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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Dorset Police launches story-telling competition to help the public prevent fraud

Dorset Police is launching a competition to encourage the public to create stories to help prevent people from falling victim to fraudsters.

Fraud equates for over 40 per cent of all crime reported in England and Wales, with an estimated 80 per cent of fraud offences not reported, according to data released by the National Crime Agency.

Between 5 December 2022 and 5 January 2024, people living and working in Dorset have reported 4,599 incidents to Action Fraud, who are a national agency that investigates the vast majority of fraud offences.

Pictured: Damian Cranny, Fraud Protect Officer at Dorset Police, pictured with Hannah Roberts, Librarian at Poole Hub & Library

Action Fraud estimate Dorset residents have lost £19.9 million to fraud within the 13-month period covered in their recent report.

To help the public to spot common signs of fraud, Dorset Police is launching a story-telling competition to encourage conversations about fraudulent behaviour and help prevent people from unknowingly sharing personal details or banking information with criminals.

Ahead of the competition launch, Dorset Police’s Fraud Protect Officer, Damian Cranny, dropped into Poole Library to do some research and chat with Librarian, Hannah Roberts, about the initiative.

Damian Cranny, said: “We know that fraud remains significantly underreported and can have devastating consequences on victims, with some being left in financial difficulty and feeling ashamed of having been manipulated by the fraudsters.

“Fairy tales and fables have been used for centuries to warn people of danger. These stories are often entertaining and easy to remember; and we believe they could be a powerful tool to educate people about the dangers of fraud and how to protect themselves from it.
“I hope that both children and adults will support us by taking part in this competition to help us protect people from fraud and make life difficult for the scammers.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said: “I wholeheartedly support this initiative to encourage more conversations about fraudulent behaviour, which could help prevent more people becoming victim to these abhorrent scammers and fraudsters.
“I know how damaging incidents of fraud can be for victims, who include some of the most vulnerable people in our society. As well as the impact on finances, it leaves people feeling vulnerable and with a sense of embarrassment, which can be difficult to overcome.
“Therefore, it is vital we shine a light on the ways people can be tricked, and highlight how we can all protect ourselves, as well as family and friends. Together, we could help make a difference and stop these scammers.”

The competition launched on 5 March 2024 and is open to people of all ages.

Members of the public have until midnight on 30 April 2024 to submit their entries and prizes will be awarded to the selected winners in each of the five age categories.

For more information about the competition, or to download an entry form, visit:

If you suspect you are being targeted by a scam, you can report it to Dorset Police: or Action Fraud:

This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit:

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