There was to be an item about the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derby and Derbyshire on the BBC Sunday Politics show today Sunday 25th April. However, I received a text to tell me that the item will now be shown on BBC1 next week, Sunday 2nd May, 10am. Apparaently there were some production difficulties that prevented it being shown this week.
I was delighted to be sent a copy of the minutes of a parish council where there was the record of a meeting with a senior member of Derbyshire Constabulary. It was all part of the police's community engagement and I gained the impression of a serious willingness of the police to listen to and respond to local concerns. At this stage I am not certain of how widespread this engagement is, but it is the type of action that I will be promoting as your PCC.
I reproduce below a particularly helpful section of the minutes, and encourage everyone to take note of the means of contact provided:
"The police emphasised the need for the reporting of all incidents, however small, to ensure that the police have a complete record of offences that may help them in completing the circle in some offences and behaviours. Please encourage your residents to make a report of any crime or antisocial behaviour. Speeding can be reported through CREST Derbyshire and antisocial behaviour can be reported through the Derbyshire Police website. Safer Neighbourhood Teams are deployed to areas with higher incidences so a fuller reporting will support these efforts."
Incidentally, on a recent visit to Buxton Police Station I met the sergeant with responsibility for the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team and heard about some recent successes base on information received from the public.
Of course the answer to this is a resounding YES. But I raise the question because a member of the Buxton Civic Society wrote to me as follows:
"The BCA has nearly 700 members, and they are bound together by a pride in their community and place, something which is at the heart of law and order. Respect for others, respect for your surroundings and most importantly self-respect are the foundations of a civil society."
But he then went on to say that "As The UK is now the Litter Capital of the World" what will I, as the PCC, be planning to do about this?
Actually my correspondent was very grateful for my response:
"Dear xxxx, I had a discussion with the Chief Constable today about potential actions on litter. She was adamant that this is a council responsibility but did not seem to be averse to the suggestion that we could set up partnership working to try to educate the public to do the right thing. This is certainly something I would like to pursue further, as I indicated earlier, Hope this helps, Stan"
There is a lot of concern out there that children who are victims of crime may not always be getting the best possible support. Responding to an email from the NSPPC I wrote:
"I have just spent an hour in a video meeting with The Children’s Society and heard how they are supporting vulnerable children particularly in the Essex area, I did ask whether similar support is available elsewhere (thinking particularly of Derbyshire). The response was positive but lacked detail. Currently I am not aware of of the support provided in Derbyshire or its adequacy, but I do promise you that, if elected, I will find out and give consideration to the best way forward in dealing with the important issues that you have described in your briefing."
Pierre Hyman at the NSPCC was encouraged to hear of my contact with their colleagues at The Children's Society and promised to get back in touch following the election.
Drink spiking with alcohol or drugs can have horrendous consequences and is very under-reported. I have been asked by StopTopps to elicit your help in completing a survey. See below:
"You can help in our fight against drink spiking right now. If you would be good enough to complete the survey and to share this link with your contacts on social media - https://stoptopps.com/our-uk-drink-spiking-survey-please-take-part-and-share/ - it would allow us to gain vital personal experiences of drink spiking across as wide a demographic as possible.
Thank you very much for your support."