Posted: Wednesday 12th April 2017
The tragic events of Westminster have shown us the ultimate sacrifice some have made in the line of duty and remind us how fortunate we are to have their courage, fortitude and dedication in service.
In the past few weeks we’ve seen the police at their very best, not only those officers responding to the horrific incident in London but also those closer to home who’ve faced demanding and resource-intensive investigations of their own.
The disappearance of two boys and their mother in Nottinghamshire earlier this month, for example, sparked a nationwide search which was thankfully resolved when officers later traced them all. At the time of writing they are in the care of child care professionals.
The increasing volume of missing persons’ investigations – and the sheer scale of response these enquiries demand - continues to consume police resources at a time when many other major crimes including fraud and cybercrime are stretching capacity.
There will always be competing priorities in policing but on the ground we can trust that those employed to keep the peace and protect our homes and personal safety will do so with integrity and with passion and I for one value this very highly.
The most recent national crime figures show an increase in crime in Nottinghamshire up to the end of March 2017 as in many other areas of the country. In real terms, crime levels are pretty stable and broadly the same last year. The fluctuation is due to changes in the way incidents are recorded to ensure the Force complies with the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS).
While the county remains below the national average with a 13.7% increase in crime (9,925 offences), I am very doubtful of the value in these figures at all and would suggest they merely illustrate the unhelpfulness of constant changes to the recording system. Such changes make any comparison with previous years impossible and it’s rather like comparing apples with oranges. The need for a clear, concise and universally implemented recording mechanism is vital if we’re to derive any meaning from year-on-year crime statistics and help the public better understand criminal trends.
The important message remains that the police are there when we need them most and this has certainly been evident this month. When I talk to local people, when I ask them what really matters to them, it always comes down to one thing: the police being ready to respond when it really matters. And they are. For this we should all be truly grateful.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner