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.”