POP-UP brothels based in Bournemouth hotels have been closed down thanks to a partnership between Dorset Police and businessowners.

Initiative Hotel Watch - which aims to tackle crimes including child sexual exploitation (CSE) and drug dealing - launched in 2015 as a small group of people working at hotels in the town began sharing information via email.

Officers from Bournemouth Central Neighbourhood Policing Team then joined the group. More than 100 hotels and B&Bs are currently involved.

PC Dan Cullen, who runs Hotel Watch for the police, said the scheme tackles "crime hidden from public view".

"We started to engage with these hotels a couple of years ago," he said.

"Over the years it's become a really great partnership.

"We speak to them about CSE and county lines, drug dealing, counter-terrorism - all sorts of things."

County lines refers to the use of a single telephone number for ordering drugs, operated from outside the area, which becomes the group’s brand. Unlike other criminal activities where telephone numbers are changed on a regular basis, these telephone numbers are maintained and protected.

PC Cullen said the partnership has resulted in "a lot of intelligence and information".

"We've had some very good results in dealing with things like pop-up brothels," he said.

The scheme, which was officially launched earlier this year, may now be rolled out in other areas, including Poole.

Areas of Devon, Cornwall and Sussex - including Brighton and Plymouth - may also benefit from their own Hotel Watch initiatives in the future, PC Cullen said.

"Bournemouth's tourism trade is very important, and we have a lot of really vibrant, great hotels here," he said.

Businesses are encouraged to register with the scheme. As part of the initiative, police give advice on how to protect companies from cyber-crime and spot criminal activity. Intelligence on any criminality is then shared.

Earlier this year, Dorset's police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill hailed Hotel Watch as a "hugely valuable resource for police".

“The sort of intelligence shared by hotels can help the force respond quickly to situations where vulnerable people may be at risk and to reduce crime," he said.

For more information, email hotelwatch@dorset.pnn.police.uk