Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Report 2012-13

Well it's been a year since his election and Sir Graham has published his first annual report. The full details are available here (via Google Drive).

According to Sir Graham Bright here are has achievements since being elected (extracted from the full report);

  • Be the voice of the people, not the police. The views of the public, heard at both formal and informal meetings and surgeries, have helped shape my decisions. The appointment of an engagement outreach worker will enable me to learn more about what the public need and want. 
  • Work in partnership with the public, partner agencies, the voluntary sector and Neighbourhood Watch. I have provided funding to allow Neighbourhood Watch to communicate more effectively with communities to both tackle and prevent crime. Partner agencies have also been encouraged to look at alternative ways of working which allow them to be sustainable in the future. 
  • Focus on localised policing and meeting local needs. Policing cannot be one size fits all. In particular I have been working with the force to ensure the prioritisation of road safety, including an operation in Cambridge to tackle anti-social cycling which was led by special constables. A total of 346 fines were issued for offences such as riding with no lights and contravening traffic signs. Patrols continue in the area. 
  • Visible policing giving priority to front line policing and as much visible policing as possible. I have been able to balance the 2013/14 budget and provide for ten more officers on the streets. This, along with an ongoing programme to provide officers and staff with mobile data devices to update crimes and incidents while on patrol, have increased the number of operational hours spent in the community. 
  • Increase the number of special constables. I have been building on the existing regional work in developing the Employer Supported Policing scheme within businesses. This scheme encourages companies to support their employees to volunteer as special constables. It is hoped the time invested in promoting this scheme will enable the force to increase both the number of special constables and the hours they work. 
  • Improve call handling to see a better and faster response to all telephone calls to the police. I have been monitoring and overseeing performance which has resulted in an improvement in non-emergency call handling through the 101 service, with up to 94 per cent of calls now picked up within 30 seconds. 
  • Focus on tackling anti-social behaviour, burglary and drug misuse. The force has reported a one per cent decrease in burglary in the past year. They are also prioritising their attendance at burglaries in order to capture the evidence needed to catch the offender. 
  • Take a preventative approach towards crime working with young people, persistent offenders and troubled families. The force continues to use restorative justice where possible to reduce the number of young people beginning their working life with a criminal record. In the last year 45 per cent of all restorative justice disposals, equating to 700 incidents, were for young people. 
  • Increase collaborative working with neighbouring police forces. I have been forging ahead with plans to collaborate, creating new shared units with Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to reduce costs and improve efficiency. New collaboration agreements include: Armed Policing Unit, Cameras, Tickets and Collisions, Operational Planning and Support Unit, Dog Unit and Roads Policing Unit. 
  • Hold the police to account with a genuine public partnership. I have published my Police and Crime Plan which illustrates what I have asked the force to focus their resources on, and how I intend to monitor how well they are doing. I have also ensured the long term stability for the public and Cambridgeshire Constabulary by extending the Chief Constable’s contract until six months past the next police and crime commissioner elections. 

How many of these would have been achieved regardless of who was elected I guess is open to dispute. For example the very first point, "be the voice of the people, not the police", was the entire reason why we elected Police and Crime Commissioners wasn't it? And to be honest I don't recall the predecessor being exactly sycophantic to the police ... but maybe that was just in Cambridge!

Other examples include what's missing; Sir Graham was elected as the CONSERVATIVE candidate - why as part of "Increased collaborative working with neighbouring police forces" has he drawn the frame of reference so narrowly and not included, for example,  LGSS? Surely he should be looking at shared services which are shared by anyone who actually provides the service, not just police ...

Targeting of "anti-social cycling", while I'm sure it will play well in areas with relatively low levels of cycling ,won't be playing so well in Cambridge and the surrounding areas which have high levels of cycling. As I said during the recent County Elections in my experience someone who acts like an idiot when on one form of transport doesn't turn into an angel on another - I'll bet they even walk with a bad attitude (yes you, the person who pushed their way onto a crowded train rather than waiting for the people who wanted to get off got off I'm thinking of you). Targeting cyclists make no sense - target inconsiderate arses -  don't care about the mode of transport they happen to be on at the time. 

Anyway; it's important that we, as the people whom Sir Graham is represneting, keep a keen eye on what he is doing in our name. Has he earned his salary (and those of his staff)? I'll leave it for you to judge, his full report is available via the link above.

PS. On a side note I have to wonder how that wordle was generated. Looking at the data I've extracted above the wordle becomes;

It's interesting how support, priority, victim, efficient, transparent, and feedback have all vanished - police is still present though. Interesting given the first point Sir Graham "achieves" isn't it?