Fast approaching his first 100 days as Derbyshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles is looking forward to seeing his plans take effect and help achieve safer communities.
On Friday (March 1), he will have been in office for 100 days since his historic swearing in ceremony.
“Since my election in November, I have concentrated on establishing the means and support to protect our neighbourhoods from crime and provide better support for victims,” he said.
His Budget and Police and Crime Plan have already been approved by the Police and Crime Panel. “We have now rolled up our sleeves and begun putting them into action,” he declared.
Development of both his Budget and Plan has been strongly influenced by the wishes of local residents for more neighbourhood policing. His recognition of these demands has included, for example, a thrifty approach in his own office where savings of £100,000 from reduced running costs will be used to provide an extra four PCSOs.
He also won support for his proposal for a 1.96 per cent rise in the amount of council tax that goes towards policing. Without this increase, the Force would face losing at least 20 police officers in years to come.
The Commissioner’s Plan for the next five years includes keeping police and support services public rather than private and standing up for victims and vulnerable people - particularly victims of domestic abuse. He is intent on working with mental health and drug and alcohol abuse organisations to explore ways of early intervention, and ensuring local residents see value for money from the Police. He is also focusing strongly on the Safeguarding of Children and the protection of vulnerable young people.
These past 100 days have seen the Commissioner holding regular meetings with Chief Constable Mick Creedon, stepping up consultation with other criminal justice agencies and partners, and recruiting his Deputy, Hardyal Dhindsa, who brings extensive experience in tackling drugs and alcohol issues, domestic abuse and the wider criminal justice agency arena. Mr Charles is also strengthening the resilience of his support team with the recruitment of a permanent Chief Executive.
An important part of his role is to hold the Chief Constable to account and monitor police performance. To help him do this, Mr Charles holds monthly Strategic Governance Board meetings – which are open to the public – to provide him with the detailed knowledge he needs.
His busy schedule for the coming months includes focusing with police and partners on hate, drugs and domestic violence crimes, and support for victims. He will be continuing to work with partners like the RSPCA to tackle wildlife crime and cruelty to animals, and with mental health organisations with a view to preventing people with mental health problems from entering the criminal justice system.
“I am determined to do everything I can to help bring crime down, and I can do that best by listening to and acting upon what communities, the police and partners tell me,” he said. “That’s why I’ll be continuing to talk with residents and businesspeople on walkabouts and attending numerous meetings – including an alcohol summit and youth conferences. By sharing expertise and experiences we can find the solutions we need.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Friday 1st March 2013