People living in Derbyshire’s rural areas often have different policing needs than their city cousins, but whatever our priorities, we all want to be protected from harm and crime. My job as your Police and Crime Commissioner is to give everyone the opportunity to voice their views on policing, to take heed of that opinion and then to do my best to ensure that your expectations of Derbyshire Constabulary are met. To that end, I am determined to listen closely to what you tell me and act on your issues – whether you live in Chesterfield, in the Derbyshire Dales or in the High Peak areas around Buxton. I am also responsible for commissioning services for victims of crime and we recently launched new services designed to provide support according to individual need and I am keen to know, if you are unfortunate enough to become a victim, how you rate this new provision. In the weeks and months to come I will be spending as much time as possible in your areas to get to know what you feel works best where you live when it comes to keeping you safe. Official assessments of Derbyshire Constabulary have rated the force highly in terms of financial management, leadership and protecting vulnerable people, which is reassuring but this does not mean I can sit on those laurels. I am committed to improving the service you receive still further. From my time as your Deputy Commissioner I know that keeping you informed is important to many of you, and this is particularly so for people who live in the more isolated areas. This is why I am focused firmly on improving alerts and communications between the public and the police. We all know that locking the stable door after the horse has bolted is futile, but it’s equally true that timely warnings about criminal activity in your neighbourhoods brings the opportunity to ensure your property is secure. Schemes such as ShopWatch radio are, for example, invaluable in alerting traders to suspicious behaviour and crimes in our town centres, as is FarmWatch in the rural areas. With North Division officers and staff covering a mixture of rural and urban areas it’s a challenge for the thin blue line to provide as much local policing presence as you would like to have. But good use of communication tools – or simply talking – between the public and the police can lead to tracking down drug supply offenders or focused, high visibility patrols targeting such offences as speeding and nuisance driving or deterring anti-social behaviour (ASB).
In North Derbyshire policing priorities include protecting vulnerable people, tackling criminal and anti-social behaviour. The force is focused upon increasing the amount of time policing teams spend out and about providing reassurance to your communities. Fortunately, working together with communities and partners means that our police can spend more time catching criminals and preventing crime. Drawing upon local knowledge and expertise allows them to focus more on delivering a strong local policing presence. So, if you have a view, please get in touch with me and I will do my best to help you.