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Tuesday (29 October) marks 100 days since Kim McGuinness took over as Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria and set to work on a preventative approach to crime as well as doing everything within her power to ensure more officers are where local people want to see them – on the streets of Northumbria.

In her bid to take on the role of overseeing the region’s police force, Kim pledged to be the “People’s commissioner – representing what people want from their police force, being there for the community and dealing with the problems that often lead people to go into crime.” In this short time, Kim has already taken important steps to deliver on these priorities.

Violence Reduction Unit

One of her first actions has been to set up a Violence Reduction Unit to tackle the root causes of crime. The unit brings together police, our six local authorities, health agencies and community representatives to treat violent crime as an epidemic, stop it from spreading and to understand the causes so long-term preventative action can be put in place.

Based at her office, there is now a growing team of experts with knowledge in youth intervention work, alcohol and drugs misuse and mental health. Her vision is clear, she wants to give people of all ages in Northumbria the opportunity to make positive life choices rather instead of taking the path that can lead to crime.

Officers on the streets

From day one, Kim’s voice on policing resources has been loud and clear. The key message from the people she met during her campaign trail was the need for greater police visible on the streets. This commitment is now being delivered with the recruitment of around 300 new police officers between now and March 2021 – this is in addition to the extra numbers from Government.

Although recruitment is underway, what matters to Kim is ensuring that the Government provides a long-term funding solution to enable the Chief Constable to deliver the most effective policing service for the people of Northumbria. That’s why she has personally written to both the Prime Minster and the Home Secretary, piling on the pressure for long term investment, not a short-term fix.

Speaking on her 100th day in office, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Since day one I’ve seen first-hand the growing demands and challenges faced by our police force every single day. I’ve listened to the communities – hearing both praise and areas of concern. It’s fair to say there is lots to do but I am pleased to say I’m forming a plan and there is plenty of good work already underway.

Northumbria is a safe place and it’s my job, along with the police to keep it that way, violent crime is rising– we need the strongest, collective response possible and that’s why I have set up a Violence Reduction Unit. Violence is not inevitable, it is in large parts predictable, and in Northumbria I want to prevent it rather than task police officers to pick up the pieces afterwards. This plan is coming to life and this is only the beginning.”

As I’ve said before, I’ll keep piling the pressure on Government until they commit to a long-term funding strategy that shows how seriously they take policing our communities. We need a Government that’s committed to the frontline and not the headline. Our communities, our police force, our victims and our future generations deserve so much more and this is what I will continue to fight for.”

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This coming week, as part of the national Rural Crime Week of Action, Northumbria Police and partners will once again join forces in a show of support against rural crime.

Officers, staff and volunteers from across the region will be joined by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, as they work in partnership this week to demonstrate their commitment to tackling rural issues impacting communities.

Superintendent Helen Anderson, of Northumbria Police’s Northern Area Command, said how important it was to use a coordinated multi-force effort to tackle offending which targets those who live and work in the countryside.

She said: “As part of the Rural Crime Week of Action we’re able to once again demonstrate that tackling rural crime continues to be high on our agenda here in Northumbria

“It is important that we not only continue to protect people from rural crime but also increase confidence in those communities who feel vulnerable to such offences that action is being taken.

“It is also important to stress that whilst we take action with other forces during these weeks of action, our work does not start and stop there. We have carried out numerous initiatives and positive police action to tackle rural criminality and will continue to do long after this week is over.

“People living and working in these communities are our eyes and ears and we rely on their information to help us build up a picture of what is going on.

“We urge residents and partners to report anything they see that looks suspicious – together we are making a difference and can continue to make communities a safe place to live and work.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “I’m very aware of the need to understand and address the issues of those living and working across the vast rural areas we have in Northumbria. I’m going to be taking the opportunity to speak with local people, businesses and groups and will listen carefully to their concerns. Tackling rural crime is very much a joint effort and it’s important we continue to strengthen our relationships with partner to ensure we are tackling rural crime head-on.”

You can report suspicious activity by completing a form online at www. northumbria.police.uk, calling 101 or through the Rural Crime Reporting Line anonymously 0800 783 0137 or by visiting www.ruralcrimereportingline.uk

In an emergency always dial 999.

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