A HIGH-flying new police commander says tackling domestic abuse is top of her agenda.
Chief Inspector Ali Heydari has risen quickly through the ranks to take charge of policing in Havant, Waterlooville and Hayling Island.
The married mother-of-two is the first black, female commander in Portsmouth and Havant, and has her sights set squarely on keeping crime down and making sure the public are satisfied police are doing their job.
Ch Insp Heydari is combining the tough new job with studying for a PHD in domestic violence and believes the issue is not influenced by wealth or where you live.
She said: ‘It’s one of the issues I feel really passionately about and I’m determined to ensure we give good service to the victims of domestic abuse and we bring perpetrators to justice.’
In the three weeks since she took over the role of Commander, Ch Insp Heydari has been patrolling the streets with her officers, getting to know the beat and the community.
She has inherited a division where overall crime has been going down consistently over the past three years.
But she realises she faces different challenges compared to her last role as Commander of Portsmouth South.
She said: ‘Portsmouth is a large city but here you have the experience of the city areas plus rural. Of course the rural aspect of things puts a different dimension to policing.
‘It’s a matter of meeting the needs of the different communities.’
She added: ‘The chief constable is committed to providing and protecting front line services.
‘My view will always be around making sure we try to reduce bureaucracy as much as possible to ensure our police officers spend as little time in the station and do what they’re meant to be doing on the streets.
‘That’s where I think our officers should be and I would like to raise the bar in the level of service we give members of the public.’
As a trainee officer in Southampton Ch Insp Heydari was put on an accelerate promotion scheme and has since worked in CID, in human trafficking cases, for HM Inspectorate of Constabularies and even spent six months with NYPD, on the beat and teaching New York police students.
She said: ‘I’ve got a large range of skills I want to utilise but also experience a different type of policing.’