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Commissioner reflects on successes at halfway stage of leadership

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles will today (November 21) unveil his Annual Report to the public - on the day he celebrates two years in office.

Commissioner Charles’ 2013-2014 report highlights key areas of improvement where he is delivering on his pre-election promises. It also demonstrates how public opinion is powering the agenda through the inclusion of fresh goals in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

Despite facing further funding slicing last year equivalent to 39 full-time police officer posts, the report shows that the PCC has continued to invest in local services that support his aims to make Derbyshire safer.

More than £1m of Community Safety Funding has been allocated to organisations which support the Commissioner’s crime prevention goals during the year. Many of these are focused on tackling domestic violence – one of the Commissioner’s core priorities. Recipients included High Peak Women’s Aid, Derbyshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Service.     

Further funding worth £250,000 was released as part of the Crime Prevention Grant to third sector, public sector and charity organisations whose aims mirrored the Commissioner’s goals to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on a localised level. Successful applicants included restorative justice services – alternative punishments to court which can involve bringing offenders face-to-face with their victims – and projects that provided diversionary activities for young people to help them stay clear of crime.

Meanwhile, Mr Charles has continued to reach out to people in Derbyshire to understand their concerns and priorities, holding 18 consultation events throughout the year and collecting 2,187 completed questionnaires. More than 1,900 people were also able to talk face to face to the Commissioner or a member of his team. A total of 79.7% of people said they felt safe or very safe.

The valuable insight gained through the engagement process fuelled the Commissioner’s decision to include new priorities in his Police and Crime Plan such as tackling drugs and low-level offences like inconsiderate parking, the latter of which has sparked a countywide campaign.

Commissioner Charles said: “I’m now halfway into my governance and pleasingly many of the changes we’ve made are starting to take shape and deliver the desired outcomes. 

“We’ve had to negotiate the Government’s tough funding cuts over the past few years and while it is an unwanted position to be in, it has resulted in positive changes to the way we work with our partners. Our colleagues face their own financial difficulties but together we’ve been able to identify more logical working practices that have encouraged greater sharing of resources and information.   

“While we have needed to make substantial savings, we are nonetheless continuing to invest in local services to improve the service people receive. We are channeling funding into every stage of the offending cycle, from the provision of early education to those at risk of criminality or victimisation through to delivering help and support to prolific offenders motivated by addiction. 

“The psychological and social causes of crime will continue to be an area of intense research in the months ahead as we work together with our colleagues to seek to divert more people away from a life of crime.”

In the summer of 2013, the Commissioner hosted an Alcohol Summit which brought a number of experts together to discuss how agencies could better reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking. As a result, agreement was gained with health colleagues to improve the way that certain, anonymised data about emergency department hospital admissions is shared with partners. This will help in mapping problem areas and developing partnership solutions.

Meanwhile, a Rural and Wildlife Crime Summit was also held during 2013 to foster closer relationships between those responsible for protecting wildlife and heritage within the county. Since the summit, the Force has made huge progress in tackling wildlife crime, significantly increasing its contribution to the national intelligence picture. 

The full Annual Report is available online http://www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/AnnualReport2013-2014

Ends

 

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Friday 21st November 2014
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