Dorset Police have said thank you to the community for their support during the adverse weather.
‘Our determined police officers and staff have been going the extra mile to keep everyone safe,’ it said in a statement.
Dorset Police has been working closely alongside partner agencies such as local councils, NHS, fire and rescue, as well as volunteers like Wessex 4×4 and the public, to try and keep Dorset moving over the last few days.
Chief Superintendent Ben Hargreaves, of Dorset Police, said: ‘It has been a testing few days and I would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding. The conditions have been horrendous, particularly on Thursday afternoon through to Friday, but we have been working very closely with all our partner agencies to try and keep everyone as safe as possible.
‘We would also like to thank the community for pulling together, helping one another and really showing a great spirit following such a difficult period. We know people have been volunteering their own time to check on the welfare of neighbours, help those stuck in their cars in the snow and using their own 4×4 vehicles to take essential staff such as police offices, doctors and nurses to and from work.
‘I want to also thank our amazing officers and staff who have been going above and beyond their duty. Many of whom have walked to their local station through the snow and who have stayed on late and even overnight until colleagues have relieved them from duty.’
As well as responding to emergencies, the neighbourhood policing teams are still out in communities speaking to people, offering advice and reassuring the public. Most are on foot, although specialist vehicles are being used, particularly in the very rural areas in the north and west of the county.
In Wimborne officers attended the address of an elderly man to check his welfare as his carers were prevented from attending due to the driving conditions. They stayed with the man until an ambulance arrived to check him over and helped to clear the driveway so paramedics could easily park.
Police community support officers (PCSOs) in Poole were out and about clearing snow from driveways and pavements and pushing cars out of the snow. One PCSO, who was off duty at the time, helped to walk an elderly man back to his home address along the icy footpaths.
Traffic officers have been out and about on Dorset’s roads, assisting stranded vehicles and directing traffic.
The latest weather update from the Met Office is that conditions will slowly improve over the weekend. Main routes across the county have been treated, however, police travel advice remains the same this evening, if your journey is not essential, they are urging the public not to travel if at all possible.
‘If you had to abandon your vehicle at the side of the road during the weather conditions, please only collect your vehicle when it becomes safe to do so,’ it said in a statement.