The speaker at our meeting on Monday 15th September was Debbie Simpson, The Chief Constable of Dorset. She gave us an update on how the Dorset Police deal with a wide variety of issues that interest Soroptimists. This included trafficking, domestic violence and child protection issues. Diminishing resources are leading to an increase in the sharing of specialists between forces in the Region and an acknowledgement that partnership working with other agencies was the only way to deal with these complex issues. One interesting fact was that although there had been an increase in the number of complaints concerning domestic violence, the number of repeat victims was falling. This was due to a policy of support and seen as a key feature of the long term strategy to deal with this crime.
The question session at the end of the talk was enhanced by the wide experience of our members who are drawn from a variety of backgrounds including the medical profession, teaching, business, police, as well as Magistrates and a former Police Authority Member. Debbie was very aware of the work of the organisation and praised initiatives such as the anti trafficking posters in public conveniences and ” Loves me, Loves me not” bookmarks for teenagers.
We were delighted to induct a new member, Karen Norton during the evening which was also attended by several other prospective new members and Sonia Simpson from SI WInchester.