None of us thought we would still be fighting a global pandemic that shows no signs of yielding almost two years after it arrived.
As we go into another Christmas our plans to meet up with loved ones are uncertain and, in some instances, cancelled altogether with new guidance in place to help stop the spread of the virus. I understand the impact this is having and urge you all to do what you can to follow the latest advice and restrict the impact on our emergency services, particularly our colleagues working in the NHS.
Whilst 2021 has continued to be challenging, there has been some good news.
We now have record numbers of police officers in the county – 1,675, with a commitment from the Chief Constable to increase neighbourhood policing, something I know many of you want to see.
I have spent my first seven months in office listening to as many of you as possible to make sure my Police and Crime Plan, launched in November, focuses on those issues people want to see resolved. We all understand that the police must focus on those crimes that put people at the greatest harm, such as child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. But issues such as speeding, dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour can be equally devastating for communities.
I am pleased to report that together with the support of partners, including Cambridgeshire Constabulary and local authorities, my office has managed to secure an additional £1.6 million of funding for the county which helps address the following areas:
- More than £900k to make our streets safer protecting people trying to enjoy a night out and those who work in the night-time economy.
- A new Youth Fund worth £131k to benefit young people with activities and safe spaces to gather to help them become resilient adults.
- Over £300k to further tackle those at risk of domestic abuse and stalking from the Home Office’s Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Fund.
- And just shy of £400k to recruit and specially train staff to support the most vulnerable victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse.
The remaining funding has been used to provide Special Constables with marked police vans to support Community Speedwatch volunteers with further investment in tackling rural crime.
While there is still a great deal to do, I am proud that some of the objectives in my Police and Crime Plan are starting to be delivered. These are early achievements but hopefully reassure local people that when they raise concerns, and where it is within my gift to respond, I do.
Please make sure if you’re celebrating over the festive period, you do everything you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
I want to end by thanking all those who will be working over the Christmas period to keep us safe.
I hope everyone has a very happy Christmas and New Year.