Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria says “In 2012 when I was first elected as PCC for Northumbria I talked to local people to understand what their priorities were around policing and crime. I used this information to set out the five priorities in my first Police and Crime Plan which are:
•Putting Victims First
•Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour
•Domestic and Sexual Abuse
For each of these priorities I identified a number of actions which have improved services to local people. Towards the end of my first term in office, I was pleased that:
• 91% of victims are satisfied with the service provided by Northumbria Police – the highest level in England and Wales.
•Victims of crime are getting practical and emotional support from a new service, ‘Victims First Northumbria’.
• 10,000 fewer Anti-Social Behaviour incidents in Northumbria from April 2015 to March 2016.
• Over half of the people suffering long term ASB in their neighbourhood had no further incidents after reporting it.
•Vulnerable people calling Northumbria Police are identified quicker and receive the right response from Northumbria Police.
• More officers are in new neighbourhood bases bringing them closer to where you need them, and by sharing premises with other organisations we’ve also saved some money.
• Domestic violence patrols continue on weekend evenings with domestic abuse experts and police officers working together to support victims.
•Recorded crime has increased in line with most other forces by 29%. This does not represent an increase in actual crime as recording standards are continually improving.
• By encouraging the reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences we have supported more victims who may have previously suffered in silence and at the same time increased the conviction rate for rape and domestic abuse offences.
• Frontline officers have more time available to deal with serious incidents as we can now, with the agreement of the caller, resolve some incidents over the phone.
Following my re-election, it is now time to refresh the Police & Crime Plan to see if you feel Northumbria Police are tackling the issues that you want them to. My role has also been extended to provide support for victims of crime and to ensure an efficient criminal justice system – I’m sure you have got views in all of these areas and I would love to hear them.”
Over the next few weeks, the commissioner will be holding public meetings throughout the force area, details available on her website.