Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson says partnership, pro-activity and prevention remain key as he marks his first year in office.
Mr Macpherson was the first PCC in England and Wales to be sworn-in following the elections on 15 November 2012. He took office a week later on 22 November 2012.
Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “In March I published my Police and Crime Plan following wide consultation with the public and partners. This plan sets the strategic direction of policing in Wiltshire and Swindon and at its heart has the philosophy of partnership, pro-activity and prevention.
“A key part of this philosophy is working with communities and partners, including, of course, Wiltshire Police, local councils, probation, voluntary schemes, charities and other statutory agencies, to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, rather than reacting to it.
“Through my Police and Crime Plan and the Chief Constable’s Delivery Plan we are working to this ethos. For example I have provided impetus and resource to community volunteers by providing funding for two new staff to support Community Speed Watch and investment in a more efficient data recording and processing system.
“Community Speed Watch is a great scheme seeing volunteer residents recording speeds on local roads. It raises awareness of speed limits and road safety and can prevent people from driving over the legal limit.”
The Commissioner’s £1 million Innovation Fund is another way in which Mr Macpherson investing in proactive community projects.
In the first funding round 12 projects were awarded nearly £400,000 towards their own schemes which aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour as well as support vulnerable victims and witnesses. These include a mobile youth van in Swindon to give young people a place to go rather than hanging out on the streets and Wiltshire Police Outbox which refers young people to boxing clubs to give them a positive activity to engage in. The deadline for the second funding round, of three, is 15 November 2013.
Mr Macpherson added: “Another big area of work we have been progressing this year is a strategic partnership between my office, Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council.
“Understandably this is a significant piece of work involving us sharing buildings where possible, with Monkton Park in Chippenham being the first public building in Wiltshire where people can speak to both the police and council. There is also a commitment made for neighbourhood policing officers to be based at community campuses wherever possible.
“Work is also on-going looking at where both the police and council can share ‘back office’ support services. This partnership is about improving customer service, protecting frontline services and providing value for money across the public sector in the face of significant government budget cuts.”
Mr Macpherson says that key to these partnerships is establishing good working relationships with Wiltshire Police, particularly Mr Geenty, and Wiltshire and Swindon council leaders. He is also working closely with other south west PCCs and forces on collaborative operational projects.
Mr Macpherson spends a significant amount of time meeting, talking and listening to people in Wiltshire and Swindon about policing and crime matters so he can represent their views.
Since taking office the Commissioner has attended more than 400 meetings or events and his office is receiving about 300 contacts from the public each week in the form of letters, emails and phone calls.
Another part of the Commissioner’s remit is to oversee the way the force deal with complaints.
To do this he has appointed an Independent Complaints and Appeals Adjudicator, Professor Allan Johns, to provide clear water between the Office of the PCC and Wiltshire Police.
To mark his one year in office, a booklet explaining his role, priorities and highlights has been produced. This is available online,from the PCC website.
Mr Macpherson will also be attending a national event organised by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCCs) in London on 14 November.
People can contact Mr Macpherson via his office on 01380 734022, via email firstname.lastname@example.org;, or via his website , where he writes a weekly blog. He is also on Facebook.
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