THE people of Northumbria are being asked to share their views on how to fight crime and prevent crime as part of a new survey launched today (Thursday 1, October) online by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

The survey is the key feature behind a new plan setting out what Northumbria Police shouWhether you’re a local resident, business owner, or helping out at a local community group, Kim wants to know what the big issues are for you. She will then use those views to shape a new Police and Crime Plan outlining what the force should focus on to ensure Northumbria stays one of the safest regions in the country.

Since being elected in July 2019, one of Kim’s top priorities has been police officer recruitment and getting officers out on the streets, fighting crime and keeping everyone safe. As a result of this, the force’s latest recruitment drive has seen more than 200 officers hired since lockdown, 133 more than the Government’s uplift target.

The past year has also seen the Commissioner establish a Violence Reduction Unit which is working hard to improve lives and prevent crime and has helped towards an 18 per cent reduction in knife crime in the area before the start of the national lockdown.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Our policing needs are constantly evolving and after ten years of austerity it’s important we take a good, hard look at our police force and think about the needs and the expectations that people have of the service.

“My job is to be your voice, speaking on your behalf on policing and what matters to you and your family. It’s your police force so I need to get as many views as possible from people from all walks of life and from all the different communities our force serves – urban, rural, coastal – Northumbria covers it all, so it’s important my plan does too.

“What really matters here is that you have your say. If it’s cutting down anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood, reducing violence in our region, getting more police on our streets or a creating a future for our young people, this is the time to make it happen.”

To help get as many views as possible, Kim had also planned to take an engagement bus on tour over the coming months to meet lots of people to learn more about policing and community needs across the force area. For now, this has been postponed while the region adjusts to local lockdown, and will be relaunched once public health advice on how best to engage face to face has been considered.

When safe to do so, the whereabouts of the ‘Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime’ survey bus will be publicised on the Commissioner’s website and across her social media channels.

Kim said: “In the current climate, I can’t invite people to town halls or community centres so this is why I’m looking at taking a bus out to meet local people out in the open, touring the entire region and speaking to as many people as possible with social distancing maintained and face masks at the ready. Hopefully we’ll get the green light on this soon.

“Thankfully Northumbria is one of the safest areas in the country and I’m proud of our police force, but of course there are things we can do better. This consultation will allow us to say what needs improving and what we need to see more of. It will help me form a plan – your plan – to bring about positive change.

“I want to hear the good, the bad, and I welcome new ideas too, it will all help our work to fight crime, prevent crime and improve lives in our region.”

The Police and Crime Plan sets out the strategic priorities, aims and objectives for Northumbria Police.

People can respond to the survey online here The consultation closes on Friday 27 November.

All Police and Crime Commissioners have a statutory responsibility to produce a Police and Crime Plan.

The findings of the survey will be used to inform the strategic policing priorities, aims and objectives in the next Northumbria Police and Crime Plan. This will then be presented to the Police and Crime Panel for review, before being published in February 2021.