I've written directly to 4 key organisations and about 20 of the individual campaigners (out of approximately 400 who got in touch with me during the PCC election) but I don't have the time or resources to contact everyone. Those of you who read this can help spread the word.
Now is the time to get everyone you know who is concerned about police priorities to put their views in to the Police and Crime Commissioner's consultation on Policing Priorities. Many individuals and campaigners, who were concerned about policing, took the trouble to get in touch with me as a candidate during the PCC election. Points made then (to the winning candidate) can be ignored whereas presumably responses to this consultation – as elected PCC – will have to be at least considered, and hopefully acknowledged that the points have been put forward. It is a good time to try and get the Commissioner's priorities reflecting broad local community concerns.
I agree with several of the early decisions or emphases that I have heard reported from Jane Kennedy – because they sound like things I would have supported or done. In terms of whether the system will lead to any real change from the Police Authority days, it is interesting to note the policing priorities. I do not expect, and would not have suggested, radical change at this stage – I believe the Police, Police Authority, Government / politicians have a fair idea of the main areas that the public want policing attention on. Nevertheless the Commissioner could be making an early impact with their own emphasis stamping a mark on how they will help the police and public engage again. Significantly, there is listed an incredibly bland set of proposed policing priorities. I concede, they are the same as probably any other mainstream political / Government representative would say are important, and the vast majority of members of the public would agree, but many of the latter and some of the former would criticise the complete lack of detail and specifics. Like the national policing priorities under Labour, and the streamlined priority under the Coalition, this is motherhood and apple pie stuff.
Stepping off my soap box, do encourage your campaign supporters and friends and other residents to respond.
Policing priorities for 2013/14
1. Below is a list of suggested policing priorities for 2013/14 for Merseyside Police.
Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour
Tackling serious and organised crime
Maintaining public safety
Do you agree with these priorities?
The priorities can hardly be said to have been formulated taking account the views of the public when they don't include any details about things that the public might say are important for specific action. However the response will be that detail will be in the Police and Crime Plan and that it is impossible to include detail on every specific area that members of the public will want to raise.
We didn't need a Police and Crime Commissioner to come up with this list though.
There is a box where members of the public can add comments or suggestions, so they could put forward particular policies that they want action on, while not actually disagreeing with the broad statements above.
"3. Do you have any other comments or suggestions about policing priorities. If yes, please add these below."
I hope this is useful,