THE man leading Hampshire police has pledged to start at home when it comes to cutting crime.
Simon Hayes, the newly-elected Independent Police and Crime Commissioner, said one of his key priorities will be to crack down on domestic abuse.
He told The News that too many children were growing up round parents who do not teach them responsibility and ultimately breed generations of criminals.
His candid comments come as he will have completed 100 days in office today following his election on November 22.
After scrapping the old Hampshire Police Authority, Mr Hayes will be paid £80,000 a year to make sure the force is delivering on priorities laid down in a Police and Crime Plan.
He told The News: ‘We need to improve how we deal with domestic abuse.
‘Statistics show a woman, and it is usually a woman, is probably abused 17 or 18 times before she reports it.
‘So there’s a lot of criminality going on around it.
‘It’s not only the effect it has on the victim, it’s the effect it has on their children and the way the children behave in school.
‘With younger children in particular, it can affect their understanding of relationships with other individuals and the opposite sex as well.
‘Domestic abuse will be a priority in the policing plan.’
He said that criminal tendencies often start at a young age based on the environment children are exposed to.
‘The whole concept of parental guidance is something that can help a young person in their growing up,’ he said.
‘As an example, with domestic violence, if a young child or teenager sees it they do begin to feel that’s the way to behave.
‘In a home environment, children should be safe, they should be secure and they should learn a lot of skills for life.
‘Sadly, I think a lot are not actually being taught that.
‘There is a responsibility on parents because young people will grow up to become parents themselves and think that’s the way to behave.
‘I think it’s at the root of a lot of problems we have in society.’
He said one way police could help was by visiting schools and providing education.
Mr Hayes’ policing plan has been presented to the Police and Crime Panel, made up of 15 councillors from every local authority in Hampshire and five co-opted members.
It will be officially launched at an event in Winchester on March 21 before coming into force from April 1.
The plan commits to improving front-line policing and reducing reoffending and anti-social behaviour.