Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes reflects on the successes of 2015 and looks ahead to the coming year
Following the third anniversary of my time in office, Christmas and the New Year, this seems an appropriate time to look back and reflect on the past year, but also to look ahead.
The second half of this year has been exceptionally busy as we continue delivering on many of the commitments made in my police and crime plan.
Looking back during the last year, significant progress towards my four priorities has been made. Despite the impact of £80 million of cuts imposed by government on Hampshire Constabulary being most felt this year, local communities really started to experience the benefits of my investment in them.
Having supported domestic abuse organisations across Hampshire for many years, this year Portsmouth-based services have continued to receive funding from my office. Supporting the victims of domestic abuse and working in partnership with other organisations has always been a priority.
Over the past year, several Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams have moved to new locations across the two counties that are fit for purpose and the future – many are shared with other partners such as local councils or Hampshire Fire and Rescue.
The Hampshire Community Court recently received an award for its work in diverting young people from the criminal justice system and deterring them from future offending.
This has been a very successful project where young people are judged by peers of their own age to keep them out of the criminal justice system. Fewer than five per cent of participants go on to re-offend.
As you’ll have heard, Chief Constable Andy Marsh is leaving at the end of January to join Avon and Somerset. Over the years, Andy has made a significant contribution to protecting our communities from harm. I wish him and his family all the best in the future.
During this festive season, Hampshire Constabulary is running a month-long campaign to tackle drink-driving over Christmas. Where will you end up tonight is hard-hitting and worth watching.
Looking ahead to 2016, we are working hard to prepare the policing budget. I would welcome your contributions to this and would value your feedback on how the council tax precept should be determined. You can access the consultation at hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/Get-Involved/Open-consultations.aspx
Finally, I extend my good wishes to everyone across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for Christmas and New Year.