It was a great privilege to serve my first term as your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and it’s an even greater privilege to be asked to serve again.
In my first term we achieved a great deal, but I’m aware that there is more to do.
However, the improvements we made have had a lasting, positive, impact on our communities. For example, since October last year, thanks to the introduction of mental health triage teams and partnership agreements, no-one is now held in police custody due to mental health crisis and appropriate care is available immediately. And, as a result of my focus on improving the support provided to victims of domestic abuse, specialist, more targeted help is now provided more quickly.
Over the last few months I’ve been out and about in all areas of the county, including Mansfield and Ashfield, listening to what local people have to say about community safety.
I also met with the Mansfield Woodhouse Community Action Forum when I could confirm that by working closely with Mansfield District Council, a new community safety hub is on track to open at the Civic Centre this summer. This will see Neighbourhood policing in the area enhanced and protected by having police and council staff working alongside each other. It’s a major investment in community safety in the area.
As always, I’ve talked to a great many local people, so I know that they will be pleased to hear that crime in Nottinghamshire is falling faster than almost anywhere in the UK and Nottinghamshire Police is the fastest improving police force in England and Wales.
But building safer communities isn’t just about reducing offences, it’s about instilling confidence in local people so that they feel safe and protected, especially more vulnerable residents for whom fear of crime is an isolating experience.
As I embark upon the next four years, I assure you that I will work hard to maintain neighbourhood policing teams across the whole county. I also intend to commission even better services for victims of crime. I want to see issues such as cyber-crime and hate crime addressed and we must focus even more resources to counter-terrorism activity to protect those living or visiting in Nottinghamshire. I also want to continue to tackle crime and low-level harassment against women and girls and I intend to build on the work done over the previous term to improve services for victims of domestic and sexual violence.
I’m clear that the police alone cannot solve all of the problems which lead to crime. Past experience has shown that putting our heads together is a much more effective and efficient way of getting people the help they need which ultimately reduces victimisation or crime in the long-term. Working together we can achieve more. We have an agenda for action and change, now we need to get on and do it.