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FIGHTING CRIME, PREVENTING CRIME

AND IMPROVING LIVES

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THE PLAN

When you elected me as your Police and Crime Commissioner I promised to be your voice in the police. You told me you want a force focused on fighting crime and preventing crime and that is what I’m delivering for you.

Since you first elected me in 2019 a lot has changed. The Covid-19 pandemic challenged every part of our region. I responded by quickly establishing a Covid emergency fund to ensure vital services in our region could continue working with domestic abuse survivors and child crime prevention charities, as well as many others dealing with crime prevention. 

And as we adjusted to recovery and the new normal, I introduce a major new police and crime plan for Northumbria Police, turning your priorities in to a legally-binding plan for the force to deliver on, and you can read this here

Since 2010 the Tories have cut more than £140m from Northumbria Police and many more millions from the public services that support residents and the police. I want to work with you to rebuild our force, to keep our street safe and stop people turning to crime in the first place.

MORE POLICE: HUNDREDS MORE OFFICERS, STAFF AND DETECTIVES

MORE POLICE

Through 11 years of Tory austerity, the number of police officers in Northumbria reduced by 1,100. This was true of valuable police staff too. The cost of these Tory cuts has been rising crime, less visibility and resident feeling less supported by a very stretched police force. I am working to reverse the effects of austerity. 

That means recruiting hundreds of frontline police officers — exceeding the Government’s offer to our force significantly year on year, as well as replacing departing and retiring officers. And I’ll give them the equipment they need to succeed, such as a full replacement of all body armour, tasers for those that need it, the best computer systems to tackle crime and the facilities they need too. 

 

Many of these officers are already recruited- they’ve joined the ranks of Northumbria Police and they’re learning the skills they’ll need to keep us safe. I’ll make sure the chief constable deploys them to match your priorities, especially a strong neighbourhood policing presence. 

 

But these extra frontline officers are only part of the solution. 

 

In Northumbria, we must disrupt crime at every level with neighbourhood teams working alongside other dedicated units. 

 

As part of that, I’m recruiting 60 new detectives to fight organised crime. Austerity has left us with a real shortage of police officer investigators. These new recruits will take on everything from the horrors of online child abuse to the scammers who target the vulnerable, and make sure criminals know we are coming for them.

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SAFER STREETS: A FOCUS ON ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

When I asked residents what they wanted from the police, they made it clear more action needs to be taken on anti-social behaviour. That’s why I have set up an anti-social behaviour taskforce. We know that often, anti-social behaviour needs more than just a police presence. Sometimes it needs local councils to step in as well, and sometimes it needs housing providers and landlords to deal with problem neighbours. I’m bringing all the key players around the table to make sure we can target anti-social behaviour hotspots. I’ll put an end to the constant back and forth residents experience between councils and 101. This serves nobody. 

 

I’m also giving Northumbria Police the backing needed to trial a new drone project. Across our region, too many people have had to complain about the problem of irresponsible scrambler-bike riders and quads causing havoc. We’ll trial new ways of tracking these drivers with drones and take their bikes off them where possible, building on previous work with DNA spray and dedicated policing operations. 

 

It’s also clear that not everyone feels safe walking our streets, and women feel especially vulnerable. I know how this feels and I’ll work with others to make sure our voice is heard, I’ll push for education, improvements to our streets and to make sure our police are focussed on this issue. 

Northumbria Police uses tools to recover money earned illegally by drug dealers and criminals. I’ve set up Operation Payback to put this money back into local neighbourhoods. 

 

That means money for residents’ associations, kids’ football clubs, cultural organisations and specialist charities working to stop crime and anti-social behaviour. 

 

And that fund will keep renewing. I’ve told the chief constable to take what he needs to keep funding the detectives who don’t just stop at a conviction for drug dealing; they drag criminals back to the courts and take illegally-earned money off them. I’ll keep that work going and invest the rest in local neighbourhoods.

MAKING CRIMINALS PAY: RECOVERING MONEY FROM CRIMINALS FOR YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

Northumbria Police uses tools to recover money earned illegally by drug dealers and criminals. I’ve set up Operation Payback to put this money back into local neighbourhoods.

 

That means money for residents’ associations, kids’ football clubs, cultural organisations and specialist charities working to stop crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

And that fund will keep renewing. I’ve told the chief constable to take what he needs to keep funding the detectives who don’t just stop at a conviction for drug dealing; they drag criminals back to the courts and take illegally-earned money off them. I’ll keep that work going and invest the rest in local neighbourhoods.

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PREVENTING CRIME: A VIOLENCE REDUCTION UNIT FIGHT CRIME, PREVENT CRIME & IMPROVE LIVES

I’ve set up a Violence Reduction Unit to target known offenders and keep young people away from crime. We’re funding local sports activities led by role models from the region’s biggest football clubs to give young people an alternative to street crime and gang lifestyles. 

 

I’ve met boxing coaches, actors, artists and footballers, mechanics and hairdressers who know that if you show a young person a better alternative, so often they will seize the chance. 

 

And there’s never been a more important time to invest here. After more than a decade of Tory cuts, youth and family services have almost disappeared, and crime has risen. 

 

The Violence Reduction Unit is using the same public health approach that worked in Glasgow and Chicago where they were overrun with crime. This approach creates amazing results. It means dedicated work to understand the health inequalities and deprivation that causes crime, it supports mothers and families, schools and young people. It works with those most likely to get in to trouble. We work to find out who they are and how they’re spreading their violent lifestyle. Put simply, we treat violence like the disease it is. 

 

Too often, local neighbourhood police officers have nowhere to send young people to when they want to stop short of a police cell. My Violence Reduction Unit will step in and work with these young people to stop them ruining their own lives and others. 

 

This unit is taking root in our region well. I’ll expand it and commit to this approach for the future to prevent people from committing crime in the first place, because we know, you can’t simply arrest your way out of crime.

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PUTTING YOU FIRST: GIVING PEOPLE A VOICE IN THE FORCE

My job as Police and Crime Commissioner isn’t to be a second chief constable - we have a qualified and highly capable chief. My job is to be your voice in the police force. That means delivering on your Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime priorities. 

 

I know neighbourhood policing is a vital part of good policing, so I’ll ensure the force revitalises its online systems to make it easier for every resident to find out who is the dedicated, named officer for their neighbourhood, including ways to contact the inspector at the top of their patch. 

 

I’ll also continue to ensure dedicated support for victims of crime, especially those escaping the horrors of domestic abuse or sexual violence. But we also need to look again at the support for victims of anti-social behaviour. The Government refuses to fund dedicated support- I’ll be campaigning to change that. 

 

Residents and the police tell me often how mental health issues are a huge concern. Far too often the only option for people suffering with their mental health is an emergency call when they reach crisis point. People deserve better than this. People suffering with their mental health should not be criminalised, they shouldn’t have to call 999 to get help. Support should be available earlier and our police need to be free to fight and prevent crime. Our region needs more funding for mental health services to prevent this growing trend of the police or emergency services being the only option. 

 

I will work for solutions and highlight this growing concern to government. I am here to listen. Your priorities are my priorities so I’ll continue doing public meetings, surgeries, zoom calls, and Q&As.