Contacting Dorset Police remains problematic – according to councillors across Dorset.

Several have spoken about difficulties in using online reporting systems, leaving residents confused.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick has admitted that the solutions, for the most part, remain “a work in progress”, but has promised continued improvements.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, David Sidwick 
Picture: Finnbarr WebsterDorset PCC David Sidwick

Dorset councillor Sherry Jespersen told of one meeting, also attended by the PCC, where residents spoke about a series of accidents in Pimperne, but not one record of a report could be found on the police systems.

“People are taking the view that it’s simply not worth reporting these things, but somehow, we have to get over that and persuade people it is very much worth doing,” she said.

BCP Queen’s Park Cllr Alasdair Keddie told the Dorset Police and Crime Panel of residents who were taking 15 minutes, or more, to report incidents online.

He said there was fundamental difficulties with the online system which was clunky and slow and confusing for many member of the general public, assuming they were online to begin with.

“It is a big issue for my residents… the online system is difficult and time-consuming” he said.

He said the system also lacked the ability to be able to attach a photo or video – something which was achievable on virtually every public platform in the country. He said the public also failed to see the difference between reporting a crime, or giving information, which often led them to the wrong route for reporting: “It all makes them less likely to report in the future,” he said.

Mr Sidwick said much of the problems could be solved by better communications about which methods of reporting were available and which one to choose.

He said the Dorset force was working with the national provider of the online reporting system to resolve attaching a photo or video to a report.