Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles is keen that members of the public know that they can attend his monthly meetings with senior officers from Derbyshire Constabulary where police performance is considered. Both the Commissioner and the Chief Constable would like to see more members of the public at this public meeting.
He is determined to help the Force achieve the best performance possible. This is welcomed and shared by Chief Constable Mick Creedon who wants to build on the 16% drop in crime which has been recorded so far this year -this is compared to the same period a year ago. This joint approach to performance scrutiny is designed to make Derbyshire an even safer place to live, work or visit.
Mr Charles receives detailed reports on various aspects of police performance at the Strategic Governance Board (SGB) meetings, which will take place around the county. On Monday, he hosted a meeting in which he went through a performance overview with the Chief Constable, before considering an in-depth report on the work surrounding the Safeguarding of Children.
“I take performance scrutiny very seriously as it falls to me to hold the Chief Constable to account,” the Commissioner said. “This means keeping a close eye on any fluctuations in performance to ensure that the public is receiving the service they expect and deserve.
“This type of scrutiny will give the public confidence that their police force is subject to on-going review and challenge in key areas from the Commissioner they appointed to represent them.”
It was agreed that some areas of crime are under reported by victims. TheChief Constable emphasised that where there isn’t 100% reporting, it isimportant to report these crimes and is something to be encouraged.
The focus on Safeguarding follows Mr Charles’ decision that the monthly meetings will also inspect different elements of service delivery in more detail.
During the last five years Derbyshire Constabulary has invested heavily and effectively in public protection issues, enabling a central referral approach for most of this kind of work. Currently, there is a national push, led by Derbyshire’s Detective Chief Supt Debbie Platt, towards Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs. The Safeguarding of Children is more than just a police issue and involves a wide range of partners, and the hubs involve partner agencies co-locating to enable effective information sharing and timely responses. Plans are now underway for senior social work staff within the City and County Children’s Services to be located within the Central Referral Unit over the next few months.
Derbyshire is recognised as a leader in good practice is this area, with a dedicated Child Exploitation team,a missing persons unit and higher detection rates thanks to a committed and positive approach to problem solving.
Mr Charles commented: “I am reassured by the review considered today, and by the quality of the work on child protection in Derbyshire.
“Child protection is a multi-agency responsibility and I know that the Force would welcome additional resources to further protect vulnerable children from becoming victims. Together, we must all do everything we can to drive further improvements and, for my part, I will keep on challenging all the partners to make this happen.”
Mr Creedon commented: “I welcome the Commissioner's support in the area of child protection. I have ensured that as a force we have taken and continue to take child protection very seriously. This has meant moving more people and other resources to help combat these crimes. We are one of the first police forces in the Country to have undertaken large scale investigations into Child Sexual Exploitation; Operation Retriever remains the largest of these. We have made sure that any recommendations from Serious Case Reviews are embedded into our day to day practice. As Mr Charles points out, the police are just part of making sure children are protected and we are continuing to work tirelessly with all our partners to make sure that we have the right approach,the right people in place, where possible more resources and improving processes and procedures.”
Members of the public can access all the papers presented to the meeting, including the report on Safeguarding, at http://www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/Document-Library/Meetings/SGB-Meetings/SGb-Feb-2013/Combined-SGB-Feb-2013.pdf
People without internet access can contact the Commissioner’s office on 0300 122 6000 for hard copies.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 20th February 2013