Posted: Friday 31st May 2013
Anyone who is familiar with my first Police and Crime Plan will understand how strongly I feel about protecting victims of crime and prioritising their needs. Crime can have a devastating – and sometimes life-changing – effect on its sufferers and the way these vulnerable citizens are treated and the support they receive early on can play a huge impact on their ability to heal from their experiences. This is why I am so keen to get our approach right - from a customer service point of view when people first contact the police to report a crime right through to when an offender is charged and subsequently punished. It is the latter which has dominated my thoughts this week as we held the first Restorative Justice Summit in Nottinghamshire. Bringing offenders and victims together in face-to-face meetings so that criminals can understand the full impact of their offending and make amends has been shown to reduce the frequency of offending. Everyone involved in this style of intervention in the county feels very passionate about its capacity to stop the cycle of offending and we’re all working towards developing it further and unleashing even greater potential. The Summit will be followed by further meetings so we can better work together to expand RJ and add to the tally of success stories.
Also this week, we’ve seen the first full report published detailing the register of interests of PCCs and budgets per force area. Unfortunately there are some inaccuracies in the report which we are responding to however I do welcome the openness and transparency that this document brings. The public is right to demand efficiency and value for money from policing and I’m pleased that the correct figures show that the cost to run my office in 2013-14 is 10% less than our predecessors the Police Authority, which means we are already making some important savings. I intend to make more.
Elsewhere, GPS tagging has hit the headlines again and I’ve taken the opportunity of reiterating my support of this system to track criminals and monitor their location. I’ve already met with the company G4S who are going to supply more tags to the force and like other PCCs I’m keen to convince the Government that changing legislation so that all offenders are eligible for tagging will make our crime prevention efforts more effective. Currently, tags are only fitted to volunteers but the advantages of expanding this system are obvious and I will keep pushing for this.
Work is on-going to research alcohol misuse in the county to feed into the forthcoming Alcohol Conference. This week I visited Nottingham Prison where I met a number of people from Hetty’s– a charity dedicated to helping prisoners tackle their alcohol/drug misuse and breaking the cycle of their offending. I was immensely impressed by the commitment shown by Hetty’s staff. They are not only tackling the addiction head on but they also offer mediation and intervention services to help heal relationships between prisoners and their families, which creates a more stable life for the individual.
Finally, I’d like to mention the launch of our first Strategic Resources and Performance Meeting which was attended by the force’s chief officer team alongside key executives from my team. This is the first of a monthly meeting programme which will help me monitor performance and ensure policing remains transparent to the public. It will also help to identify any weaknesses which need attention to the benefit of Nottinghamshire residents.