100 Days Report (August 2021)
This 100 Days Report is a landmark that recognises the work of my team in delivering much of what was pledged during the election. I am extremely grateful to Clare Kelly, my office’s Chief Executive and the rest of the team for their tireless work, planning and team spirit. We have done a lot in just 100 days, with much more to do as will be set out in my Police and Crime Plan. A key focus of mine and the team has been getting out and about in the community, meeting partners, residents, local businesses and our young people in school settings. Critically, I also wanted to ensure that our fantastic officers and staff know they have a Police and Crime Commissioner who values them and wants to make our force one of the best forces to work in. This report highlights how much we have been able to do in relation to the key areas of focus above. We have a lot yet to do in tackling the officer retention issues, violent crime, and the antisocial behaviour that is a real concern for our residents. Based on the energy, team spirit and partnership working I’ve experienced over the last 100 days, I am confident for the future.
Festus Akinbusoye Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner
PRIORITY I Investment in community-based and community-led policing for urban and rural areas.
Three Community engagement and three days of action across Bedfordshire. These events were held in Leighton Buzzard, Queens Park and Luton.
The Community Policing team and the Commissioner, took a joined-up approach by holding a meeting on:
● Thursday 24th June – Leighton Linslade.
● Tuesday 13th July – as part of Central Bedfordshire Meeting.
The Community Days of Action are planned events where the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), local partners and the Community Policing team put in place support to help tackle the issues reported by the residents.
Bedfordshire Police have agreed to support my model of Special Constables being ringfenced for the area they represent.
Bedfordshire Police have agreed to ensure that the Community Policing Model of 64 PCs and PCSOs are ringfenced for neighbourhood work.
I have issued £10,000 towards the speed watch groups across Bedfordshire to help bring down road collisions.
PRIORITY II Recruitment and retention of police officers.
I have agreed to fund and practically support the Black Police Officers Association Annual General Meeting to encourage and support those going for promotion and to focus on how we can truly make our Police services reflective of our communities.
Bedfordshire Police is on track with its recruitment of the national uplift programme and by the end of this year will have more Police Officers than they have ever had before.
We put £20,000 into a fund for Bedfordshire Police employees to be able to access quality external counselling support from the Counselling Foundation.
We have worked with the Estates department to highlight areas of improvement such as the Sergeants office at Luton.
I have been going on ride alongs across the county to support the frontline and listen to how they do their roles.
PRIORITY III Tackling the causes of crime and breaking the cycle of re-offending.
I have met with all three Community Safety Partnerships and we are all aligned and committed to solving community issues together.
I have had two young people come and work with me as interns over a few weeks so they could get an experience of a workplace before leaving school. The students from Woodlands school in Luton brought energy and a great attitude with them.
My team was really pleased to work with them and we are working with Woodlands to welcome back further students next year.
I have also launched my longer-term intern programme. I have two young people already chosen to join my team in September. They will work on a community-based project and deliver it in under one month so that I can get as many young people engaged on this scheme as possible throughout the year.
I have invested £40,000 in acquiring a further Cyber Van. The benefits of this is that Bedfordshire Police will be increasing their capability to attend multiple scenes simultaneously. This model has over the last few years enabled Bedfordshire Police to reduce the digital device backlog by over 80% to a sustainable level within 8 months, which provided an evidence base to support PCC funding for a fourth van, specifically with computer backlogs reducing from a year to a month.
For Road Safety I have already invested over £90,000 across Bedfordshire roads to reduce collisions and fatalities
I have also promised £100,000 further investment across our roads for prevention of collisions in the Autumn.
I have launched the ‘Next Steps programme’ which uses conditional cautions to support people out of drug and alcohol addictions in support of getting them away from a life of crime.
I invested £45,000 on safe spaces for young people and gave over my power to them to help decide where and how that money was spent.
To start to build my commitment of ‘Pathways’, a programme to support carers and parents of young people who may start to engage in criminality, I have completed an assessment of all current mentor programmes and available persons to my office so this programme can be established within my first year.
My office has won the Safer Streets fund of £432,000 from the Home Office. The winning bid is for the Dunstable and Houghton Regis area of Bedfordshire, known as Manshead. The fund will pay for 15 state of the art CCTV cameras, new and upgraded street lighting, alley-gates, fencing, and landscaping of target areas.
I have bid into the Violence Against Women and Girls Safer Streets opportunity to bring money to Bedfordshire to focus on perpetrator messaging and improving the locations across Bedfordshire where women have experienced more criminality
I have set up martial arts and boxing activities over the summer holidays for Leighton Buzzard, Linslade, Eaton Bray, Toddington, Flitwick, Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Biggleswade, Luton, Kempston and Bedford Town so that young people can have somewhere to go and can be taught the focus skills that come with these sports.
PRIORITY IV Placing residents and victims at centre of policing priorities.
I have delivered my initial commitment to the Victim Code of Practice. I have run a feature on all twelve elements of the code and continue to support their delivery.
The recommendations of the Victim Needs Analysis 2021 have been allocated to appropriate boards to progress action plans and partner contributions.
I will ensure delivery of these actions so those needs are met.
To further the strategy of my victim support centre ‘Signpost’, I have introduced fraud support to ensure that individuals who have been subjected to fraud are offered support to cope and recover both mentally and physically.
I have met with over 36 wards and parishes. I have held three additional meetings with the community to focus on serious violence.
PRIORITY V Multi-agency approach to community safety and crime reduction.
I have committed to a further year of funding for the Family Drug and Alcohol Court.
The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) programme funded by Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, supports parents, who have children subject to care proceedings, through an intense plan to give families a greater chance of staying together. Family Drug and Alcohol Courts require a parent with addiction to agree to a formal rehabilitation plan and work very regularly with the Family Court Judge and an FDAC team of specialists over a 26-week period, to address their behaviour and build better relationships with both their children and themselves.
The new Criminal Justice Centre will be delivered in 2022 and is on track. I was present at the topping out ceremony on July 6th which cements the schedule for this flagship building based on a partnership approach.
I have started a county-wide campaign in an effort to tackle bullying which is a known contributor to Adverse Childhood Experiences, fear and vulnerabilities which can increase the push factors towards serious violence or criminal activities. This is all with the help of ten year old Alfie. Alfie contacted the PCC informing him that he was doing some work raising awareness against bullying and the impact on Mental Health. The PCC met with Alfie to discuss how they can work together.
I have directly engaged with young people through four school visits in my first 100 days.
PRIORITY VI Transparency and open communication.
To keep to my commitment of transparent communication I have published recordings of the Strategic Board Meetings where I both support and offer scrutiny to Bedfordshire Police.
I have published my Information Schedule with Bedfordshire Police on my website which shows my commitment to publishing more information in an accessible way.
PRIORITY VII National contributions.
I will continue to monitor and plan for the financial situation of Bedfordshire police through the Strategic Board with my Chief Finance Officer but have already set out the medium term financial plan to support the delivery of policing in Bedfordshire.
I have spoken with Central Government four times since the start of my term and will continue to push the messages about Bedfordshire until permanent change is won.