A harbour watch scheme is being launched at two West Dorset harbours.

Quayside Neighbourhood Watch schemes will be introduced in Lyme Regis and West Bay this April, just in time for the summer season.

Dorset Police are launching Harbour Watch in Lyme Regis on April 13 and in West Bay on April 20, following consultation with Dorset Council’s local Harbour Consultative Groups, which represent the interests of local businesses, residents, and harbour users.

Harbour Watch is a police initiative which aims to improve communication between the harbour community - including boat owners, business owners, residents - and Dorset Police to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Chief Superintendent Richard Bell and Local Policing Commander for Dorset Police, said: “Harbour Watch is a valuable tool which helps to improve communication between the public and the police, leading to an increase in reporting of incidents which can help our officers to identify trends and patterns.

“It also supports our continued efforts to connect specialist operational policing with local neighbourhood teams to delivering exceptional local policing for our communities”.

“Harbour Watch schemes have proved popular in Christchurch, Poole and Weymouth and we’re hoping to see similar levels of engagement with schemes launching in Lyme Regis and Bridport.”

Separate launch events will take place to mark the beginning of the scheme.

Police officers and residents will be joined by Chair of Dorset's Council's Harbour Advisory Committee Mark Roberts and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick for the launch event, which give local people opportunity to ask questions about the new scheme.

Lyme Regis residents are invited to attend the Harbour Watch launch event, which will be held the RNLI lifeboat station on Saturday, April 13, between 10am and 4pm, where visitors are able to view Lyme Regis RNLI inshore lifeboat Spirit of Loch Fyne.

Dorset Police, Border Force, HM Coastguard, RNLI, National Coast Watch Institution, Harbour Consultative Group, Lyme Regis Sailing Club and Lyme Regis Sea School will also be in attendance and available to answer any questions.

Bridport Harbour Watch will take place at the Old Salthouse, West Bay, on Saturday, April 20, between 10.30am and 2.30pm.

Harbour Consultative Group members, Dorset Police, Border Force, HM Coastguard, RNLI and National Coast Watch Institution teams will be available to answer questions about the management of the harbour or highlight local water related activities.

Dorset Police have also confirmed they will be offering security marking at both events and are encouraging members of the public to bring along any items they wish to be property-marked for additional protection against theft.