THE latest crimefighting tool to support victims in Dorset is hitting the road.

Dorset Police, through the Safer Dorset Foundation charity, has launched the Bobby Van scheme to support victims of burglary.

The initiative will allow vulnerable victims to receive a visit from a security operative who will pass on advice about safety measures to prevent them from becoming a repeat victim.

The operative will also be able to check and upgrade door locks, fit door chains and viewers and install window locks free of charge, as well as advise on any further prevention options that are appropriate for their circumstances.

Chief Constable James Vaughan, who is also a trustee of the charity, said: “We strive to provide an outstanding service to vulnerable people in our community and we are determined to do all we can to reach this ambition by reducing the number of victims of crime and the fear of crime through meaningful intervention and engagement.

“We know that a crime within the home has a particularly significant impact on our communities and the violation of privacy is, at times, difficult for people to overcome.

“The launch of our first Bobby Van is an exciting service we are now offering to not only prevent repeat burglary offences, but also support those who have been the victims of such crime.”

The scheme will initially operate in east Dorset but it is hoped through donations to the charity, it can expand to other areas of the county, and support victims of other crimes too.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Bobby Vans have made a big difference in other parts of the country when it comes to helping victims of crime, particularly those who have been repeatedly victimised or targeted by burglars, and it has long been an ambition of mine to introduce a similar scheme to help Dorset residents.

“Our service will be free at the point of delivery and funded in the long-term through the Safer Dorset Foundation.

“Our operator, Alan Cottman, will help vulnerable people by providing everything from new window locks and security lighting to advice about fraud and cybercrime. They’ll also be able to help connect people with the agencies that can help them, while the van itself will help provide a reassuring presence in our communities.”

Residents can make donations to support the Bobby Van’s work via