DORSET Police has split into two different areas in a bid to "form strong connections with our communities."

From today the force will operate as two Local Policing Areas(LPAs), corresponding with the boundaries of BCP and Dorset councils.

The Bournemouth,Christchurch and Poole area will be led by Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan and the so-called County LPA will be headed up by Chief Superintendent Steve Lyne.

A spokesman said the changes will allow the Force to better respond to the issue that matter most to communities.

A range of services will be localised including neighbourhood policing, investigations and safeguarding.

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And police plan to work more proactively with partners to strengthen plans and provide a local service that works for local people.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya said: "Dorset Police is dedicated to providing an outstanding service to the people of Dorset, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities.

"By taking this approach we can focus in on the issues that our communities are facing and provide a robust, engaging, proactive and visible policing presence.

"We want to take this opportunity to form strong connections with our communities and partnership agencies so that we can properly listen, understand and respond to local issues and concerns."

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The changes come at a time of investment and growth in the Force. National investment has already seen 50 new officers join Dorset Police, with a target of a further 50 over the next year.

Local commanders will be able to make the best use of the resources and continually improve the level of service provided to the public.

There will be opportunities over the coming months to engage directly with local officers, both in person and on social media.