It was good to hear Portsmouth South’s MP speaking in the Opposition Day debate on Policing. It shows what a short intervention can do to highlight the quality performance already being achieved by Hampshire Police – and to ensure that the debate, on what could be improved and what must be protected, is set in the context of what is already going well and demonstrates that a learning, professional and focussed Constabulary can find ways to deliver in even the most challenging financial and change environments.
It was good to be reminded that crime in Hampshire is down by 11% (A good context headline) and that 96% of Officers are deployed in the Front-Line of policing. Flick Drummond also mentioned the challenge faced by a County that has an 85% rural footprint, but also a significant and high density area of urban city and town footprint with significant numbers in areas of high deprivation and risk from drugs and other causes of criminal activity and community disruption.
As a prospective candidate to be PCC, I listened carefully for clues for future plans.
A balanced programme of policing, recognising this complex mix and supported by a representative formula for funding, is essential if the volume of need is not to overwhelm resources. It will be important that there is partnership in leadership in all the stakeholder levels of Government and stakeholders in delivering resources and support to our Police Force.
I was also glad to hear the public recognition of the PREVENT strategy and the positive impact of concentrating on this in response to the recent local issues in Portsmouth of radicalisation and dangerous motivation by some to travel abroad on ill-judged motivation. This national and nationally strategic issue has its impact at a very local level and needing local intelligence and sensitive action, if we are to truly PREVENT further examples and the associated risks to individual’s lives and community.