prevention.

"Consolidating the work done to tackle rural crime in North Dorset into one team that is equipped with the correct knowledge and expertise will help to continue this positive trend."

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