Dorset Police set to hit the waves to tackle water-bound incidents

IT evokes images of something more akin to Miami Vice than Dorset Bobbies, but officers from Dorset Police are taking to the water.

The force is piloting the use of two tactical watercrafts for the summer – to enable increased patrols of the coastline and inland waterways.

With almost 100 miles of coastline, the county is an attractive location for those wishing to take to the water and use jet skis, watercrafts and paddleboards in the warmer weather.

However, a police spokesperson said officers have received complaints from residents and visitors that a small number of people are abusing the coastline and spoiling a great day out for others by behaving anti-socially, driving in swim only areas and speeding on inland rivers.

Sergeant Ryan Prater, of the Marine Force Support Group, said: “We work hard with our partners such as harbour masters and local authorities to ensure those on our waters follow local bylaws.

“Sadly, we do see jet skis being driven inappropriately, which can cause a danger to others on the water, not only around our beaches but also inland on rivers such as in Christchurch.

“Our approach is to follow the three Es – Engage, Educate and finally Enforce should rules and instructions not be consistently followed.

“Just like on land, we’re able to issue dispersal notices to those not behaving appropriately and instructing them to go ashore under anti-social behaviour legislation.

“This is another great example of inter-agency co-operation with key partners to meet our priority of keeping the public safe in Dorset.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “I am pleased to see the introduction of these two tactical watercrafts to help Dorset Police take the fight against antisocial behaviour beyond the shoreline.

“Residents and visitors should be able to enjoy our beautiful county, its shores and its waterways without being affected by ASB.

“Cutting crime and ASB is a priority of my police and crime plan. Bringing together and working alongside partners to deal with the issues that matter to the residents and communities of Dorset is vital and to this end, I would like to thank everyone involved in this pilot project.

“The work that this team will be doing will help ensure that we can all have a safe and fun time when out on the water this summer.”

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