Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has thanked residents who responded to her fourth annual survey, which asked the people of Bedfordshire to have their say on policing and crime in their area.
The responses from the survey, which was launched in October, showed that 65% of people supported the Commissioner’s pledge to return to more visible policing. Burglary and anti-social behaviour were issues residents felt most concerned by within their communities, with drug dealing and county lines also frequently mentioned.
Improving on last year’s survey, 69% of respondents stated they feel safe in the area they live in - a 12% increase. In the last year, Commissioner Holloway for the third year running, has secured a Policing Special Grant of £2.9m to boost the front line and tackle gun, gang and knife crime. The PCC, working with her office and local authorities, also won both bids to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund totalling £882,150 to improve safety across Midland Road in Bedford and Luton’s High Town. The project, which is closely monitored by the OPCC, if successful, will pave the way for future work across the county mirroring a similar concept.
"I really do appreciate and thank all of you who have taken the time to complete the annual survey. The results form part of my frank discussions with the Force over what the communities of Bedfordshire experience from their police service” said the Commissioner.
On the subject of police stations and hubs, 60% of people surveyed were unaware of their location and how many there were in Bedfordshire. In response to this, the OPCC launched a factsheet and bespoke survey to the town and parish councils, to further build on relationships and share vital information, in place of the PCC’s annual council event which was unable to go ahead this year due to the pandemic.
In the last three years, 30% of residents surveyed have been a victim of crime, with additional comments revealing the impact that crime can have on those who are close to the victim. Looking ahead, the OPCC will be working with the PCC’s service for victims, Signpost, to focus on a campaign supporting family and friends of victims of crime and how it can have an impact on their wellbeing.
A comprehensive project has already started called Victim Needs Assessment which will also provide an updated focus on how we can support our victims through the commissioning process and Signpost.
Commissioner Holloway added “Being able to engage with all communities is vital for my role as I need to understand the views of the people of Bedfordshire and what issues particularly affect them. The Victim Needs Assessment will provide key indicators as to the services that are required across the county.”
If you have been affected by a crime, Signpost offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred. Contact 0800 0282 887 or visit www.signpostforbedfordshire.com for further information.
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Results of the PCC 2020 Survey