Happy Birthday Sir Graham

Police and Crime Partnership Working Group Nov 2013

One year ago we all went to the polls to vote Sir Graham Bright in as our Police and Crime Commissioner, well a few people did. These partnership meetings are part of his role and an opportunity for his staff to get together with representatives from statutory bodies, us and Victim Support.

This meeting included an update on the first year of the Sir Graham’s reign. You can find out more from the PCC website here. A lot has been written in the national press about PCCs and their impact, some good but most not so good. Some examples from the Guardian, the BBC, and one from the BBC where a standing PCC criticises the role.

So what is the verdict from where we sit? Well as far as the impact on policing goes, I can not comment on the difference Sir Graham has made; that said crime is down (as it is nationally) but could this be due to how things are counted if you are to believe the Daily Mirror. We are more involved in the work of the office of the PCC than we were with the old police authority, but we do not have that direct link that we had through local councillors. The PCC does not seem to be interacting with the voluntary sector through the existing channels, he has appointed a community worker and has supported neighbourhood watch, but has not engaged with us apart from a brief meeting in his early days. My impression is that he wants to do things his way regardless of what existing mechanisms are in place; that said he may be doing sterling work with other parts of the sector that I am not aware of.

The meeting also gave updates on the transforming rehabilitation programme which is seeing the privatisation of probation services. More information can be found on the Clinks website and a good piece about how the VCS could be involved if everything works out and ensures the best for the service users.

Finally we also heard about the plans to support victims of crime. The budget for this work is due to pass to the PCC in the next year or so. There will be a commissioning of services and we will keep you up to date with further news as we get it.

The papers for this meeting are not public.

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