Posted: Monday 1st July 2013
Week commencing 24 June 2013
People power has once again been the key theme behind my travels this week as I stepped inside more of the organisations working hard to improve our communities. With the release of the Government’s Spending Review on Wednesday confirming that further financial challenges lie ahead, the contribution that our partners and local people can make in helping Nottinghamshire to stay safe is more important than ever and it got me thinking about what other positive changes could take place if more residents understood and embraced their potential for instigating change. This week I met members of the Nottingham Citizens Founding Assembly who are doing just that; bringing together like-minded community groups and organisations with the aim of improving the lives of local people through education, the environment and health and by establishing peaceful, crime-free neighbourhoods. This kind of joined-up approach will help take the sting out of funding cuts by channelling resources more effectively into areas of need. I’m delighted to be working with such a forward-thinking organisation and am pleased to have delivered on a number of commitments made to them last autumn.
One of the ways local people can get involved in policing is to become a volunteer - something we were very keen to promote this week at the annual Armed Forces Day held in the City. Police volunteers are an incredibly valuable tool in the fight against crime, providing reassurance to the public and contributing to their feelings of safety. They are by no means a replacement for fully trained officers but they do bring an added protective presence to our streets and provide a close link to the public. Armed Forces Day saw thousands of people descend on the county to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community including serving troops and their families. The event gave us a great chance of meeting the public, finding out their views on policing and explaining more about the ways they can get involved including becoming a member of the Special Constabulary, Neighbourhood Watch or a Police Support Volunteer (PSV).
Elsewhere this week, I met with business leaders at Mansfield 2020’s breakfast meeting to discuss the county’s strategy for dealing with business crime. Retailers were told how the force is taking a leading stance on business crime with senior figures taking responsibility for the problem at a national level. We also discussed moves to record business crime under a unified definition to help us ascertain the full extent of the problem.
Finally I’d just like to recap on something I mentioned earlier which is the Government’s Spending Review. This forecasts a further tightening of funds from 2015-16 and subsequent years. Details will not be announced until the autumn but I anticipate that further savings of £6 million will have to be made in 2015 – 2016. That’s on top of the £42 million or 20% that’s already scheduled. Some tough decisions lie ahead. Over the next few months we will be continuing to ask for your policing priorities so that we can deliver plans which help us meet your expectations and deliver the services especially important to you. I hope everyone will take the opportunity of giving us feedback as this will really help us make tricky decisions about the future of policing in Nottinghamshire.