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Dorset Police Marine Unit Saved

Police Boat

10:24am 12th April 2013
(Updated 12:08pm 12th April 2013)

Dorset Police's Marine Section won't be scrapped.

A new partnership between the force and the Harbour Master has been agreed to keep the service running after fears it could be stood down to save money on government cutbacks.

From now on, for 100 days a year the 2 partners will conduct joint patrols.

The new look Marine Section is made up of senior staff and a number of volunteers.

They’ll have cover 87 miles of Dorset coastline and investigate things like dive accidents, boat break-ins and the more high profile incidents like the Purbeck Isle tragedy.

The Police Marine Section will launch their boats from their main hub on Poole Harbour but Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Undehill hopes another centre could be set up in West Dorset in the future:

"Portland is still in discussion and there's been a lot of change there and not just with the Police. So it's a case of wait and see at the moment but I definitely want to emulate this model that we've announced for Poole over on Portland."

Harbour Master Captain Brian Murphy told Wessex FM the service will be better than before, despite more volunteer staff and fewer senior officers:

"I'm convinced the service can be better because they'll be a greater Police presence on the water for longer. It could be during the night, the early hours of the morning or the evening. They'll certainly be a presence on the harbour throughout the entire year."

Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police James Vaughn said nowadays the need for volunteers and help from the public is paramount:

"In addition to the Marine Unit we have Safer Neighbourhood teams in all the coastal towns working closely with the Harbour Watch, if we can make all that more co-ordinated we can provide an even better service with less. As a common theme these days, we're asking volunteers to step forward and help us with this. The best deterrent anywhere in Dorset is the public."

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