Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has unveiled his annual report to the body responsible for overseeing his decisions and the progress he has made in post.
The 2014-15 report, which highlights the Commissioner’s achievements during the financial year, was presented to the Police and Crime Panel for its consideration on Monday, 15 June.
It outlines the unprecedented financial challenge facing the Force during the next 12 months which sees it having to claw back £12m of savings in 2015-16. This is in addition to the £42 million already removed from the budget over the past three years – a reduction of 20%.
With further cuts anticipated in next year’s grant, the extent of which will be revealed in the Comprehensive Spending Review announcements in the autumn, it is possible that Nottinghamshire’s slice of the national policing pot will have halved between 2010 and 2020.
In spite of this, the Annual Report details a series of improvements that have been made to policing services during 2014-15 through better working arrangements, stronger focus on early intervention and crime prevention, and investment in new technology.
Commenting on the report, Commissioner Tipping said: “I’m very proud of the improvements we’ve delivered in 2014-15, especially when you consider the limited funds we’ve had to play with following further withdrawal of central funding.
“We’re really building for the future and while it will take time for some of the fresh approaches we’ve initiated to bear fruit, I am confident nonetheless that victims, witnesses and our communities will reap the benefits in the future.
“The past year has seen us strengthen our regional collaboration arrangements from back office services and operational support activities through to joint responsibilities for tackling serious crime such as terrorism. We’ve risen to the financial challenges and have found the courage to do things differently. These changes will help us to squeeze more value out of our budgets and increase our ability to protect the public from harm.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, stakeholders and Nottinghamshire’s police officers, staff and volunteers for their ongoing support in what has been another, incredibly difficult year. Their united professionalism and determination has helped to smooth the path of organisational change and increase confidence within our communities at a time when there is anxiety about the future of local policing services.”
The annual report discusses the ongoing work to enhance the protection and support for victims and witnesses of crime. Commissioner Tipping has funded a number of voluntary, sector-led projects, for example, to develop support for young victims of crime including a City and County-wide service to support teenage survivors of domestic abuse as well as counselling support for young victims of sexual violence and group work with vulnerable young women.
Meanwhile, vulnerable people suffering mental health crisis have been given the support they need through the Street Triage team, which has seen a 43.8% reduction in the number of non-crime related mental health patients detained in the Force’s custody suites. Alongside the Chief Constable, Commissioner Tipping made a public commitment with partners to find an alternative solution to the use of police cells for children and adults detained in such circumstances by March 2015 and October 2015 respectively.
There have also been sweeping reforms to tackle priority crimes and antisocial behaviour. A range of diversionary and preventative activities have been launched including work with street drinkers, drug users and offenders, taxi marshalling, student community safety awareness, street marshalls and street pastors, for example. The Commissioner has also funded 31 voluntary and community organisations with just under £360k of grant funding with an additional £100k funding to support victims’ services.
More than half the small grants were awarded to support victims, witnesses and vulnerable people while others projects focused on crime reduction, diversionary activity and support to reduce antisocial behaviour and substance misuse.
Commissioner Tipping also successfully applied for a number of Home Office Innovation Funding bids worth several million pounds on behalf of Nottinghamshire and neighbouring forces. These awards include finance for body-worn video to enhance evidence gathering such as in domestic violence cases; an integrated ‘virtual courts system’ across the East Midlands enabling substantial savings through fewer prisoner transfers; and a four-force Inter-operable Crime and Justice Platform to improve information-sharing and submission of evidence.
Another award across five forces enables DNA profiles to be returned in under 90 minutes without need of a skilled technician.
Commissioner Tipping added: “We’ve exhausted all funding opportunities to ensure Nottinghamshire has access to the very best policing technology to increase our evidence-gathering capabilities and ultimately bring more successful prosecutions. Technology not only improves effectiveness, it also strengthens police integrity, helping to reassure the public and build trust and confidence in our communities.”
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Posted on Tuesday 16th June 2015