CRIMINALS will be "relentlessly pursued” and caught, the police and crime commissioner has warned. 

PCC David Sidwick said he is “intent” on making Dorset the safest county in the country ahead of an intensified operation by the police to tackle nighttime crime. 

Last week, officers took to the streets in a week-long campaign called Operation Sceptre focusing on tackling knife crime and criminals causing problems at night. 

The Echo joined some of the 22 officers on patrol in Bournemouth town centre on Friday night (November 17).

Bournemouth Echo: Police on patrol in Old Christchurch OldPolice on patrol in Old Christchurch Old (Image: Daily Echo)

During the night, the officers regularly engaged with the public and businesses “to build a relationship of trust”. 

Recently, police officers have been given knife wands to target people carrying weapons. 

Working like metal detectors, they can be used in the event of a lawful stop and search. 

Chief superintendent Heather Dixey said the wands are a "really good additional support tactic", adding: “With the knife wands it offers that added ability for officers to detect any kind of weapon or knife or anything metal, so it provides a little bit of element of safety for them. 

Bournemouth Echo: Police on patrol in Christchurch Road

“But it also acts as a bit of a deterrent and we hope that people recognise that the police are carrying these types of instruments now so they know that it's easy for us to be able to identify weapons. 

“We're hoping it's a really good tactic for us to identify it sooner, but also as a preventative piece so people don’t carry them because I know the police will find it.” 

Mr Sidwick added: “I have made certain that there are enough resources that every police car now carries a knife wand, Dorset Police are exploring the actuality of a knife arch as well. 

“We also have knife amnesty bins so people can throw away their knives."

He added crime “will not be tolerated” in the county.

He said that police will “actively pursue” criminals and take them through the criminal justice process. 

“If you want to come to Dorset or Bournemouth or any of our towns and villages and cause criminality, just understand we will not have it,” Mr Sidwick said. 

“Dorset Police will relentlessly pursue you and I am intent on making Dorset the safest county. We will not allow it here.”