Christmas and the New Year period is a great opportunity to reflect on the year that has just been. During 2023 I am pleased to be able to report significant progress on improvements to policing and community safety across Warwickshire.
One of my key targets was achieved in March, when Warwickshire Police hit 1,100 police officers for the first time and has since gone on to exceed this number. This has enabled to the Chief Constable to deliver a new operational model which targets resources to where they are needed most to meet the threats modern society faces, while also improving public access to services.
This has included changes to the way 101 calls are handled, with wait times significantly reduced, partly enabled by significant investments in our state-of-the art control room at Stuart Ross House, which was officially opened in June. The same month saw the visit of the iconic Knife Angel to Nuneaton, helping spread the word about the dangers of knife crime in a very visual and effective way.
With partners I have also brought in more than £1.5 million of new funding from the Home Office, with the aim of making our streets safer for all. Projects across the county are being implemented and over the next 12 months will help to further combat violence against women and girls, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour.
I have also commissioned six expanded support services for victims of crime during 2023. These include specialist services for victims of rape and sexual violence, child exploitation, modern slavery and for those who suffer a bereavement or serious injury on our roads. All are vital to helping people cope and recover.
As we now move into the festive period, it is worth reflecting that it is often among the busiest periods for policing and victim support services. Keeping us all safe is a full-time responsibility and, on behalf of all residents, I’d like to thank all those on the front line who do this tirelessly, assisted by many support staff, whose work behind the scenes can often go unrecognised.
Finally, on behalf of everyone at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, I’d like to wish all residents an enjoyable festive period and a safe and prosperous New Year.
Philip Seccombe TD
Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire