Arrested Development?

March 8, 2020 9:38 AM
By Kate Smith
Originally published by Derbyshire Dales Liberal Democrats
Alfreton Police Station

Alfreton Police Station - now closed

Some statistics for England and Wales:

  • Knife crime is up 80 % in 5 years, a record
  • Robberies are up 65 % since 2015
  • 999 call response times are the worst they've ever been
  • Children as young as 12 are being exploited by hard drugs gangs including County Lines
  • Fewer than one in 10 of crimes results in a charge - that's halved in 5 years

    Is this a surprise when we have 7,500 fewer frontline police on our streets and many police stations closed?
    Derbyshire Constabulary has been doing slightly better than this on some counts, but is starved of funding just like any other, and was criticised in the January 2020 report by HM Inspector of Constabulary on several points including less good protection for the most vulnerable.

    Kate Smith outside Alfreton Police Station (Kate Smith)

    Kate Smith Lib Dem candidate for PCC

    Kate Smith Lib Dem candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner says:
    "We will bring back proper community policing, ensuring officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people. Police and PCSOs must have protected time to gather intelligence, forge relationships and expand partnership working with schools, youth services and other community organisations. Some of this collaborative work is already good, but it needs imaginative expansion and a lot more funding".
    "We recognise the increasing trend towards cybercrime and online-enabled crime such as dealing, fraud and harassment. Whilst 'boots on the beat' are crucial, it's also important we increase the numbers of officers who can work at speed to gather, evaluate and channel online evidence, whilst keeping up their face-to-face communication skills and community relationships".
    "We must take a fresh and effective, public-health approach to youth violence. We will work to reverse the up to 70 % cuts to youth services over the last decade".
    "And we must value and protect our officers. Solo-crewed patrols must be minimised, and we will argue that all police staff should have an immediate 2% pay rise to help with recruitment and retention. All frontline officers should have training in response to mental ill-health, and mental health practitioners should be stationed in police control rooms 24/7. We will work to ensure that officers themselves receive occupational mental health assessments twice a year to help identify and mitigate work-related trauma".