Angelique Foster, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has praised Derbyshire Constabulary for its work to fight crime and build public trust, in line with the key priorities in her Police & Crime Plan.
At a meeting held this week to discuss the budget for policing in 2023-24, the Chief Constable Rachel Swann outlined the progress and improvements to services designed to meet the public’s expectations.
In a detailed report to the Commissioner the Chief Constable highlighted a series of achievements over the past 12 months which see the force tackling risk more effectively, increasing police numbers and visibility and proactively bringing more offenders to justice.
Alongside a raft of improvements, the Commissioner particularly welcomed the introduction of new specialist teams this month to fight serious acquisitive crime (burglary, robbery, theft and vehicle crime) and protect high-harm repeat victims of sexual offences, stalking, harassment and sexual abuse.
The report also included county lines disruption successes, which resulted in 24 children being protected and over 50 arrests, the expansion of new technology including enhanced drone capabilities and the increased work to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) across Derbyshire.
With regard to the Commissioner’s requirement for strong local policing across Derbyshire and Derby City, the Chief Constable informed the meeting that the force had now recruited its full target of 283 additional officers, six months ahead of the deadline. These officers are now being trained and deployed in Neighbourhood Policing Teams across the force area.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “My Police and Crime Plan priorities reflect the issues that matter most to local residents. I know that people want a police force that is visible, proactive and ready to act when it is needed. They want to feel safe and be safe, so I am pleased to see the Constabulary’s achievements in reducing risk and enhancing the way it works to better protect the public.
“As Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, I have provided full support to the Chief Constable, funding new technology and resources that better equip police officers when gathering evidence and responding to issues that concern residents. These improvements have not only maximised the impact of public funds but are also saving valuable police time and helping officers to more effectively identify and respond to risk.
“Whilst these achievements are impressive, there is still much to do. The increased scrutiny I have introduced to monitor the force’s performance against the priorities of my Police and Crime Plan will continue and the pace of development will increase as I look to fulfil my three-year plan for progress and improvements to public safety.
“My budget this year will provide the Chief Constable with the resources to support and maintain the number of extra police officers recruited, build on the improvements to date and sustain the service in future years.”
Key performance achievements in 2022-23 include:
- The introduction of dedicated Neighbourhood Acquisitive Crime Teams in January this year increasing the number of officers and specialist investigators dedicated to investigating and preventing robbery and burglary.
- Commitment to attendance at every home burglary and a significant reduction in burglary offences.
- The recruitment of 283 extra police officers – ahead of schedule – as part of the Police Uplift Programme.
- The re-introduction, in early 2022, of the non-degree entry route into policing – now a permanent means of entry into policing following a campaign by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
- Permanently establishing increased levels of PCSOs to support the response to heightened demand.
- Significant strengthening of the rural crime team, plus added drone capability and specialist vehicles.
- Focus on agile working to keep officers visibly out in communities for longer periods of time. This includes the issuing of a laptop to every frontline officer.
- Extensive training across the force to equip our officers and staff with problem-solving skills, designed to reduce demand.
- The number of officers trained to tackle disruption by protestors has been increased, in particular the number of protestor removal teams.
- Investment in 60 new police vehicles (equipped with innovative telematics to ensure they are used to optimal capacity) to support new officers.
- Investment in 11 new drones and 26 drone pilots to provide 24/7 cover with further plans to train more.
- Negotiation with partner agencies such as mental health and ambulance services to ensure most appropriate agency is deployed from the outset – saving 3,528 hours of officer time between August and December 2022.
- Launch of a dedicated missing person and exploitation teams to combat the risk of young people being abused or exploited.
- Development of a Serious Crime and Intelligence Directorate to professionalise the approach to crime investigation including a new dedicated Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team launched this week to undertake rape and serious sexual offence investigations.
- Investment in Victim Liaison Officers (VLOs) to provide clear and dedicated support for victims throughout an investigation.
- Launch of a Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy bringing together a wide range of professionals and organisations to prevent crimes and provide a unified approach to protecting and supporting those at risk.
- The appointment of a stalking coordinator to ensure the quality of investigations, provide increased support for victims and work with police and partners to increase powers to deal with offenders.
- The creation of safer spaces for women and girls and initiatives to proactively target offenders alongside additional night-time economy patrols.
- Launch of a Serial, Repeat and Civil Orders Team this week to focus on the high-harm repeat victims and serial offenders of sexual offences, stalking, harassment and domestic abuse while maximising the use of protective orders to reduce risk and harm.
- Development of new in-house Apps to enable officers to monitor community engagement and Safer Neighbourhood Team abstractions
- Launch of a county lines partnership operation in Chesterfield concluding with a six-week enforcement phase delivering 41 warrants, 46 arrests, the safeguarding of 10 children, the dismantling of eight active county lines drugs operations, the seizure of large quantities of crack cocaine and heroin, criminal property worth £500k.
A video of the full meeting will shortly be available.
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