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Crime in Dorset down as police face major overhaul
CRIME in Dorset is at a 15-year low as policing faces radical changes.
Outgoing Chief Constable Martin Baker told members of the Dorset Police Authority crime had fallen by 14.6 per cent between April and August compared to the same period last year.
However, from November the current system will be dissolved and replaced by an elected police and crime commissioner.
This is part of a national move under new government plans to change the police system.
The Police, Reform and Social Responsibility Bill Act was passed last year.
The current system is made up of 17 members, some councillors and local representatives and some independent members.
Their job is to ensure an effective and efficient police service.
Members agreed the reduced crime figures ensured that a positive legacy would be handed over.
Mr Baker said: “The most encouraging achievement is that we are now in our 15th consecutive year of crime reductions.
“Serious sexual offences are down and so are violent crimes.”
He told members that he was “humbled” by the dedication of officers and staff ahead of the changes.
He added: “However, the number of people fatally and seriously injured has unfortunately increased.”
Chairman Mike Taylor said figures that revealed 95.7 per cent of 999 calls had been answered within 10 seconds demonstrated “a great improvement over the last ten years”.
The report noted the challenges faced by the force this year including the Olympic sailing events, two major landslides and five murders.
Mr Baker added: “Crime figures are very complex and we need to communicate the difference between sanctioned and detected crime.”
Mr Baker is stepping down from his post after his resignation was accepted by the Dorset Police Authority chief officer appointments committee in early September.
Mr Baker has been chief constable of Dorset Police since January 1, 2005.
The police authority has appointed Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Simpson as Acting Chief Constable.
She took up her new role on October 1.