As mentioned earlier last night’s Social Inclusion Select Committee included a presentation from the relatively new head of ‘B’ Division Chief Inspector Peter Lewis. For anyone who doesn’t know ‘B’ Division is the area of Derbyshire Police that covers both the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.
The presentation started off by covering some of the changes that have taken place within the police over the last year or so, including the various changes to reduce local section in the area from 6 to 3 which has seen the Glossop area expanded to cover New Mills, meaning that a number of additional Sergeants have been freed up to work on Neighbourhood Policing along with the provision of additional resources for a number of other areas.
As a result of this change and other partnership working, crime was down 6.9 % in 2008/9 and has fell by 23.1% since 2002 / 3 and over the past year there had been less that 1 burglary across the 512 square miles that the division covers.
In terms of future work, the chief inspector highlighted the policing pledge that the Derbyshire Police signed up to towards the end of last year and the new performance target NI 21, that the police now have which will judge the work of the police and others on the percentage of people who agree that the police and local councils are dealing with anti social behaviour and crime issues.
To date across Derbyshire 47.2 % of people are satisfied and the police have set what they believe is a tough target of reaching 60.4% of people been satisfied by March 2012 with an interim target of 51% by March 2011.
To reach this target the police force have introduced a new force commitment which has 5 force values for all staff along with a 4 point divisional plan on how this will be taken forward locally.
The types of actions that will be seen will include better ‘interaction’ with all our communities, officer with more discretion to deal with low level crime, making appointments to visit people to deal with non urgent issues, better technology to keep officers out on the beat and improved feedback by means such as the ring master system and other means.
Overall it seemed an encouraging start to Chief Superintendent Lewis’s time in command of our area, and I hope that continued progress as has been seen by the local safer neighbour teams can be improved. Locally people will get the chance to put there issues to him when he visits for a celebration taking place next week for the 50th neighbourhood watch on the estate.