‘Why Dorset Police are Institutionally Biased Against Those Suffering from Mental Health Issues. Gaia Pope et al.’   (Nov 2022 John Fisher)

‘Why Dorset Police are Institutionally Biased Against Those Suffering from Mental Health Issues. Gaia Pope et al.’   (Nov 2022 John Fisher)

Gaia Pope

Where ‘Broadchurch’ meets ‘Line of Duty’

Fiona Pilkington (2007)

Knife Wielding Woman—Jasmine Thompson

Chairman of HUGS

‘Civilian Style’ RASSO?

David Sidwick, Dorset PCC  – Hypocritical

Bipolar, my own personal experiences of complaints to Dorset Police

Marienna Pope-Weidmann: A Nightmare for Dorset Police


Gaia Pope

Having attended the Gaia Pope Inquest three times, including accidentally speaking to PC Lee Lawrence (he of Drag Queen Fame) it’s beyond all reasonable doubt that Dorset Police are guilty of being ‘Institutionally biased against those suffering from mental health issues’.

Dorset Police served Gaia Pope up a ‘cocktail’ of Gaslighting (coercive behaviour) Stigmatisation (discrediting her) and a dismissing attitude which led to Gaia developing PTSD. (Nicola Davis, The Guardian Oct 2018)

In my previous article, published on our HUGS website GAIA POPE INQUEST—FAILINGS BY DORSET POLICE AND DORSET MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN 2021 (hugsdorset.org.uk/news/gaia-pope-inquest-failings-by-dorset-police-and-dorset-mental-health-services-in-2021) there was no mention at all of the Dorset Police Public Protection Unit (PPU) and there seems to be conjecture as to whether or not a Public Protection Notice (PPN) was issued for Gaia. I even wrote to the Chief Dorset Coroner, Mrs. Rachael Griffin about failings by Dorset Police in Bridport and stated that where mental health was concerned Dorset Police were ‘Deficit Status’.

The ‘Keystone Cop’ debacle was confirmed when I met Marienna Pope-Weidmann (Gaia Popes cousin) shortly after the Inquest this July when Marienna told me a few other stories not reported in the national and local press.

Where ‘Broadchurch’ meets ’Line of Duty’

In 2021 when advocating on behalf of a vulnerable lady suffering from PTSD in Bridport (westdorsetmag.co.uk Edition 12 pp16,17) the Dorset Police also had the same dismissive attitude where they also ignored and disbelieved her. (‘At Risk Yet Dismissed’ MIND Oct 2013)

After being allocated a senior officer (‘One Rank or Above’) it was quite clear that Dorset Police were incompetent with no evidence of a PPN being issued and The Dorset Police PPU were as useful as a ‘Chocolate Teapot’.

I’ve made many complaints to the Dorset Police since 2020, too numerous to go into but I currently have a ‘live’ complaint against a senior detective very similar to the Gaia Pope case (where a police officer beefed up a search report to make the Dorset Police ‘look good’). I also have a ‘live’ complaint against Dr Peter Jeffrey, who failed to refer Gaia Pope to Steps to Well Being and other Mental Health services

Fiona Pilkington (2007)

The lady suffering from PTSD in Bridport had called Dorset Police almost 30 times regarding alleged threats of violence from her next-door neighbour, enlisted the help of Dorset County Councillor Dave Bowell and her MP Chris Loder (West Dorset) as well as friends and family urging the Dorset Police to take action. This was alarmingly similar to the Fiona Pilkington case in 2007. However, no harm was going to happen to this lady, not on my watch.

Knife Wielding Woman—Jasmine Thompson

It all ended in spectacular fashion when Dorset Police let the whole thing escalate as predicted in ‘At Risk Yet Dismissed’ with Jasmine Thompson (www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/19731289.threatening-woman-armed-knife-bridport-avoids-jail) stabbing the front door of the lady who was making the alleged threats. There are many video clips showing Jasmine Thompson as well as the Knife Wielding Incident.

The Dorset Police then ‘celebrated’ by accusing my lady of stealing the very video doorbell that had given the Dorset Police and the Wessex CPS the very evidence to prosecute Jasmine Thompson when she moved to find safety, away from the incompetent Dorset Police.

Like a lot of cases such as Bianca Williams (The Guardian 2022 et al), though, the Police seem to only react when it gets into the media or the perception of going into the media.

Chairman of Hugs

Being a ‘responsible’ Chairman of a Mental Health organisation I have tried to positively engage with the Dorset Police in 2020. I’ve written letters to Chief Constable Vaughn and an email to Simon Thornberry (Dorset Police Mental Health Strategic Manager) two letters to the newly elected David Sidwick as well as a letter to the newly appointed Chief Constable, Scott Chilton. These were all constructive ideas as well as highlighting the lack of engagement/understanding by Dorset Police. All of these communications were dismissed and ignored.

Civilian Style RASSO?

A couple of months ago I sent an email to ACC Rachael Farrell (not replied to) who made a slick PR video regarding the improvement of search procedures following the Gaia Pope Inquest, where I proposed a ‘Civilian’ or ‘Upside-Down’ RASSO in response to the @Justice4Gaia request for a specialised unit to deal with sexual offences in Dorset.

Over the coming years many third sector organisations, charities will have the chance to bid for mental health services currently provided by the statutory sector under the Mental Health Intermediary Care plan.

This Outsourcing is already in evidence as The Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA) have a contract to run all the Community Front Rooms (walk in mental health clinics) in Shaftesbury, Bridport, Wareham and Weymouth. 

The third sector could run this civilian style RASSO with an obvious input from Dorset Police and would have several advantages over the existing system of ‘specially trained officers’ and possibly other existing Police RASSO’s. Being a Trust or Charity, it would be able to draw on health funding from the NHS, charitable trusts such as Rape Crisis, Inquest or the Gemini Project. Dorset Council, BCP Council and even The Health Lottery could also assist. There would be an element of education where Bournemouth University might be able to have an input in terms of financing. But there could also be a massive injection of expertise from local organizations such as STARS (Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services www.starsdorset.org) as well as other national sexual offence charities.

There could be a dedicated education officer reaching out to the communities to give safety talks as well as make the people of Dorset aware that there is a dedicated team of Police and civilian workers assisting in such a traumatic event. This would give people confidence in coming forward as currently ‘5 in 6 women who are raped don’t report – and the same is true for 4 in 5 men’. (Source Rape Crisis, England and Wales, 2022)

There could be a dedicated Crime Analyst highlighting locations and circumstances of sexual offences and possibly stalking as well. It would have the advantage of updating incidents rapidly and possibly rapidly identifying a serial sex offender where additional resources could be rapidly allocated. The Crime Analyst could also draw on national resources as well as other Police Forces something that specialised officers might not have time to do as they double up on investigating other crimes in Dorset. This style of RASSO would make it flexible and fluid and much more acceptable to the people of Dorset.

David Sidwick, Dorset PCC-Hypocritical

Earlier this year David Sidwick commented on sexual offences in Dorset. He said:

“Awareness and reporting is a good thing. We know that because there is a greater awareness we are seeing more incidents reported – including historical offences – but any sexual offence is completely unacceptable. “It’s not right, there’s no place for it in society, and we need to drive it down.

“I find it totally unacceptable that someone should think it’s a smart move or a clever move to spike someone’s drink, to harass someone, to sexually assault someone, and I want to make it clear that we will take every action possible to tackle these sort of crimes.”

Last year just 1.7% of the 815 rape investigations carried out by Dorset Police resulted in a charge or summons with ten resulting in conviction.   (Source: Bridport News 27/07/2022)

However, there is not one mention of sexual offences let alone Gaia Pope in Part 1 or Part 2 of his ‘100 Days Speech’ in July/Aug 2022, he seemed more concerned about troublesome e-scooters in Bournemouth than he is in sexual offences. It feels as though he wants to kick Mental Health and the whole Gaia Pope episode into ‘the long grass’. Perceivably because it doesn’t affect his core electorate.

BiPolar—My own personal experiences with Dorset Police

I’ve made several complaints to Dorset Police since I moved to Bridport in May 2015 from London and being Bipolar this put’s me on the ‘playing field’ of Mental Health and Policing. Even when on holiday in June 2014 a complaint against a pub worker was dismissed ignored and disbelieved by Dorset Police. I’ve made complaints about being called a psychopath (a hate crime as defined by the CPS) I’ve been harassed by a former tenant and I’ve even been rudely interrupted by a firearms unit descending on my house looking for a former tenant of mine John Burton, one of Britain’s most wanted criminals. (www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/19725957.public-appeal-police-manhunt-launched-bridport-man) More recently a restaurant owner intentionally intimidated me and wantonly destroyed my property, but the Dorset Police described it as “trivial” and dismissed my complaint out of hand. Being Bipolar I’m automatically deemed disabled by the state and therefore a vulnerable adult, so it was with great irony (Jan 2022) that Sam De Reya (DCC Dorset Police) stated that she wanted vulnerable adults to report any crime that affected them.

Marienna Pope-Weidmann: A Nightmare for Dorset Police

If ever Dorset Police could have hacked off one of the most intelligent and courageous individuals in Dorset, then they’ve gone the right way about it. Already a campaigner and expert in communications Marienna was a natural leader to represent her family in the Justice 4 Gaia Campaign. She has marshalled national charities such as Inquest, Rape Crisis and The Gemini Project behind the campaign for Gaia and is on speed dial to the national press. She has captured the right balance on behalf of Gaia and her family and will be a thorn in the side of Dorset Police for many years to come.


In 2023 it will be the 10th Anniversary of ‘At Risk Yet Dismissed’ and even though police forces adopted much of its findings in 2018 there are still monumental inadequacies being demonstrated by Dorset Police. I recently wrote to Andy Marsh, Chief Constable and CEO of the College of Police and received a reply from his office via Martin Tunstall (Executive Policy Advisor) and said that the Fiona Pilkington case and ‘At Risk Yet Dismissed’ are an integral part of their mental health training. Yet when dealing with an IOPC complaint earlier this year, the DI had never even heard of ‘At Risk Yet Dismissed’ let alone read it, despite having spent time in a safeguarding unit for vulnerable adults. This shows a clear disconnection between what a Chief Constable says and what actually happens on the ‘shop floor’, the prime example being the Metropolitan Police who say they are not institutionally racist. It shows a lack of compliance and governance where processes and procedures are not adhered to, and nobody is looking to see whether they are being followed.

If Dorset Police continue this discriminatory behaviour against those suffering from Mental Health, then they are in danger of a ‘Wee Donkey’ making its way down to the Jurassic Coast.

This is why, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Dorset Police are guilty of being “Institutionally Biased Against Those Suffering from Mental Health Issues”.

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