Policing in Norfolk comes under spotlight at latest accountability meeting
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) held his latest virtual accountability meeting with the Chief Constable this week to hold him to account for the county’s policing service.
The Police Accountability Forum was held on Tuesday 26 January 2021 to focus on three priorities within the Police and Crime Plan:
- Good stewardship of taxpayers’ money
- Supporting victims and reducing vulnerability
- Delivering a modern and innovative service
Since March 2020, due to the Covid pandemic, the PCC’s regular meetings with the Chief Constable and senior officers to monitor and oversee the work of the Constabulary in delivering the county’s Police and Crime Plan have moved to a virtual format.
The agenda and reports for the January Police Accountability Forum have been published, along with a video of the meeting.
Items on the agenda included an update on the 2020/21 Norfolk policing budget, along with the policing response to COVID-19 and its impacts and challenges for the Force.
The meeting also looked at changes to the police estate and work to support those affected by domestic abuse, whilst the PCC sought clarification about how complaints against police officers and staff are managed and in the circumstances in which someone would be eligible to make a complaint.
PCC Lorne Green said: “Much of the discussion with the Chief Constable and other senior officers at today’s meeting focused on the existing and emerging demands on policing. Domestic abuse, sexual violence, fraud, mental health, and responding to the call demand coming into the police control room – these are some of the biggest challenges for policing in Norfolk right now. Add to that a global pandemic, workforce sickness within the force and a third national lockdown and you can begin to understand the pressures our Constabulary is under.
“The key issues discussed today are not unique to our county – the local picture reflects what is happening nationally – but when we’re talking about the harm they pose or cause to Norfolk residents specifically, I think reassurance that our policing teams are doing everything they can, under really difficult circumstances, to keep us safe and support those affected is vitally important.
“From today’s meeting, it’s clear that the Force is working hard to not only keep on top of the threats and challenges it faces now, but also ensure it is best placed to deal with what comes its way in the future. From reviewing its response to domestic abuse, to making the best use of the police estate and improving efficiency and effectiveness through available technology, much is being done to deliver a modern and innovative policing service for Norfolk.
“Looking to the future, there is the matter of the policing budget for next year to set – a responsibility which sits with me as PCC. I asked the Chief Constable once again today to reiterate what he needs from that budget in order to maintain current service levels, while addressing any gaps in that service. I want to thank everyone who took part in my recent four-week consultation seeking Norfolk residents’ views on the funding of the policing services they receive. I am carefully considering all feedback as I finalise the budget proposals I will take to the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel next week.”
The next Police Accountability Forum is due to take place on Tuesday 9 March 2021.