I have supported my colleagues at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners who have called for an extra £1.28billion being awarded to Police budgets over the course of the next two years, to fund an extra 5000 Police Officers and 1100 firearms posts.
I too have made the case for Kent, pointing out the local and strategic cases we face as a county. You can read more about the APCC case here: http://www.apccs.police.uk/latest_news/police-crime-commissioners-reveal-cost-combatting-rise-crime/
The Dame Elish Angiolini Review of deaths and serious incidents in Police custody, published on 30 October, provides another look at a longstanding and critical challenge to faith in the criminal justice system. The Review highlights what Police and Crime Commissioners can and are doing to address some of the concerns raised. For example, Independent Custody Visitor schemes ensure higher standards of welfare for detainees in custody. PCCs are also investing in body-worn video cameras, and by the end of the year 60,000 will be on the frontline.
The Review confirms the belief of PCCs that the Government’s partial ban on the use of police custody for those suffering a mental health crisis should be outright. However, it remains vital that the NHS and Local Authorities work to provide suitable alternative facilities for those who are detained.
The Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project provides an informal meeting place for local residents, a library of information and a mobile café to rural communities in Kent and Medway. It has been supported by Kent Officers and Staff on its travels. I have been along to two of their events so far, including in Adisham last week, and they have been really useful as I seek residents views on Policing and crime in the county. You can find out more at http://www.ruralkent.org.uk/coffeeproject.
I am starting to work my way round in visiting all of the Police Cadet Units. My first was a visit to the Canterbury Unit, who I saw at their Passing Out Parade in April. I have been delighted to support this worthwhile project, which got off the ground with a contribution of funding from my Office. The young people I have met have really enjoyed it and I would like to thank all of those Leaders who volunteer to give up their time so that the Cadet troops can operate. Well done!
My latest survey on Policing and crime in the county is absolutely vital and will contribute to the refreshed Police and Crime Plan in April of next year. There are also vital questions about council tax and collaboration. I have made a number of paper copies of the consultation available but you can also fill it out online at www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/consultations.