NEWS FROM PLYMOUTH POLICE
Welcome to the latest edition of my newsletter. It comes out at a challenging time for us all. The results of the comprehensive spending review are now known and have resulted in budget cuts for us and many of the agencies across Plymouth we work with. I have further explained our situation in the article below. I have included with this newsletter, another newsletter from Plymouth 2020 (previously Local Strategic Partnership) and hope you find the contents of this interesting. Please feel free to further distribute this newsletter to colleagues. If you have any feedback please let me know through my communications officer.
Comprehensive spending review It’s been a week since the results of the comprehensive spending review were announced and I’m sure, like me, many of you are still digesting the information, analysing what it means to your organisation and working on plans to meet the requirements of the review. In summary, for Devon and Cornwall Police the result of the review is a 4% cut in police budget each year for the next 4 years. This is equivalent to approximately a saving of £44million over the next 4 years. Planning has already started to work out where these savings will come from, and how best to structure the force, not only to meet the savings requirement but also to continue providing a high standard of service to our communities. It does appear that unfortunately a significant amount of the saving will have to come from staff costs. Recent announcements from our Chief Constable have indicated this to be in the region of 700 officers and 300 staff. I share the Chief Constable’s disappointment over the position we find ourselves in and commend all officers and staff in Plymouth for continuing to show professionalism and dedication during this challenging time. By continuing to work in partnership together I hope that we are able to meet the challenges ahead and sustain the quality of service provided to the people of Plymouth.
Op Everest Previously a ‘day of action’, this year Op Everest is taking place over a whole week from 31 October to 6 November 2010. This gives us a real opportunity to focus on performance areas that really matter to our communities. Officers will be out in force over this week, often joined by our partners in the city. A principle aim of the week is to ensure Halloween and Bonfire night pass peacefully. Over recent years, the partnership approach we have taken to both events has resulted in a reduction in reported incidents and I’m sure this will be seen this year also.
NEWS FROM PLYMOUTH POLICE
Commending the young people of Plymouth Young people are often given a bad name through the actions of the minority. A few pieces of work done by young people in Plymouth came to my attention recently and highlight their engagement with us and enthusiasm for improving our city: Bus code of conduct Pupils from Notre Dame school and Coombe Dean school recognised that their behaviour on school buses can often be a bit much for other passengers. They developed a code of conduct to abide to when travelling on the buses and have also appointed elder pupils to act as ‘bus monitors’ to ensure the code is followed. Cadets clean up 5 Plymouth city centre police cadets recently gave up their Sunday to clean and paint the stairwell from Mayflower West car park to Sainsburys. Members of the public had made complaints about the state of the stairwell, which is a regular target for graffiti. The enthusiastic work of the cadets paid off with the end results being a much more pleasant place for shoppers.
Our performance We ended last year (2009/10) with a 10% reduction in crime, equal to 2,420 less crimes in the city. More importantly this is 2,420 less victims in the city. This is a result of not only police work but also from the partnership work across the city. Recorded crime continues to reduce at a similar pace this year with a 12% reduction in Devon and Cornwall to June 2010, exceeding the national reduction of 8%; however we cannot be complacent and recognise that more still needs to be done. A challenge for us now is to focus on serious violence in the city and to reduce the fear of crime, so the people of Plymouth recognise they live in a low crime area and have confidence in the services we provide. The government may have removed the confidence target and the policing pledge but the essence of both remains part of our focus. If our communities have confidence in us they are more likely to report being a victim of crime, come forward as witnesses and provide information to help us detect crime. I welcome your support and involvement in getting these messages to our communities.
Exercise Short Sermon I was involved in Exercise Short Sermon in October, as part of the Gold response at our headquarters in Exeter. This a multi-agency nuclear exercise in response to a nuclear accident, part of the Ministry of Defence’s and Plymouth City Council’s contingency planning to test procedures in place for responding to an incident at Devonport. This is an important part of the dockyard’s relicensing for nuclear work. A silver command was also in place at Crownhill station. I was the ‘talking head’ based at Gold command in HQ. In my role I held several press conferences during the day providing a flow of information to our communities and representing the multi-agency team. It was a very demanding role and alongside everyone else who was part of the exercise, I learnt a lot from the experience. The exercise provided a vast amount of value and learning points for all agencies, should such an incident take place, which will be used for further contingency planning to ensure the appropriates processes and measures are planned. As always, the value and strength of Plymouth’s partnership work shone through.