Down to business

In a busy week, I have met with local people, partners and national leaders to discuss police and crime issues and how we should move forward in a range of key areas.

On Monday I convened the first meeting of my so called “House of Lords” - a group of local people I brought together to discuss policing and crime issues. In a useful first session, we talked about my draft plan and how we can best work in the future.

On Tuesday I met with policing and justice Minister Damian Green to discuss the Government’s proposals to transform rehabilitation. Reform is long overdue. In 2010, over half of released prisoners that had served sentences of less than 12 months reoffended within a year. And the picture is little better for those who received longer sentences. This has to change and I generally support the Government’s intention to introduce payment by results into the system. However, I am concerned that the system appears to have little local control or flexibility – and have made these points in my response to the consultation.

In the middle of the week I met again with our Strategic Alliance partners from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to agree how we take forward the delivery of key services now that we have ended our discussions with G4S. As four and a half hour meetings go it was very useful and covered a lot of ground. We meet again next week when I hope we shall have a clear plan about what we need to do next to deliver high quality services at the best price.

It also emerged this week that Commissioners are keen on creating a national organisation to ensure local views are properly represented at a national level. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners is likely to have all Commissioners in the country in membership. This will create a powerful public voice for their local policing requirements and I will make sure your voices are heard.

A lot of people have been asking what I intend to do about appointing another deputy following the resignation of Rachel Frosh. I won’t be rushing into anything and will take the next 2-3 months to mull over what I need before coming to any decisions about a replacement.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has sent in views on my plan “Everybody’s business”. The response has dwarfed that ever received for a Police Authority plan and I am delighted by the level of interest this demonstrates. You still have just over two weeks to respond so please take a look and let me know what you think.