Commissioner urges residents to take part in crime survey

Darlington and Stockton Times: Julia Mulligan meets local residents. The Police and Crime Commissioner is staging a public consultation on policing and community safety in North Yorkshire Julia Mulligan meets local residents. The Police and Crime Commissioner is staging a public consultation on policing and community safety in North Yorkshire

NORTH Yorkshire’s crime commissioner has urged people to take part in a consultation which will shape policing in the county.

Julia Mulligan has launched an initiative, entitled The Big Police Debate, will she says will influence policing and community safety across North Yorkshire.

The survey will run until June 15 and allow people to have their say on where they think North Yorkshire Police should focus activities and investment. The results of the survey will then be analysed and the key themes will be used in the Police and Crime Plan, which sets out the commissioner’s objectives.

Mrs Mulligan said: “The Big Police Debate invites everyone who lives or works in North Yorkshire to help shape the future of policing and community safety.

“Maybe you think more needs to done to tackle antisocial behaviour in your town or village. Maybe you're a farmer who's been a victim of rural crime.

“Whatever your circumstances, by taking part, you will help me better understand your needs and those of people local to you and help determine what North Yorkshire Police and its partners do differently in future.”

However, the chairman of North Yorkshire Police Federation, Mark Botham, said he was concerned that using a survey to direct how police used their resources was politicising policing.

He said police faced strategic requirements related to issues from organised crime to terrorism and drugs where they were duty-bound to spend their resources.

“We’re concerned that this is a further blurring of the line between political opportunity and operational autonomy,” he said.

“Operational policing matters are a matter for the chief constable, not for the politicians. That said, we have always listened to public opinion.

“The vagaries of the PCC electoral system perhaps mean that they face an election every few years. Policing is about far more than short term operational goals.

“I think we realise the nature of accountability to the public and the need to consult with them. However, there is a strategic policing requirement with issues to do with organised crime, terrorism, drugs; which is where certain resources go. Perhaps if the survey covered what proportion of resources we’re talking about here for public priorities, perhaps it would be more balanced.”

Members of the public can take part in a five-minute online survey and find out about other ways of having their say by visiting thebigpolicedebate.co.uk, by following the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office on Twitter on @northyorkspcc using #BigPoliceDebate or emailing their views to info@bigpolicedebate.co.uk.

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