Much of my work as Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner involves building relationships with local people. Why is this so important you might wonder? Well, when there is a two-way conversation, when people trust the police to protect them and to do a good job, they become an extension of the police and one of its greatest crime-fighting tools.
We need not look any further than last week for evidence of this. The arrest of a suspect in relation to a series of serious allegation, demonstrated the power and effectiveness of ‘public’ policing.
In a single week of this ongoing inquiry, residents provided more than 180 separate pieces of information which greatly assisted officers in their investigations.
The response was nothing short of overwhelming and showed us all why it’s so important we work together.
This partnership approach is especially relevant when you consider Derbyshire’s vast rural landscape.
Now that our Rural Crime Team is in operation, we will be looking at how we can increase the flow of intelligence from our countryside communities to tackle crime.
Derbyshire Alert will also allow us to optimise our crime prevention work by warning residents of live crime threats – across multiple rural areas – so they can take swift action.
But as much as I’m delighted to have this specialist team in place, it’s still vital that people remain vigilant particularly in respect of wildlife crime which normally takes place well out of the public’s view.
Many of you ask what we are doing to tackle alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour.
You may have seen that recently there have been national calls for the government to increase the duty on high strength ‘white’ ciders in an effort to tackle harmful alcohol consumption by both street drinkers and young people (the target market for many of these drinks).
As the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC) lead on alcohol and substance misuse, supported by my colleague in Nottinghamshire Paddy Tipping. I’m reviewing the details of this proposal carefully but what I can say is I’m in full support of anything that helps to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour, street drinking and alcohol-related violence.
The public have a right to enjoy the wide variety of activities available in our towns and cities safely. Whatever path we take to achieve this, it has to work.
If you have any issue you would like me to consider in this column email firstname.lastname@example.org.