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Priority 4: Strengthen Communities

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Shared outcome:

Communities are empowered to shape how policing and community services are developed and delivered, with strengthened partnership working building public confidence and resilience to crime.

Focus areas:

Involving communities

It is also hugely important that the public’s voice is fully heard by police and other agencies. That’s why I am committed to continuing an extensive and expanded programme of engagement and consultation. I will meet with communities across Warwickshire at a variety of events and community meetings, using the feedback gained to ensure that the police and other agencies remain focused on the issues that matter.

This is particularly important for groups and individuals who are traditionally under-represented are actively engaged with and given the opportunity for their voices to be heard. Young people in particular are often overlooked by policy makers and I am keen to ensure that that opportunities are provided for them to be active and productive citizens. I will also continue my support of the Police Cadets, including the nomination of two PCC Cadets each year who can assist me with my engagement activities.

I will also actively support the Citizens in Policing Programme, including the successful Citizens’ Academies organised by Warwickshire Police. Those taking part leave with a boosted knowledge of policing and may become more involved in the wider police family through Neighbourhood Watch or the force’s Independent Advisory Groups.

Ensuring the safety and welfare of individuals when they come into police custody is also of critical importance. I will continue to organise Independent Custody Visiting Schemes for our custody facilities at Leamington and Nuneaton, ensuring that all feedback from the unannounced visits is acted upon swiftly

Crime prevention

Preventing crime is just as important as detecting crime once it has occurred. A crime that doesn’t occur is a victim that hasn’t been created. By having a sustained focus on prevention, we can reduce the damage caused by crime, both in economic terms and to the lives it ruins.

Police have an important part to play in crime prevention and I will hold the Chief Constable to account in ensuring that it is as much a part of police activity as the investigation and detection of crime. When crimes do occur, I also want to ensure that victims receive the right advice to help them avoid becoming repeat victims.

This will involve closer partnership working to help our communities become more crime aware and encourage them to take the necessary precautions to ensure life is made difficult for criminals. Community safety partners are also central to these efforts and I want to encourage better coordination with the police to ensure that there is a clear vision of how crime prevention can be achieved. To assist with this activity I will continue to fund a range of crime prevention specialists in areas such as business crime and cyber crime, who can work with residents and businesses.

I will also continue to encourage citizen participation, including supporting the work of groups such as Neighbourhood Watch, Horse Watch, Heritage Watch and Business Watch schemes, which provide not only a deterrent effect on criminal activity but can help spread effective crime prevention methods to a wide audience. Overall, I want to ensure that our communities are doing all they can to make life difficult for criminals and send the strong signal that Warwickshire is not an easy target for crime.

Partnership working

Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) have an important role in reducing crime in their local areas. They are best-placed to respond to the threats and concerns which matter to their communities and bring innovative solutions to the table. I will continue to support their activities in support of the overall vision of this plan.

I know that a frequent concern for local communities is the disruption caused by unauthorised traveller encampments and this is an area where coordinated partnership activity is essential. Police and their partners need to work closely with landowners to take swift action to deal with unlawful activity, while there is also a need to ensure that law-abiding members of the travelling community are not unfairly targeted and victimised. Previously, I brought together all of the partners and developed the county-wide protocol on dealing with unauthorised encampments and I will continue to monitor its effectiveness. I will also support local authorities in their efforts to provide appropriate transit sites for the travelling community, as this is key to reducing the issues caused by unlawful incursions on public and private property.

As Commissioner, I have a duty to ensure that opportunities to deepen partnership working are kept constantly under review. To help me do this, I will continue to chair the local Blue Light Emergency Collaboration Joint Working Group, which comprises not only the police but fire and ambulance services and mental health agencies. Through this group I will examine how closer working would benefit the community and deliver greater efficiencies. I will also continue to support close working relationships with our regional police forces.

The role of police and crime commissioners continues to evolve and in future could extend to having a greater remit for the criminal justice system and possibly also fire governance. I will keep these developments closely under review and will look to maximise opportunities to deliver more joined-up and effective services which deliver better value for money for the taxpayer, as and when they arise.

What success will look like:

  • Joint engagement will ensure we understand communities and respond to local concerns.
  • Young people and other under-represented groups will have a voice to influence how services are delivered.
  • Public involvement with community safety agencies will build understanding and resilience in our communities.
  • Independent scrutiny will build confidence in the way in which the police safeguard rights and welfare.
  • Communities will become more resilient to crime, taking practical steps to reduce their chances of becoming a victim.
  • All relevant authorities will be held to account in meeting their duties to protect their local communities from crime.
  • Protocols to tackle unauthorised traveller encampments across the county are effective and numbers reduce.
  • The impact of anti-social behaviour is reduced through better partnership working and evidence- based solutions.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other bodies inside and outside of policing are pursued where there is mutual benefit and this results in a more efficient and effective service for the public.