HER Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies has highlights how officers and staff have impacted on crime and influenced policing services in Cheshire over the last five years.
Margaret Ollerenshaw, chairman of the Cheshire Police Authority, said: “The data provides some information for the public, which is very detailed and difficult to understand without considering the wider context of policing.
“The Police Authority considers this kind of information on an ongoing basis to ensure the Chief Constable is delivering a good service in our communities.
“The authority is already working with the Chief Constable, Dave Whatton to address the areas highlighted in the report and I want people to feel confident that the Authority will continue to analyse the way the Constabulary operates and to ensure that it provides value for money.
“The Constabulary is in a good position to deliver an effective service to the people of Cheshire.”
Police officer numbers have remained relatively stable over the last five years and staff involved in community policing increased in 2006/07 when more police community support officers were recruited, boosting numbers involved in community policing by 300%.
The report shows that half of Cheshire’s police officers are dedicated to community policing and a further quarter to investigating crime and dealing with intelligence.
In addition, to having half of our officers engaged in the delivery of community policing we have 14% of our police staff answering calls for assistance and recording crime at the first point of contact.
During 2008/09 staff in our call management department dealt with 140,000 emergency 999 calls.
A further 15% of police staff undertake work including criminal records checks, opening police stations to deal with public enquiries, and updating victims on the progress of investigations.
Assistant Chief Officer Brain Simmons who has responsibility for business services said: “Over the next year our aim is to continue to become more efficient and save money without damaging the services we give to the public.
“We are undertaking some innovative work to modernise administrative support to front line policing. A project to transform business support services has identified the potential to make major savings and reduce staffing in this area by more than 25% over the next two years.”
Over the last five years the impact of the money invested in policing services has directly impacted on crime and victim satisfaction in Cheshire.
There have been 20,000 fewer victims and a bigger than average reduction in the number of crimes reported (down by 21%).
Violent crime figures in the report show a dramatic reduction – dropping by 24%. This has resulted in 5000 fewer victims and sexual offences fell by 28% for the same period.
The report highlights a massive fall in vehicle crime - down by 31% over the five years period. Criminal damage and burglary, crimes that really impact on peoples’ quality of life, have also reduced.
Criminal damage is down 34% and burglary is also down by 18% - twice the national average.
The report goes on to highlight how victims of crime are satisfied with the service they receive from Cheshire Police. Last year (2008/9) ranked as fourth best in the country for victim satisfaction.