County-wide public consultations led by Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles have revealed that around eight out of ten people feel that Derbyshire is a ‘very’ or ‘fairly safe’ place to live.
Similarly around four out of five people responding to face-to-face, online and postal surveys between May and September described their local area police service as excellent, good or satisfactory. Results also indicate that the fear of crime has a fairly small effect on people’s quality of life in the county.
“These findings suggest that most people across the county feel safe and have confidence in Derbyshire Constabulary, and that is very good to know,” the Commissioner said. “But there is still some way to go – and the residents’ feedback will help us get there. Views they gave to me and to Chief Constable Mick Creedon about crime, the police and safety will be invaluable in helping to improve the police service.”
The consultations involved two separate programmes across the county during the summer months.
- Have Your Say included one-to-one questionnaires at 18 locations across the county, and was supported by staff members from the Commissioner’s Office, Safer Neighbourhood Team Officers, police staff members and partner agencies.
- Your Police Your Views, led by the Commissioner, together with the Chief Constable or one of his Chief Officers, involved nine face-to-face public engagement events joined by the chair of each Community Safety Partnership.
Have Your Say
Those taking part in this programme were asked what top five priorities they would put their money into if they were in charge of the police. They chose (in order) drugs, anti-social behaviour, rape and serious sexual assault, safeguarding children, and gangs and organised crime groups. Drugs issues were also the public’s top priority in the 2010 and 2011 Have Your Say surveys. Public awareness of the PCC was 23%, a considerable increase from the former Police Authority.
A total of 2187 questionnaires were completed, with 1903 completed on a one-to-one basis at the events, 275 completed online and nine returned by post.
More than half of respondents were aware of Derbyshire Constabulary’s 101 non-emergency number, but more than 1 in 50 said they would still use the emergency number for non-urgent issues and 1 in 11 would ring the NHS Help number 111. Mr Charles commented: “It is so important that people only dial 999 for emergencies so that situations where every second counts are responded to as fast as possible. The responses to this question show that more has to be done to ensure that people use the right number.”
Your Police Your Views
Common questions and concerns raised at most of these meetings included the resource implication of police service involvement in incidents and crimes where mental health issues were a factor. Other crime and, safety and resources issues discussed included the legislation of drugs; granting of 24-hour alcohol licences; restorative justice; cyber crime; and keeping victims informed after reporting crime.
Local issues included legislation regarding speeding and road traffic issues, police response times, wildlife crime and alcohol harm.
Voting technology used at most of the venues indicated that more than half of the people attending understood the role of the Commissioner at the start of the meeting and 88% did so at its close. Nearly three quarters (72%) felt that PCCs were a good idea.
A total of around 200 people attended the meetings.
Mr Charles commented: “The great thing about these meetings was that people told us how it is – both good and bad. They raised many points and helpful suggestions about such matters as improved use of mobile police stations, sharing cross border intelligence and education on drugs and responsible drinking.
“It was also good to hear positive comments and praise given to local police and individual officers for excellent service.”
The results from Have Your Say – already fed into the Risk and Threat planning process – will also help to determine the shared Community priorities and, in turn, feed the Police and Crime Plan. The results will be shared with senior officers and the nine Community Safety Partnerships across the county, and be made available to the public online.
Outcomes of the Have Your Say and Your Police Your View programmes were discussed by members of the Strategic Governance Board on 11 November where it was agreed to continue with face to face community events.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 12th November 2013