Maintaining front-line policing at a time of shrinking budgets has been my top priority from the start. I’m delighted that as we end 2015 the finances are firmly back on track meaning neighbourhood policing numbers in Staffordshire have not suffered the devastating like many parts of the country have. Work is ongoing to improve services for victims and witnesses and there’s a revolution happening in the way different services join up better to prevent crime or offending from happening in the first place as well as spending public money more effectively than ever before.
Beneath Safer, Fairer, United Communities strategy I published there’s a series of delivery plans developed by different agencies across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent that is turning the strategy into actions.
The approach we are taking here is considered by many commentators to be the most ambitious in the UK because at its heart is agencies across the public sector working collaboratively at every level towards common outcomes that make our communities safer. I’m also pressing Government to adopt a new more mature and flexible relationship which fits the needs and circumstances of local communities here. Some success on that but it’s really difficult with such an inflexible Whitehall ‘machine’.
If we can collectively achieve even 70% of our aims it will make a real and sustainable difference to the everyday lives of law abiding people here. The foundations are firmly in place and actually from where we started to where we are now is pretty decent although there’s a long way to go… probably 2 or 3 years to get the local approach we’re developing the norm. You can read about the strategy here and I welcome any views and comments on it.
I’ve met face to face around 21,000 people since taking office and the strategy itself attracted nearly 8,000 overwhelmingly positive consultation responses so I’m fairly certain we’re on the right track.