Today (Friday 13 May) marks one year since John Dwyer took office as Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. He has been reflecting on what has happened during his term in office so far, and looking ahead to delivering on people’s priorities over the next 12 months.
As the public’s elected voice in policing, it’s the Commissioner’s job to hold the Chief Constable to account for how the Constabulary is performing on the public’s priorities. Last year John Dwyer carried out the largest ever survey on policing and crime in Cheshire to find out what people’s issues and priorities were, receiving nearly 19,000 responses from residents across the county.
Two of the main issues raised with the Commissioner have been officer numbers and 101 non-emergency call waiting times. With 84 more officers compared to this time last year and 101 waiting times more than halving since last summer to around six minutes, John Dwyer believes both measures are heading in the right direction.
Over the next year the Commissioner wants to see continued progress on these important issues for residents. 120 more officers are due to be recruited by March 2023, and there are set to be more call centre staff hired as part of his desire to see 101 waiting times brought down further.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said “I want to thank people in Cheshire for their continued feedback over my first year as Commissioner. This role can’t be done effectively without public input, and I believe we’re making progress on people’s priorities.
“More officers for our communities and a more contactable police service means we’re on track to make Cheshire an even safer place to live, work and visit. I know people expect continued progress in these key areas and I’m determined to deliver.”
Another of the Commissioner’s key roles is to fund services and projects designed to tackle crime and support victims. In line with another key priority for the public, the Commissioner has begun working with Parish and Town Councils across Cheshire on an average speed camera scheme to make roads safer.
The last year has also seen extra funding pouring into Cheshire. Last year the Commissioner made a successful bid for £1.1 million – the joint-highest award in the country – for Safer Streets projects. Overall, extra funding in excess of £5 million has been secured during John Dwyer’s first year in office.
This funding has also supported new technology for the police. Earlier this year Cheshire became the first Constabulary in the North West to use GoodSAM technology in its control room, allowing people in danger to have a direct video link to the police.
Over the past year, around £700,000 has been given to community groups and community safety across Cheshire, and the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund has supported groups across the county with initiatives to prevent crime and tackle anti-social behaviour.
John Dwyer added “We’ve made lots of positive strides forward over the past year, but I know there is always more to do and I want to keep the momentum going.
“In Cheshire we have more officers, lower 101 waiting times, over £5 million in extra funding secured, new technology, and a clear focus on what people want us to achieve over the next year. I look forward to continuing to listen and deliver for communities across the county.”
To find out more about the Commissioner’s work, visit: www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk