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Commissioner spells out areas of success in cash-strapped policing year

Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles today (27 July 2015) publicly unveiled his draft annual report which highlights key achievements made during a year of unprecedented financial challenges.

Commissioner Charles presented the document to the Strategic Governance Board at a meeting earlier today, enabling Board members to measure his performance against the ambitious objectives set out in his Police and Crime Plan.

The report covers the period from 1 April 2014 to the end of March this year during which time the Force continued to juggle resources and public protection commitments against a significantly reduced funding settlement from the Government. These central austerity measures have so far required the Constabulary to identify savings of £27m over the next five years and look set to increase in the future.

Despite this, the Commissioner has made significant progress against his community safety goals, improving the support offered to victims of crime and ensuring the right experts are recruited to tackle emerging threats such as cybercrime and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

The funding shortages have continued to serve as a catalyst for closer partnership working with public and voluntary sector colleagues delivering increased resilience and achieving better value from public funds.

During the past 12 months, the Commissioner has worked to establish a presence within key partnership structures across the county and the PCC now has a place at several high-level strategic boards including the Derbyshire Local Criminal Justice Board, the Health and Wellbeing and the Safeguarding Boards.

He has also continued to invest funding into local groups and organisations to provide local services driven towards preventing crime, supporting victims and helping him to deliver his Police and Crime Plan objectives. More than £1m was distributed to local district Community Safety Partnerships including the Drug Intervention Programme and the Independent Domestic Violence Advocates. Further support was provided to Sporting Futures to expand its work with disadvantaged communities.

In addition, the Commissioner supported a host of projects through his Crime Prevention Grant which aims to enhance grassroots crime prevention and diversionary work.

Commissioner Charles said: “I’m very proud of the progress made in 2014-15 despite the ongoing funding pressures that regrettably governs all of our decision-making. With limited investment opportunities and resources, the emphasis remains on finding new and more effective ways of working to make every penny count and it is now obvious how critical partnership relationships have become in achieving this.

“We also shouldn’t underestimate the power and influence locally-based community organisations can have in preventing crime, developing healthy, law-abiding citizens and inspiring people to achieve their full potential. We are increasingly relying on this grassroots intervention to help tackle crime at its root causes which will eventually reduce demand on blue light services and help to create safer streets in the long-term.

“Throughout 2014-15 we have continued to shine a light on those hidden areas of criminality that isolate victims and present significant challenges to policing including Forced Marriage. These seminars have been vital to improving our collective understanding of these issues, helping us to appreciate the point of view of the victim and importantly bringing together in one place those agencies tasked with responding to the issues. Increasing confidence in reporting of these crimes is a top priority and something that I’m focused on expanding in the next 12 months.”

Listening to the public remained a major theme of Commissioner’s Charles’ work during 2014-15. A total of 12 public consultation events were held under the Over to You branding across all nine Community Safety Partnership areas and the Commissioner and his team, supported by volunteers and partners, also visited six major employer establishments.

In all, 3,455 responses were received which have been fed back into decision-making processes for the year ahead.

In addition, the Commissioner’s youth engagement work saw 3,270 young people respond to a survey aimed at lifting the lid on young people’s views on policing – one of Mr Charles’ primary goals.

Meanwhile, the Force has received positive feedback throughout 2014-15 following inspections by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). Key successes include:

  • In terms of its effectiveness, in general, the force is good at reducing crime and preventing offending, good at investigating offending and good at tackling anti-social behaviour;
  • The efficiency with which the force carries out its responsibilities is good; and
  • The force is acting to achieve fairness and legitimacy in most of the practices that were examined this year and has outstanding arrangements in place to deal with corruption and complaints against the police.

The draft, which can be accessed at http://www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/Document-Library/Meetings/SGB-Meetings/27-July-2015/Combined-files.pdf, will now be presented to the Police and Crime Panel for agreement.

ENDS

Media Enquiries:  Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

Posted on Monday 27th July 2015
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