POLICE CHIEF PRAISES COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
Closer engagement between local communities and the Police was the theme of Acting Chief Constable Chris Eyre’s address to members at the City’s Neighbourhood Watch Council AGM last Saturday. Mr Eyre will take over as Nottinghamshire’s Chief Constable in September so his words and the subsequent question and answer session were especially significant.
He started by warmly thanking the leaders and hundreds Neighbourhood Watch volunteers in Nottingham for their contributions to reducing crime and the fear of crime. He expressed particular appreciation of the community support received by the Police during the City’s disturbances last year.
Despite the current year-on-year reductions in the Force budget, he committed to make the best use of his resources to protect the public and maintain standards, seeking the majority of savings from non-operational parts of the Force. Nottinghamshire’s Police achievements are evident in the steadily improving crime statistics which show a significant reduction in overall crime and increases in levels of satisfaction. Between January and December 2011, crime fell across Nottinghamshire by 6.9%, with all crime down from 85,875 to 79,985 offences, which means 5890 fewer victims of crime compared to the same period in 2010. In addition, more and more people across the city and county are increasingly satisfied with the service they receive from the police, with the Force now ranked 7th nationally out of 42 police forces, up from 27th last year, for overall customer satisfaction.
Questions from members showed a widespread concern for a continuation of a strong Police presence within the local communities. In reply, Mr Eyre gave assurances that a priority being to protect neighbourhood officers and PCSOs.
But, he went on to ask people to make more use of the CPOs and PCSOs who are trained to be the primary link between the Police and Communities rather than the uniformed constable in a tall helmet. PCSOs know who the Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators are in their areas and a two-way working relationship is greatly encouraged. However, we should all note that modern technology and a changing culture brings new types of crime such as credit-card and internet fraud, the targeted theft of car parts for the illicit spares’ trade and a whole new industry based on stealing metal to meet high international demand. These developments require new approaches to policing. Both the community and the Police need to recognise this need to adjust.
In presenting his annual report to the AGM, Neighbourhood Watch Council Chairman Dr David Rhodes, took the opportunity to congratulate Mr Eyre on his forthcoming role as Chief Constable. He thanked Mr Eyre for taking on this ever-increasing challenge at a time of austerity and uncertainty.
30th April 2012