Investing in specialist roles is paying off for the police

Paddy Tipping, police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
Paddy Tipping, police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire.

Every neighbourhood deserves a fully-resourced policing team to tackle local problems and I’m determined to make that happen, writes Paddy Tipping.

Four years ago, Nottinghamshire Police launched the first dedicated knife crime team outside of the Met and what a hugely important step that turned out to be.

New national figures show Nottinghamshire is bucking the rising trend in knife crime, recording a reduction of 8.4 per cent across the county and an 18 per cent drop in the city.

This compares to a national increase of seven per cent and an East Midlands increase of 16 per cent in the year to September 2019.

Sustaining this kind of performance is vital for the future safety of our communities which is why my budget this year will see additional police officers deployed to our neighbourhoods to proactively prevent harm.

I want to build on our good performance and ensure our officers are equipped with the tools they need to tackle every threat to safety.

This is why I’m increasing the number of specialist roles in the force, sharpening our response to issues such as knife crime, robbery, online and digital crime and serious organised crime.

Over the last two years, we’ve invested heavily in prevention, working with partners to stop people carrying knives.

Schools and early prevention officers have been driving home the message in secondary schools across the county and our highly targeted stop and search activity has increased by more than 100 per cent.

As a result, police are now charging and convicting more people than ever.

Adding another layer of resilience is the violence reduction unit, which was launched in September last year.

The unit is working hard, with communities, with partners and with the force, to divert people away from knives and violence.

This isn’t about enforcement, it’s all about changing attitudes.

Despite austerity, we have continued to build an organisation that is resilient and well- prepared to meet the challenges of today.

We remain committed to that end and will continue to do  everything we can to keep our streets and people safe.