John gives local residents a few comments on his record in office and some of his plans to make Cheshire the safest counnty in the country.
· During the last 12 months I have grown Cheshire Constabulary by 53 officers which has been achieved as a result of the root and branch review I promised residents at the election in 2012. For the financial year 2015/16, this alone saved the Constabulary £5m just by doing things differently – reviewing our structures, processes and procurement. I will continue to ensure that every penny spent by the Constabulary is spent wisely.
· Under my leadership the level of reported crime is down to levels not experienced since 1990. Police recorded burglary during this last year alone is down 19%. Cheshire is a safe county and you can rest assured that it will remain so under my leadership as Police and Crime Commissioner.
· Certain categories of crime have gone up such as sexual assaults, domestic violence and hate crime. This is because the victims of these crimes now have the confidence to report them to the police whereas previously that confidence was lacking. I have encouraged victims of these crimes to come forward to report them so that the offenders can be brought to book. The occurrence of these crimes has not gone up – it is the reporting of them that has. I will ensure that these crimes continue to be properly investigated in my drive to make Cheshire an even safer county in which to live and work.
· Victims now know that they will be given support by the Police and also the new Cheshire CARES service I have commissioned. This support will be given to them to help them overcome their trauma of being a victim. I will always be there to support victims in their time of need.
· In the 3 years I have been your Police and Crime Commissioner I have invested in a large number of crime prevention projects across the entire county. My thinking is that prevention is better than cure and these projects were aimed to do just that. Every borough has benefitted significantly from this investment. I will continue to support crime prevention initiatives as they are important to you.
· In the last year I have introduced a "Participatory Budgeting" exercise in a focussed area of every borough in the county. In those areas, local residents were invited to vote for activities which they felt would make a positive difference to their lives. This step alone has brought together communities in those areas and energised them in a way that had not been experienced before. I will continue to support initiatives which bring communities together.
Under my stewardship Cheshire will remain safe. I aim to make it the safest county in the country but also to make it the most hostile county for those intent on committing crime.