Meet Your Police, Crime & Victims' Commissioner
Durham Police, Crime & Victims Commissioner
As your Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner I promise to listen to your needs, seek out the concerns of all and tackle them. I worked as a police officer for over 30 years, serving in Police Forces across the region including Durham and I’ve seen first-hand how neighbourhood policing can improve communities.
In 1973, I started my professional life as a teacher of History and Sociology after studying politics at York University. I made the move to policing in 1978 and had a full and varied career including spending time at Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), holding the national portfolio for the policing of football, and becoming Assistant Chief Constable in Durham in 1998. I finished my policing career as Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland in 2008. I then moved on to work in Children’s Safeguarding at Sunderland City Council.
In 2012 I decided to go back to my roots and combine my interest in politics with my years of policing experience to become the area's first Durham Police and Crime Commissioner (or as my new job title reflects, Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner). I am here to be the voice of the local people by listening and responding to their needs. My vision is to “inspire confidence in policing by ensuring efficient and effective services are delivered to support victims and keep all our communities safe.”
Listening to residents and empowering communities
People across County Durham and Darlington have told me how concerned they are that officers will be withdrawn from their communities. I have seen first-hand how neighbourhood policing can improve communities and I will work creatively with the Force to maintain the number of officers at the levels that our neighbourhoods need. At the same time, I am in a position to work as a national voice to oppose the Government cuts which have already cost Durham the full time equivalent of 306 officers and 146 police staff.
I am pleased to say that we have an excellent Police Force in Durham; one that puts victims first, and cuts crime by getting to the thick of the issues and solving problems. Over the next year, I want to see the Force consistently provide you with the exceptional service that you deserve. It is a privilege to be your elected Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner and I will continue to put all my efforts into representing you to the best of my ability.
I shall ensure that, through me, our communities have a voice.
Why have Police and Crime Commissioners been introduced?
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC's) were introduced by the Government through the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011), Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will be expected to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police.
PCCs will not be expected to run the police. The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account.
PCCs will work to ensure that community needs are met as effectively as possible and will improve local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They will also work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
What does the role involve?
The PCC will have a mandate for ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of policing services across County Durham and Darlington. As well as holding the Chief Constable to account on behalf of local people, the role will also involve:
• Representing & engaging with all those who live and work in the communities in the force area, including the vulnerable and victims to identify their policing needs;
• Setting priorities that meet those needs by publishing a Police and Crime plan;
• Publishing an Annual Report;
• Appointing the Chief Constable
• The power to call on the Chief Constable to retire or resign
• Securing the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force for the area
• Setting the police precept and budget
• Responsibility for holding community safety budgets and commissioning services
The Nolan Principles
Operating under the principles of goodwill, professionalism, openness and trust, the PCC will work with the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Panel and other key stakeholders in carrying out his functions and will be expected to abide by the Nolan Principles of Conduct in Public Life, which are:
Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.