Posted: Friday 6th December 2013
Last month saw the first anniversary of my election. It has been a very busy year for me as I have worked my way around the Humberside force area, meeting the public, our police officers and staff, and our partners in community safety. I have published my
Police and Crime Plan which sets out the strategic direction for fighting crime in the coming years based on what the public have told me they want to see, and you have told me in your thousands, by emailing and writing to me, and in person at one of my regular street surgeries and community visits. There has also been considerable interest in my role from the media, and sometimes I see headlines or comments which are inaccurate, so in this blog I’d like to give you some facts.
The Police service, like all public sector organisations, is facing mounting financial challenges over the coming years. Humberside Police needs to save around £35million by 2018, so we are working extremely hard to find ways to save money while protecting our front line officers and PCSO’s, ensuring they are active and visible on the beat. At my request, the Chief Constable is conducting a major strategic review to redesign the force to best protect our communities with the money we have available. She will report back to me in the New Year and no decisions have been made so far, but the needs and wishes of the public will be at the heart of the decisions we make.
Prevention is always better than cure, and my deputy and I are working with local authorities and our partners in the emergency services to tackle some of the problems that cause crime in the first place, such as drugs and alcohol. Last year I invested around £1.5million from my budget into drug and alcohol intervention programmes and will continue to support the excellent work they are doing to turn offenders’ lives around.
I have also invested over £200,000 to launch the Positive Lifestyles programme across the force to divert young people living in high crime areas into positive activities delivered by youth workers and excellent role models. The scheme is already delivering superb results.
And what of my role? There must always be someone to hold the police to account on your behalf. It is clear that the majority of the public were unaware that before me, there was the Police Authority, whose 17 members cost over £100,000 a year more than myself and my deputy combined. I’ve saved that money and I’m close to completing a sale of the luxurious offices I inherited from them, the profits from the sale will be added to those savings to create a safety fund to better protect communities. Next year will no doubt be as busy and challenging as this year has been and I will continue to work just as hard on your behalf. I wish you and your families a safe and peaceful Christmas.