9th June 2021
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, is continuing to pile pressure on the Government to give the green light to start recruiting local officers as soon as possible.
In an open letter to Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, the Commissioner has made clear that with the Government’s promised funds in place, Northumbria Police is ready to roll out a smooth recruitment process and training package which will put officers back on the streets, serving local communities.
However, she has requested clarity on how many new officers Northumbria will be allocated.
Commissioner Kim McGuinness, said: “I’m going to keep putting the pressure on until funding is handed over allowing us to replace 1,100 police officers lost due to austerity.
“My message has been clear since day one. We’re geared up to go and want to see recruitment of local people. I’ve been out and about throughout the Force area and time and time again people are telling me they want more police serving our communities and less crime. This needs to be a long-term commitment too, not a short-term government announcement.”
The Commissioner added: “This is an urgent matter – how long do we have to play this waiting game? The sooner this request is facilitated and the funding materialises the better.”
Read the letter in full here.
A team of experts who volunteer their time to help tackle cybercrime have been praised for their hard work and dedication by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness,
Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable Winton Keenen who dropped in to meet the people who make up the Force’s new cyber volunteer team this week.
Made up of recent graduates, professionals and retirees, the team was recruited over a year ago as part of a plan to bring industry experts and specialists into the Force to help with complex and lengthy cyber investigations.
Their roles are varied and change week to week but they often help test companies’ cyber security and apply their knowledge to assist with ongoing investigations.
Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to come and spend time with the cyber volunteers and learn more about the fantastic work they do for the Force. Cybercrime is growing nationally and we need to make sure we utilise all the skills and expertise we can to help us tackle the problem head on.
“Having professionals who know what they are doing working alongside trained officers and detective is fantastic to see.”
Chief Constable Keenen said: “We are incredibly lucky to have recruited such expertise into the Force. It has been an absolute privilege to meet our cyber volunteers and see their specialist skills and knowledge being put to use.
“Just seeing the results this small team can bring is fantastic and it’s definitely a huge benefit to us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work, your passion and for choosing to share your skills with us.
Chief Constable Keenen and Commissioner Kim McGuinness visited the volunteers in person at Byker station on Saturday, August 17.
This week, Commissioner, Kim McGuinness visited two of the Wearside groups who were awarded funding from her Community Fund to tackle hate crime and support mental health services.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the Commissioner visited Sunderland Bangladesh Centre who received a £2,000 grant to support their ongoing work in the local community tackling hate crime.
She also met with staff at Washington Mind and awarded the charity £1,972 to provide female mental health peer support group sessions and support early intervention.
Affiliated with national charity Mind, the Wearside-based branch provides a range of services to people across the region including therapies, peer support, crisis care and employment.
Commissioner McGuinness said: “It was great to see first-hand how these two groups are making a real difference on Wearside.
“It was a pleasure to meet the teams at Washington Mind and the Sunderland Bangladesh Centre. We’ll be staying in touch with them over the coming months and I look forward to hearing the positive impact that their projects have made in the local community.
“We know that in Sunderland and Washington, people look out for their neighbours and these two projects focus on tackling hate crime, reducing anti-social behaviour and making sure residents feel safer and more secure, which is crucial.”
The Commissioner’s Community Fund awards grants to neighbourhoods and communities across Wearside, Tyneside and Northumberland who run activities or projects that support tackling hate crime, reducing anti-social behaviour and increasing community confidence.
More than 120 volunteers supported police officers and staff across the North of England as part of an ongoing clampdown on rural crime.
Operation Checkpoint – which is the biggest rural policing operation of its kind in the country – saw more than 100 vehicles stopped and checked in the Northumbria, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham and North Yorkshire areas.
Running from the evening of Tuesday (August 6) into the early hours of Wednesday (August 7), the operation resulted in two arrests in Northumbria, for assault and dangerous driving, and is one of several Checkpoint deployments due to take place this year.
Over 40 officers and volunteers joined officers from Northumbria Police this week in the show of strength against rural crime.
A total of 35 vehicles were stopped overnight across Northumbria and saw officers and volunteers visiting farms and landowners and acted on local intelligence to disrupt rural crime.
Forces worked alongside partners from the Environment Agency, Forestry England, NFU and Angling trust members in addition to a number of Special Constables supporting officers to carry out the successful initiative.
Superintendent Helen Anderson, of Northumbria Police, said: “The support from our volunteers and partner agencies during these types of operations is superb.
“It demonstrates fantastic teamwork and highlights how partnership working can be incredibly beneficial and produce real results.
“It sends out a clear message to criminals that crime targeting our rural areas will not be tolerated, and we will continue to work with our neighbouring forces in the future to clamp down on this kind of offending.
“I would particularly like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who gave their time and best efforts to assist us and the rural communities, this operation would not be a success without your hard work and dedication so thank you.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “It is amazing to see the dedication from all of our volunteers.
“Our volunteers are crucial in the fight against rural crime especially in our more isolated communities.
“They give up their own time to help officers and partners to protect and safeguard the public in the fight against rural crime- they are a credit to themselves and their communities.”
You might recognise our Checkpoint Operations as they featured on one of the BBC One episodes of ‘Our Cops of the North’.
To find out more about rural policing and how you can volunteer, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, by dialling 101 or visiting the Northumbria Police website.
Northumbria’s new Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, promises to be accessible and open minded and vows to understand what people want and to put their priorities into action, as she spends time with officers and staff during her first month in post.
This week Commissioner McGuinness has been spending her time out and about across the force area finding out what Northumbria Police does to protect the public, tackle crime and support victims.
Her visits included speaking with Community Engagement Teams, visiting the control room, seeing the best of what Northumbria’s Operations Department has to offer, including the Marine Unit and Firearms Officers, and getting to grips with how Northumbria Police operates.
The Commissioner spoke of her dedication to the role and her plans going forward.
She said: “It has been great meeting so many dedicated and passionate officers and staff across the force and I’m going to be doing this a lot more.
“Going out with departments across Northumbria Police to fully understand how they do what they do and how we can work together to provide the best service possible for the public.
“I will also be getting out into communities and going to drop in session and local events to hear their concerns so I can best understand how to tackle them.
“That is how I want to be as a Police and Crime Commissioner – accessible, open minded and understanding of what people want and putting their priorities into action.”
Here’s a link to a short video highlighting the Commissioner’s visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjdoNytZWLc&t=2s
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has spent time with the force’s community engagement teams to talk about putting her pledge to tackle hate crime in action.
When she was elected last month (July), Commissioner McGuinness identified hate crime as one of her top priorities and vowed to take a zero tolerance stance.
Yesterday (Tuesday), to build a picture around the work already happening on hate crime and to see how it is currently tackled within the force, Commissioner McGuinness spoke with officers and staff whose role it is to engage and communicate directly with communities.
She visited the police control room and listened to a wide range of calls including reports of hate crime as the force’s call handlers received them, in order to understand their experiences and see how officers can better develop victim satisfaction.
Commissioner McGuinness emphasised how important it is to make sure communities feel heard and have the confidence to report any incidents of hate crime.
She said: “It is totally unacceptable to abuse somebody because of a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
“Victims need to feel reassured that they are being listened to and that police and partners are doing everything possible to tackle the issues they are faced with.
“Hate crime can have a devastating effect on victims, and I will stand together with Northumbria Police, our partners and the community to stop this type of prejudice.
“Meeting with officers and staff today has been incredibly beneficial in helping me understand where we currently stand in the fight against hate crime, and how we can proactively move forward to build confidence in victims, prevent further incidents and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.
“We also work closely with Victims First Northumbria and other partners to provide help for victims throughout the criminal justice process and beyond to ensure they are fully supported.
“I would encourage all victims of hate crime to report any incidents to police directly or to one of their partners via a safe reporting centre.
“Hate crime will not be tolerated in Northumbria – I’m here to make sure of it.”
The Commissioner also met with the Police Policy Hate Crime Lead, Paul Giannasi OBE from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) today (Wednesday) to discuss the issue in a national context and talk about what more can be done to prevent hate crime and protect victims.
The meeting was hosted by The Prince’s Trust who are keen to champion the ongoing work around hate crime through their programmes with young people going forward.
For more information and how to report incidents of hate crime please visit Northumbria Police’s website here: https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/advice-and-info/personal-safety/hate-crime/