Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore lays out his priorities following re-election
The elections are now over, and I was absolutely delighted with the result and so pleased and privileged to be re-elected as your Police and Crime Commissioner.
The election result was very humbling and there’s a great deal to live up to. That said, I want to reassure all of you I will do my very best to represent everyone living and working to Suffolk regardless of how they voted.
I am really looking forward to continuing the work to keep Suffolk safe by preventing crime, bring offenders to justice and look after victims of crime.
One requirement for all Police and Crime Commissioners is to set out their intentions for policing in a Police and Crime Plan. The Suffolk plan will be based on my election manifesto which incorporated many suggestions from yourselves during the previous term of office.
The timetable for this important work should result in the plan being presented to the Police and Crime Panel in October.
The plan will be drafted in consultation with the Chief Constable and will then go out to wider consultation with stakeholders such as Community Safety Partnerships and business community representatives.
One of the challenges in delivering the new plan will be the prioritisation of proposals since my term of office this time is currently scheduled for three years only – due to the fact that the election was postponed last year because of the pandemic.
Achieving a fairer Home Office funding settlement for Suffolk Constabulary remains a top priority for me. Just after the election I was present at an online meeting with the Home Secretary and the Policing Minister who confirmed work has already started on improving the funding formula. The commitment to ‘level up’ funding as a general government policy remains and, therefore, I’d like to reassure you both the Constabulary and my office will be making Suffolk’s case as strongly as possible. As I’ve stated previously, a similar level of per capita police funding to our neighbours in Norfolk would increase our budget very considerably. That surely cannot be too much to ask for as a minimum!
The police officer recruitment programme is progressing very well for a couple of reasons; our share of the national uplift programme means Suffolk will be recruiting an extra 53 officers in this financial year and a similar number next year, and as a consequence of the extra Council Tax funding there will be a further 26 officers. By this time next year there will be around 1,330 full time officers in our county. This will make a big impact on increasing uniformed visibility in our towns and villages which I’m sure you will all welcome.
A further major commitment is to improve communication through various methods but particularly the 101 service. Money has already been earmarked for these improvements.
As your PCC I am really looking forward to starting our public engagement meetings and visiting many of our grant and commissioning recipients as the lockdown eases. Hearing and seeing at first hand the work and commitment of so many charities and voluntary sector bodies is a crucial component for keeping Suffolk safe and assisting victims and others in difficult or traumatic circumstances. Helping these organisations with longer term commitments on funding should help them deliver even better services for the people of Suffolk.
To conclude I am very grateful for the support so many of you have given during the last few years and am looking forward to working with you all once again to keep our county safe and secure. It’s great to be back!