Dorset Police says it’s grateful that the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants last weekend, due to the lifting of further Covid-19 restrictions, saw a decrease in reported incidents although an increase on average of 999 calls on Saturday.
Rather than the possible public disorder offences, the weekend in Dorset was sadly marked by two very serious road incidents. The first was in Wool, in which a man in a car died and the second in Verwood when a motorcyclist received life threatening injuries.
The police deployed extra patrols throughout the county and was pleased that most visitors and residents had taken on board the message to respect the local communities as pubs, bars and restaurants reopened for the first time since the start of lockdown.
Dorset Police on patrol in Bournemouth on Saturday night
“I hope that the coming weeks will continue to follow the trend”
Chief Constable for Dorset Police, James Vaughan said:
“Thankfully, on Saturday we saw a decrease in incidents, with 485 recorded compared with the previous day of 491. However, we dealt with more ‘999’ calls – 379 were recorded on Saturday, which was an increase when compared to the seven-day average of 320 calls.
“Sadly, on Sunday our officers still had to deal with two very serious incidents on our roads. Following a collision in Verwood, a motorcyclist was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and we arrested a man on suspicion of driving offences. Tragically, on Sunday evening, a London man aged in his 30s lost his life in a collision in Wool involving three vehicles.
“I hope that the coming weeks will continue to follow the trend we have seen this weekend. However, we are aware that it is expected that far more people will choose to holiday within the UK over the summer months, which is likely to impact especially on coastal areas like Dorset. Therefore, we are not complacent and will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to ensure we have the necessary resources in place.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill added:
“In the build-up to this weekend we asked members of the public to enjoy our reopened pubs, bars and hospitality sector, but to do so safely and responsibly. I’m very pleased to say that the vast majority of people seem to have taken this message on board over this weekend.
“I’d like to thank the public for behaving in a way that respects our communities, and ask them to please continue acting responsibly throughout the rest of the summer.”