Stories being used in the fight against fraud in Dorset

FOR centuries, stories have been used to warn people of danger.

From the tales of Three Little Pigs to Hansel and Gretel, words as warnings are common through time.

Now, Dorset Police is hoping to use the tactic to warn people of the dangers of fraud by launching a story-telling competition.

The public is being urged to come up with stories telling of the dangers of falling victim to fraudsters in a bid to address the crime, which is responsible for more than 40 per cent of all crime in England and Wales.

Between December 5, 2022, and January 5 this year, people living and working in Dorset reported 4,599 incidents to Action Fraud, the national agency that investigates most fraud offences.

It estimates Dorset residents have lost £19.9 million to fraud within the 13-month period covered in their recent report.

The new competition aims to encourage conversations about fraudulent behaviour and help prevent people from unknowingly sharing personal details or banking information with criminals.

Ahead of the competition launch, Dorset Police’s Fraud Protect Officer, Damian Cranny, dropped into Poole Library to do some research and chat with Librarian, Hannah Roberts, about the initiative.

“We know that fraud remains significantly underreported and can have devastating consequences on victims, with some being left in financial difficulty and feeling ashamed of having been manipulated by the fraudsters,” he said.

“Fairy tales and fables have been used for centuries to warn people of danger.

“These stories are often entertaining and easy to remember; and we believe they could be a powerful tool to educate people about the dangers of fraud and how to protect themselves from it.

“I hope both children and adults will support us by taking part in this competition to help us protect people from fraud and make life difficult for the scammers.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “I wholeheartedly support this initiative to encourage more conversations about fraudulent behaviour, which could help prevent more people becoming victim to these abhorrent scammers and fraudsters.

“I know how damaging incidents of fraud can be for victims, who include some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“As well as the impact on finances, it leaves people feeling vulnerable and with a sense of embarrassment, which can be difficult to overcome.

“Therefore, it is vital we shine a light on the ways people can be tricked, and highlight how we can all protect ourselves, as well as family and friends. Together, we could help make a difference and stop these scammers.”

The competition launched on March 4 and is open to people of all ages.

Members of the public have until midnight on April 30 to submit their entries, with prizes set to be awarded in five age categories.

For more information about the competition, or to download an entry form, visit

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