Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster’s clear focus on public concerns has driven up police performance in key areas of activity in just one year.
The Commissioner’s policing priorities, outlined in her Police and Crime Plan, reflect some of the key issues raised consistently with the Commissioner during the run up to her election in May 2021.
After just twelve months, clear improvements can be evidenced.
“It has been a busy and productive first year, with significant progress made against some of the local issues that matter to the public such as burglary and road safety, which is what Derbyshire residents want to see,” said Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster.
“I’m pleased to see the new Neighbourhood Policing Charter in which Derbyshire Constabulary sets out the standards that residents can expect from their local police. Residents had made it clear to me that engagement and communication between themselves, local authorities and the police needed to vastly improve to better tackle the issues that matter to them. This charter, developed in response, makes police performance levels clear for all concerned and is a pledge from the force to provide better local policing to the community they serve.
“Numerous improvements were noted at my recent Performance Scrutiny meeting for neighbourhood policing and the work to tackle issues such as burglary and anti-social behaviour (ASB). Proactive work to tackle burglary has driven a 28% (1029 offences) decrease over the last two years and vehicle theft is showing a 14% (701 offences) reduction.
“The latest policing budget that I set for the 22/23 financial year has enabled the force to introduce Anti-social behaviour co-ordinators to monitor hotspots and work with a dedicated multi-agency team. The falling rates of antisocial behaviour across most areas in Derbyshire shows that the new approach that we have, which includes local management plans – is dealing with the persistent problems. The online anti-social behaviour hub created with partners, which provides advice and support for those affected is a very positive step to tackle the issue further.
“Road safety and speeding is another area regularly raised as a matter of concern. My Police and Crime Plan made it clear that we need to see a strong commitment from the force to this issue.
“Enforcement activity has delivered real results, taking dangerous drivers and cars off the road. In 2021 the road policing speeding site project was strengthened. Roads Policing Unit (RPU) officers attended a total of 462 locations around the county spending over 895 hours conducting speed check work. They issued 2,381 verbal warnings to drivers and issued 910 speeding tickets. This has been one of our most successful initiatives to directly address both an emerging threat and risk and in addressing key public concerns by utilising existing resources to address speeding in local communities.
“Operation Capture – where dashcam footage is used to identify driving offences witnessed by members of the public – has seen an increase of nearly 300 submissions of which over half have led to convictions in the year ending 2021. Other targeted operations have seen numerous driving licences revoked or surrendered.
“In addition, I have supported the introduction of a further 20 Community SpeedWatch schemes, led by volunteers. This brings the total number to 89 and between them they have led to 7032 letters issued in relation to speed violations.
“There have been clear improvements made to many key areas of work that the public want to see, including creating a county-wide and multi-agency approach to safeguarding victims of crime in Derbyshire and Derby City, as well as a Derbyshire Specific Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.
“The public have told me what improvements they want to see: there is still more to do but the pace of change is growing quickly.”
To help local groups and councils tackle local problems, the Commissioner has launched dedicated funding streams worth £350K to help tackle anti-social behaviour and improve road safety.
Enhancing the strong local policing that is at the heart of the Commissioner’s Plan, over 200 new police officers were recruited in the last year, boosting the strong local policing that residents want to see. The policing budget set by the commissioner for 23/24 has enabled new investment in call handling to reduce waiting times for 101 and 999 calls for assistance, and there will be more local police bases across the county.
Rural communities have welcomed her commitment to the provision of a policing presence across every area of Derbyshire, alongside the provision of specialist support for victims living in rural areas.
The Commissioner is undertaking a county wide consultation with the public, holding meetings in every area of Derbyshire and Derby City with locally elected representatives. A series of engagement events will also be held across the county to continue to hear directly from people about their views on policing and their concerns about community safety. The feedback from those meetings will continue to be used to inform the Commissioner’s decisions.
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