Putting communities first is part six of Darryl Preston’s six-point plan to #GetCrimeCut in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough...
By making sure police are in regular contact with the public – so the police force’s priorities match the needs of local communities.
Putting communities first
One of the first questions I’m asked when talking to residents is 'what does a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) do and why do we need one?'
Well, having been a serving police officer for 30 years, I then worked as a senior policy manager for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners in Westminster, supporting and representing all PCCs across the country, so I have a special insight into the role.
The PCC’s major functions are...
- Responsibility for the policing budget – currently £155m a year for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Constabulary.
- Setting strategic priorities via a police and crime plan.
- Holding the Chief Constable to account for the running of an effective and efficient police force.
- Commissioning services such as victim support.
In addition, the PCC...
- Must take account of the national strategic policing requirement set by the Home Office.
- Appoints – and can dismiss – the Chief Constable.
But, in my view, the most important role of the PCC is to be the elected representative of the communities they serve, listening to the concerns of all the residents in their policing area and acting on those concerns.
It is this part of the job that should define a good PCC – communities should know who their PCC is and see they are making a difference in keeping us all safe.
To that end, the PCC must be accountable to all the residents they serve – working with and for you.
I’m a crime fighter
At heart I'm a crime fighter and not a politician.
Though good governance is a key aspect to the job, this should not be an ‘admin role'. If elected, I will work hard to ensure all your voices are heard and the police act on your concerns.
This applies to all our communities, in our towns and cities, in our villages and rural communities.
If elected I will...
1. Consult with local residents, businesses, partners (councils, fire, ambulance and other agencies) and charitable organisations to draw up the priorities in the police and crime plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
2. Increase the engagement with residents and make sure police action tackles residents’ concerns and priorities. I will be looking at focus groups, surveys and citizens assemblies – in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – to ensure local issues are identified and action is taken.
3. Hold surgeries with residents in all parts of the county.
4. Introduce regular public meetings with the Chief Constable whereby residents’ issues and concerns are raised and the Chief Constable is held to account.
5. Invest in the 101 police telephone contact system and online services, making sure everyone can contact the police when they need to.
6. Include victim support, crime prevention, road safety and an attack on organised crime as key parts of my police and crime plan.
Darryl Preston is the Conservative candidate in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Police and Crime Commissioner election in May 2021. There's more about Darryl on the About Darryl Preston page.