The North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has published a new plan covering the period up to 2021.
She claims that it addresses the issues raised by respondents to a consultation undertaken last year. It appears that the response to the consultation was very low with less than 1% of the population participating.
One reason for the lack of interest may be the failure of previous plans to successfully address concerns about street level crime.
Anti-Social Behaviour, vandalism, drug and alcohol misuse figure high on many residents list of concerns.
These issues have got worse in sub-urban York since the, so called, “anti-social behaviour hub” was established in West Offices – at a stroke robbing communities of their day to day contact with community constables.
Now the Police are promoting a new “Community Safety Support Team” suggesting that they still haven’t got the message that centralisation isn’t the solution to street level crime problems.
Much of the PCCs new crime plan is waffle. There is a strong undercurrent of ambition – mostly surrounding a planned take-over of Fire and Rescue services. The plan talks about sharing “estates” – a euphemism for downsizing (such as the planned closure of the Acomb Police station)
There are no numeric targets in the plan.
It remains highly unclear how police resources are currently divided between operational and support activities – much less what the future holds.
The approach is reminiscent of the inability of the Police to articulate what effect their, now ubiquitous, speed camera vans have actually had on accident levels (or even average speeds) on monitored roads.
In parts of York, very recently, communication from neighbourhood policing teams has improved.
Better use is being made of social media channels like Twitter while the police have also launched a Community Messaging service.
This may suggest that, freed from the dead hand of the PCCs Harrogate office, local police forces can indeed engage effectively with local residents.