Police and crime commissioner to develop new approaches to tackling drug misuse as part of plan

A police and crime commissioner says he will look to develop new approaches to drug misuse as part of a new plan.

By David Allison
Wednesday, 29 May, 2019, 11:27
Police and crime commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cleveland Barry Coppinger has today published his vision for policing and community safety in Cleveland.

Exploring the use of drones in preventing and solving crime, improving digital standards in policing and developing new approaches to drug misuse all play a central role in his 70-point Police and Crime Plan.

All PCCs are required by law to develop a plan setting out their key objectives for policing and community safety in their area.

It is then the responsibility of the Chief Constable to incorporate the PCC’s priorities in their operational planning.

Mr Coppinger says his plan will build on his five existing priorities, on which he was re-elected in May 2016:

• Investing in Our Police

• Getting a Better Deal for Victims and Witnesses

• Tackling Offending and Re-Offending

• Working Together to Make Cleveland Safer

• Securing the Future of Our Communities

The plan was drawn up following consultation with local and regional stakeholders and partners, as well as feedback from hundreds of community meetings across the force area attended by the PCC as part of his Your Force Your Voice programme.

Mr Coppinger says that a key objective of the plan will be to address the issue of serious violence and knife crime, through early intervention and targeted outreach with young people at risk of becoming involved in crime.

He said: “My Police and Crime Plan will always reflect the concerns and priorities of communities in Cleveland, as they are the people who truly understand what the area needs from policing and community safety services.

“What is clear from my refreshed plan is that now is the time to get smart on crime. Criminals are using the latest technology and innovation to abuse and victimise vulnerable people and it’s crucial that the police develop new approaches to disrupt and prevent their offending.

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“Over 88% of the money my office receives goes straight into funding the operational activities of Cleveland Police.

"Additional funds generated by the recent precept increase will allow the Force to protect current resources and enhance the response from the Force Control Room.

“Eight years of crippling government cuts have cost Cleveland Police 500 police officers and 50 PCSOs.

"I will continue to lobby central government, the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to fight for a fairer funding deal for Cleveland.

“In light of these cuts we must look to other ways of supporting our police officers and this will include increasing the opportunities for volunteers and specials as part of our Citizens in Policing model.

“Ensuring victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system continues to be a key priority in my plan.

"We must develop solutions and strategies to new emerging trends in policing, such as Child Sexual Exploitation, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery – these areas will continue to be at the centre of our policy work going forward.

“Significant work has taken place over the last 12 months to tackle offending and re-offending in Cleveland.

"The Divert scheme gives first-time and low-level offenders the one-off opportunity to avoid criminal record and take part in a programme to turn them away from future offending."

He added: “No one single agency can tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, which is why I will continue to work in partnership with organisations and charities across Cleveland to build safer communities and promote community cohesion.

“I’ve attended over 650 community meetings as part of my Your Force Your Voice engagement programme.

"I take pride in reaching out to every community across Cleveland and I will continue to undertake this important work in the year to come.

“Holding Cleveland Police to account is another of my primary responsibilities and as our new Chief Constable takes up the mantle and makes changes across the organisation, I will be using my scrutiny programme to ensure the Force is giving residents the service they deserve.”

A copy of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan can be found on his website: https://www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/Your-PCC/Police-and-Crime-Plan.aspx