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Tell me what you think our policing priorities should be

In her latest blog, Alison talks about keeping people safe and encourages people to take part in her recent survey about policing priorities.

Tell me what you think our policing priorities should be

Keeping people safe is a complex business and it’s hard to know where it should start. Is it right to intervene at the first signs of trouble and engage with young people to help them get lives back on track? Certainly.

Should giving potential victims the tools they need to keep them and their property safe to prevent criminals getting the better of them? Most residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are far more likely to be victims of a scam or hack than they are a physical robbery or burglary, so again the answer must be ‘yes’.

There’s no doubt that preparation for a terrorist incident also has to take place. The Westcountry might not be an obvious choice for extremist violence but it’s happened here, and several plots to attack our communities and our values have been thwarted because the police have had the ability to deal with them.

Yet in terms of risk to life it is bad driving that takes pole position. The latest figures indicate that 58 people were killed on the roads in Devon and Cornwall in the 12 months to March 2019 and there were 837 serious casualties, so perhaps more should be invested in roads policing?

Maybe though, neighbourhood policing holds some solutions to all of the above problems and more? If our officers can connect with communities at a very local level might they identify people whose vulnerabilities make them susceptible to exploitation by those who do not have their best interests at heart? Might they be able to persuade young male drivers in their communities - statistically the most likely to be at the wheel in a collision – to drive more safely?

The truth is that we need to invest in all of these areas, and more, to maintain Devon and Cornwall as two of the safest counties in the country.

As PCC I need to ensure that the public have their say on the shape of their local police force and the services commissioned by my office to reduce crime and its impact on people.

That’s why my office has been busy attending events up and down the peninsula and asking people where they would invest extra resources. People visiting our stand or attending a talk are given three ‘coins’ and asked to choose three of six key policing areas for investment. Already around 4,000 people have had their say and now an online survey is available to those who are not able to take part at one of our public events.

The survey only takes a couple of minutes to complete and the results will be used to influence decision making at the highest level, so I’d urge everyone to ensure they have their say. It is available here.

If you can’t get online or to an event at which the team is present please get in touch with my office by calling 01392 225555, emailing or posting a letter to The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Hocking House, Alderson Drive, Exeter, EX2 7RP to let me know your thoughts on how we might shape a police force for the future.

Alison Hernandez