Please take four minutes to help me shape our future policing priorities

Devon and Cornwall police officers

Police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez has seen her term in office extended by the coronavirus crisis - Credit: Devon and Cornwall PCC

Hardy folk who braved some atrocious weather at the Honiton Show on Thursday  were among the first to complete a survey that will help me finalise the next Police and Crime Plan for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The survey, which takes just four minutes to complete, was launched at the show before we took it to Plymouth’s Pride festival on Saturday.

The draft plan I am seeking views on builds on the key principles of the 2017-20 plan, which was designed to help create safe, resilient and connected communities.

It has been written with a close eye on data from surveys into our communities’ concerns, evidence from government and partners and a great deal of input from residents I have met in recent months as I stood for re-election.

Since I wrote the last plan in 2016 we have come a long way in terms of improving the connectivity between our communities and the police. Two examples of this in action are the fact that neighbourhood teams are more visible, with names and pictures of officers published online and the existence of more than 350 ‘councillor advocates’ – hard working council members who link communities with the force.

It is working, we have some of the lowest crime rates in the country and are much more likely to work in collaboration with other agencies than we used to. But I want to go further and faster. Still too many lives are blighted by antisocial behaviour, drug dealing and dangerous driving and people do not always get the quality of service from the police that I know the force is capable of delivering.

My new plan is more ambitious – I want us to be the safest police force in the country and an area served by a world class police force.

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The plan is designed to keep communities safe by breaking the cycle of crime through prevention and innovation, focussing on community priorities such as of drugs, antisocial behaviour, road safety and violence. I want to maximise visible policing and reduce opportunities for people to reoffend.

We need to make communities more resilient by increasing public participation in policing, make police and criminal justice services more sustainable, help young people to reduce the chances of falling victim to crime, influence Government on local issues and invest in crime prevention to strengthen rural communities.

And there is still work to do to better connect the police and public by increasing access points to contact police. We must develop easy-to-use digital services, build trust and support people with diverse needs, collaborating to tackle crime in partnership and improve public confidence through world class local policing.

One of commissioner’s key responsibilities is to provide services for victims of crime. A new partnership with Victim Support to deliver high quality services to those affected by crimes will help to restore people’s trust in others and represents a long-term commitment to reducing the impact of crime to individuals.

There’s no such thing as a ‘minor’ crime. An attempted burglary where nothing is taken can be traumatic, so it is essential people have access to these services.

My approach is to work with people, partners and places to make Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly even better places to live and work.

I am really excited about the emerging plan but it is essential that the voice of our communities is reflected in it.
So, I am asking people from all ages, backgrounds and geographies to take a few minutes to complete the survey. The answers will be vital in informing the decisions that lie ahead.

The survey, which runs until September 1, can be found online at my website devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk. Those not online can complete it over the phone by calling my office on 01392 225555 or by calling this number and requesting a paper copy and a stamped addressed envelope.

When your views are in I will finalise and publish the Police and Crime Plan for 2021-25. Then the hard work with police and partners to deliver on its objectives begins.


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