DORSET’S Martyn Underhill beat 41 other police and crime commissioners to scoop a national award for Community Engagement.

The award was presented by CoPaCC (comparing PCCs), which was set up to monitor the performance of commissioners across England and Wales.

It was the second accolade for Dorset in a year – Mr Underhill’s office was highly commended in the Transparency Awards.

The organisation used submissions from each force area and examined public records and social media to assess the extent of engagement with the public.

The award was presented by CoPaCC chief executive Bernard Rix who said: “What is particularly impressive is that Dorset has one of the smallest teams in the country.

“It is an indication that with the right team, it is possible to achieve great things. This award is about recognising quality, drive and dedication.”

Mr Underhill said: “This is a remarkable achievement for my office. I would like to thank my team, advocates and volunteers for all their hard work.”

Susan Bickle, community engagement officer, added: “We are expanding our engagement across Dorset, from open public forums to private focus groups for victims of crime. These are a great way for members of the community to discuss their experiences and voice any concerns they may have.”

“This national award recognises our commitment and dedication to communities in Dorset.”

Chris Colledge is a community engagement volunteer. He said: “The forums provide the opportunity for people to ask questions and address their concerns directly with the commissioner.

“This ‘hands on’ approach by the Dorset PCC has gained people’s respect across the county.”