Each police area in Dorset now has a neighbourhood engagement contract – published on the force website.

It sets out what local priorities are and what the public can expect from their nearest police team – covering ten key points. These include face to face meetings with local people and offering the chance for feedback on local policing.

Director of operations at the office of the police and crime commissioner, Adam Harrold, says the plans have been reviewed, are of a good standard and have resulted in positive feedback.

But he says that the one criticism was that while officers are attending a number of community meetings these events are not always well advertised and frequently not well attended.

The point was taken up by Alderney and Bourne Valley councillor Tony Trent : “People often don’t know what is going on and my local neighbourhood meetings have been disappointing. I couldn’t find any advertising for the last one anywhere,” he said, “We need to ensure that more than the ‘usual suspects’ turn up at meetings.”