Despite a difficult year, police and partners are rising to the challenge of keeping Norfolk safe – that’s the verdict of the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner in his annual report, published today.
Looking back on the key achievements of 2013/14, PCC Stephen Bett reports that, although there have been significant financial challenges and difficult decisions to be made, ‘we find ourselves in a good place’.
“My ultimate goal is to keep Norfolk safe and secure for all of the people who live, work and visit here,” Stephen said. “The last 12 months have, by no means, been easy. As we all work with reduced budgets, stretched resources and ever-evolving demands for service, the already challenging objectives and targets I have set for police and partners become an even bigger ask.”
“Despite the current financial situation and bleak outlook – and the difficult decisions we face because of that – it gives me pleasure to be able to confirm that the high standards we have come to expect from our police force have been maintained, and levels of crime and disorder in the county continue to fall.”
A review of police performance shows that Norfolk Police are on target to achieve six out of nine of the PCC’s objectives by March 2016, including reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, cutting the number of people killed or seriously injured on Norfolk’s roads, and tackling violent crime in night-time economy areas.
“Levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in the county reduced further in 2013/14 which is excellent, but I want to see more crime being detected. I am pleased to see there have been marked improvements in the detection rates for serious sexual offences and domestic abuse, but this needs to continue to be an area of focus for Norfolk Police.
“The Constabulary has some way to go to meet the targets I have set in these areas and I will be closely monitoring progress over the coming months, as well as how the Force is working to improve public satisfaction with the service it delivers.”
In his report, the PCC stresses that, while the police play an important role, community safety, tackling issues such as anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse, and protecting the vulnerable are not matters for one agency alone.
“The reality is that there is limited funding available across the board. As individual organisations continue to struggle, it is vital that, collectively, we step up to the plate, work smarter, intervene earlier and ensure our most vulnerable are protected.”
“It is promising to see that partnership arrangements in the county are starting to become more effective and key milestones like the signing of Norfolk’s first mental health crisis care agreement give me hope for the future.”
The report also highlights other partnership achievements, including the introduction of mental health specialists into the police control room, domestic abuse training being delivered to the county’s GPs by local charity Leeway and ongoing work with the business community to get ex-offenders into work or training to reduce the chances of them re-offending.
Read the PCC’s report in full – Annual Policing Report 2013/14 (PDF, 1.2 MB)