Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster is hosting a series of meetings with parish and town councillors as part of her determination to secure strong local policing for all areas of Derbyshire.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is meeting local councillors from every corner of the county to introduce herself and personally present her Police and Crime Plan to explain how it will benefit the communities they represent. The meetings, which are attended by representatives of the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams, also provide an ideal platform for strengthening the relationship between local representatives and the police.
Additionally, councillors have the opportunity to share their views and concerns on crime and safety in the areas they represent to both the Police and Crime Commissioner and their local police.
Meetings have taken place in Bolsover, Melbourne, South Derbyshire, the High Peak, Amber Valley, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire where the Police and Crime Commissioner met district and parish councillors who have a deep insight into the issues impacting their communities.
The meetings have also been attended by members of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams in each area to help raise awareness of the work they are doing to deliver on the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, increase visibility and familiarity with local officers and to help identify local problems so they can be tackled effectively.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has promised to deliver a stronger frontline policing presence across the county and act on the concerns and feedback she receives from the public.
Her Police and Crime Plan puts law-abiding citizens and victims of crime at the heart of policing and community safety, outlining six key priorities: strong local policing, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour, road safety, victim support and safeguarding, rural crime and driving efficiencies.
She said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner my role it to represent the public in policing and hold the force to account to ensure the service local people receive is of the highest standard. Above all, my focus is on keeping our communities safe. To do that effectively I need to hear directly from them and their local representatives about the problems they are experiencing in their communities.
“Our parish and town councillors work very hard on behalf of local people to improve their local areas. They have a deep insight and understanding into the issues that can impact their communities and so I am keen to involve them as local partners.
“These meetings have also enabled councillors to directly question the force on policing issues in their parish and helped to strengthen relationships to promote partnership working.
“These meetings are part of a programme of engagement that is enabling me to meet people from all corners of the county, to hear their views on policing and community safety.”
Cllr David Muller, County Councillor for the Melbourne Division in South Derbyshire, said: “I am more than aware that we are not immune from the persistent problems of anti-social behaviour, domestic incidents, burglaries, missing people and of course speeding and dangerous driving. The Commissioner’s visit to Melbourne gave our Parish Council members an informative insight into the Commissioner’s role and the progress we are making across Derbyshire in policing all types of crime and behaviour.
“The Speed Indicator Sign initiative is a welcome additional tool to combat the increasing reports of speeding and dangerous driving across the District and the support the Commissioner’s Office can give to local communities was well received.”
Cllr Mark Wakeman of Bakewell Town Council commented: “These meetings are very useful. I would recommend to anybody to come to one as you find out a lot more information by coming along.”
Cllr Sylwester Zwierzynski, who represents South Ward in Shirebrook, said: “I was very excited when I received an invitation to the Summit organised by the Police and Crime Commissioner. I don’t recall the previous Commissioner organising such meetings so I thought it would be a great opportunity to let those deciding on policing strategy in the area know about the issues faced by residents living in my Ward.
“My town has recently seen the first drop in crime rates since 2017 and in February the number of reported crimes fell below 90 for the first time in 36 months. It seems to me, therefore, that the changes in strategy introduced by the Commissioner are starting to have an effect. Strangely, the most common issue raised by residents is the difficulty of calling 101, which is what I wanted to talk to the Commissioner about. I was delighted to hear that the Commissioner had decided to increase this year’s budget for this purpose.
“The fight against crime requires coordination and commitment from all sides – including Parish/Town Councils. So, it seems to me that Angelique Foster’s initiative is an excellent example of how coordination and communication can be improved between policy makers and those living close to communities.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair – 01283 821012 / 07702 541401