Countdown to Your Vote!

It’s Time – NSPCC Campaign

I have received an email from Peter Wanless, the CEO of the NSPCC, which has led to numerous emails from NSPCC supporters in relation to the Its Time campaign. The letter is at the bottom of this reply.

In response to the people who have contacted me and to Mr Wanless, I can reply as follows:

I willingly signed up to this pledge, this is something I am also passionate about, it may help if I tell you why:

  1. As a police officer, I was second in charge of the Sarah Payne murder enquiry, and I became acutely aware of the lack of support for children abused, their siblings, and indeed their parents.
  1. As PCC for Dorset, I have commissioned services for abused children, and will continue to do so.
  1. As PCC for Dorset, I work with and help Dorset Rape Crisis and Dorset Action on Abuse (DAA)
  1. As PCC for Dorset, I helped 3 mothers, whose children had been abused, to set up a Dorset specific charity called Actsfast and I then became their patron. I handed over that mantel 6 weeks ago because of the election campaign, but will continue to support the charity, and the NSPCC.
  1. I have already signed this pledge with the NSPCC, much of their campaign I am either already doing or have pledged to do, please see my manifesto here

I hope this answers the question and re-assures you.

Thanks for reading this,

white signature

The NSPCC Letter

Dear Mr Underhill

With the Police and Crime Commissioner elections less than a month away, I am writing to you as a candidate to ask you to pledge your support for our It’s Time campaign and commit to ensuring that support for children who are victims of abuse and neglect is included in your delivery plan. You can read our It’s Time report here
We all have a choice about how a child’s life is shaped after abuse. Every year over half a million children are abused in the UK, the equivalent of two children in every primary school classroom. The majority are unable to access the support and care they desperately need. If elected as a Police and Crime Commissioner, with the budget for victims’ services sitting within your responsibilities, you will have the power to change this. We know that therapeutic support such as counselling and play based therapy can help transform children’s lives.

The Prime Minister has prioritised child sexual abuse as a national threat. This is reflected in the fact that the number of child sex offences reported to police rose to a record 45,456 last year. Over 10,000 sex offences cases involved children aged 10 and under. By committing to our campaign, you can make an important step in ensuring that your area is responding to this threat by putting the needs of abused children first. Through setting it as a strategic priority, you can best ensure that abused children have access to the timely, evidence based support services they desperately need to overcome their ordeal.

You can pledge your support by getting in touch with the Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer Michael Simpson at

Kind regards,

Peter Wanless
Chief Executive