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PCC responds to Chief Constable’s announcement on future policing of Norfolk

In 2015, Norfolk’s Chief Constable launched a review of the county’s policing model. The purpose of that review was to look at all aspects of the service delivered by the Constabulary, with a view to ensuring Norfolk Police can continue to provide an efficient and effective service to its communities in the future.

The review took into account the changing face of crime in the county, including unprecedented increases in reports of child and adult abuse, sexual offences and cyber-enabled crime, as well as major financial challenges as a result of public sector budget cuts.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey has today (19 October) announced the outcomes of that review and how he intends to deliver a new vision for future policing.

Speaking on the back of the Chief Constable’s announcement, Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, said:

“The number one priority for our police force has to be to keep our county safe and to allow people to feel safe. In common with other forces, recent years have brought about unprecedented increases in reports of domestic and sexual abuse, and cyber-enabled crime, requiring complex and costly investigations.

"Set alongside the impact of austerity and £30 million of savings already having been made I hear the Chief Constable when he says the current model of policing Norfolk is simply not sustainable. The face of crime has changed, and is still changing. It’s vital we ensure our policing service is best placed to tackle the biggest threats to the safety of our communities.

“The Chief Constable has briefed me on his proposals and I understand the rationale behind the changes he plans to implement. I also respect his professional judgement and operational policing experience when he says this is the best way to keep Norfolk safe, and deliver an efficient and effective policing service which is fit for the future. The Chief Constable has assured me the new policing model will also deliver the priorities within my Police and Crime Plan, based on what communities say matters most to them.

“I know how important policing visibility at a neighbourhood-level is to Norfolk’s residents - that is why I made it a priority in the Police and Crime Plan. As well as seeking to improve the way crime is investigated and respond to growing demand on the Force, the Chief Constable’s proposals will affect, among others things, the make-up of the police workforce and use of the police estate. I have the Chief Constable’s assurances that, though the county’s police service will be working differently, visible community policing will continue, and I will hold him to that.

“This is a bold and innovative change programme - the result of a number of tough decisions by the Chief Constable, not least because of their impact on staff.

“Ultimately, the Chief Constable has operational independence over how he structures his force. However, it is my duty to hold him to account for how his decisions deliver an efficient and effective 21st century policing service which meets the county’s Police and Crime Plan priorities. I will be closely scrutinising the implementation and impacts of the proposed changes and holding the Chief Constable to account over the coming months at public police accountability meetings across the county.”

The next Police Accountability Forum meeting will take place on Tuesday 14 November 2017 at the South Norfolk Council Offices in Long Stratton. This meeting, which starts at 5pm, is open to the public and will be followed by a question and answer session with the PCC and Chief Constable from 7pm.