Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore explains his priorities for the next three years
I had intended to focus on Suffolk’s new three-year Police and Crime Plan in this month’s article but I feel I must start with a mention of the appalling actions taken by Vladimir Putin with his invasion of Ukraine, which is something I never thought I would need to write about.
I hope and pray Ukrainians maintain their independence and can live their lives in freedom and peace.
This may take some time to achieve but for me this terrible situation demonstrates very clearly the need to maintain strong defence and the rule of law must prevail – our hard-won freedoms should never be taken for granted.
So now on to my Police and Crime Plan. One of the most important responsibilities I have as your Police and Crime Commissioner is to publish a police and crime plan within a year of being elected. This high-level plan sets the direction for policing in Suffolk for the next three years; it is a bespoke strategic plan for the county, tailored to the needs of Suffolk and the communities served by the Constabulary.
I’d like to take this opportunity to explain the main areas of focus and how I really believe it will continue to help make our county a safer place in which to live, work, travel and invest.
As I have explained before, the chief constable has operational independence for the day-to-day running of the police service in Suffolk. However, the choices about how policing is funded, the Medium-Term Financial Plan ambitions and the focus for policing, as set out in my Police and Crime Plan, are choices I make as PCC. These decisions are fundamental to support the police service to perform its role effectively.
The plan aims to deliver four main objectives – an efficient and effective police force for Suffolk; providing services which support victims of crime and invest in initiatives which reduce crime and disorder; engaging with communities to understand their views and keeping them updated on our work and, finally, a partnership approach to criminal justice and enhancing community safety. These objectives build on the progress of the previous two plans which I have issued since I was elected.
Putting these objectives into context, I can assure you there is a constant focus on looking for better value for taxpayers, coupled with a pragmatic approach to investment. All organisations seek to deliver more for less money. Reducing levels of violence and the influence of gangs and organised crime groups are fundamental to policing in Suffolk – this includes working on a multi-agency basis to eliminate the damage in society caused by County Lines. The new plan renews our commitment to deal with increasing prevalence of ‘hidden’ crimes such as domestic abuse, fraud and modern slavery and prevent these hideous forms of criminality.
My plan also reflects the national direction as outlined in the Government’s Beating Crime Plan, which proposes improvements across policing and criminal justice. A particular joint area of focus is tackling and preventing serious violence. I am committed to continuing the multi-agency approach to reducing violence, tackling associated drug supply and preventing exploitation of young people.
You can have as many plans and strategies as you like, but the key to success is making sure there is a stretching but deliverable action plan. I can assure you this is already in place and I will use this to hold the chief constable to account for making sure we have the police service we need in Suffolk. Churchill summed it up when he said: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.’ Exactly – and that’s what we will do with the new police and crime plan.
Suffolk’s new Police and Crime Plan and the performance framework, which shows how I will monitor progress, are both available to read on my website, www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk.