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'Save policing budget from further cuts', warns Derbyshire public

Derbyshire residents have overwhelmingly backed calls for the county’s police budget to be protected from further Government cuts, it can be revealed.

Almost nine in 10 people (89%) living or working in the county agree with Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles that the Force should be saved from additional grant reductions.

The Survey was carried out before the Chancellor’s Spending Review was unveiled in November, in which it was revealed that the overall policing budget would not be cut further.  Mr Charles said today that he welcomed the massive support of the Derbyshire public in helping to persuade Mr Osborne to make a U-turn after the Paris terror attacks.

The findings were revealed at the conclusion of the Commissioner and Force’s Over to You consultation which saw 1,897 residents surveyed across the county for their views on crime, policing and the current funding challenges facing policing.

Between March and August this year, Commissioner Charles joined police staff, partner agencies and officers from the Force at 17 separate engagement events including Staveley Armed Forces Day and Derby Caribbean Carnival to meet local people and collect their views.   

The survey results showed increased awareness of the role of Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, with 31.3% of respondents saying they knew the name of their commissioner – a rise from last year’s survey which found 26.3% of respondents knew the Commissioner’s name.

The vast majority (88.8%) of those who took part in the survey thought it was likely they would receive a professional service from the police in the event they were a victim of crime while 28.3% of respondents correctly identified £26m as the figure that needs to be saved over the next five years to protect policing, in addition to the £20m already saving since 2010.

Responding to the results, Commissioner Charles said: “I’m encouraged that the vast majority of Derbyshire residents share my frustration at the excessive cuts to policing in recent years which have forced us to make tough decisions about the way our services are delivered.

“These sustained reductions are crippling our capacity to tackle crime effectively and I’m determined to fight them by pushing for a fairer funding deal for Derbyshire which provides the Force with the right tools for the job and voicing my opposition at the wider cuts to criminal justice that jeopardise access to justice in the county.

“We face another difficult year financially and it’s reassuring to know the public understands the need to prioritise our resources according to risk and need. The results of this survey will help us to deliver a model that maximises our response to these public concerns and strengthens our resilience to emerging risks and threats to safety.”

During the survey, participants were asked what areas of policing they considered a top priority. Top of the list was ‘safeguarding’ which refers to crimes such as Child Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Violence and was prioritised by 61.4% of respondents. This was followed by crimes with a serious impact on the victim such as sexual assault which was prioritised by 41.8% of people. In third position were crimes with far-reaching consequences such as organised crime and terrorism which was prioritised by 38.2% of people.

The Over to You survey provided the Commissioner with an opportunity of finding out how the public preferred to contact the police. Nine out of 10 residents said they would use the phone to contact police while fewer people were aware of the other ways of doing so including email (one in four people), completing a form online (one in six people) and requesting a call back (one in 11 people). 

Just over half of respondents (51.7%) said they thought an emergency call should be answered in 10 seconds while 77.7% said it should be answered in 15 seconds.  When discussing the 101 non-emergency number, roughly a third of respondents felt that a response time of two minutes was reasonable but others felt it should be quicker.

The results of the survey will now be fed into the strategic planning process as the Commissioner and Force identifies which areas of crime should be prioritised. The full results will also be shared with senior officers on the three policing divisions and community safety areas.  

You can see the full feedback on the Commissioner’s website at

http://www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/Document-Library/Taking-Part/Agenda-Item-11A-App-A-Headline-OTY-Results-Nov-2015.pdf

 

Ends

 

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Wednesday 16th December 2015
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