County Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen has published her Annual Report for a year in which she has delivered a stronger policing presence and a reduction in anti-social behaviour.
The report, available on the Commissioner’s website, details the progress made against her six Police and Crime priorities: Safer Business, Safer Communities, Safer Online, Safer People, Safer Roads and Safer Countryside in 2021-22.
It was a year which saw the Commissioner meeting her election pledges to make the communities of County Durham and Darlington safer, stronger and more resilient to crime.
Alongside major investment in crime prevention and technology, the Commissioner expanded support for victims and witnesses of crime in the way survivors themselves have asked for.
She also worked more closely with businesses and rural communities and funded new resources to help them protect their livelihoods.
“I am really proud of the improvements we have made throughout this period to make people safer whether online, in their homes or on our streets,” she said.
“I realise many people and partners have contributed to this success and I would like to acknowledge and thank them their support and commitment.
“The priorities I have set for the force are priorities local people have told me they want addressed.
“Anti-social behaviour remains one of the biggest concerns in our communities and I am really pleased that we have been able to reduce the number of incidents during the year.
“We’ve also invested in extra call-handling staff and new cyber officers to increase the capabilities of the force’s digital investigation team and funded new resources to help our communities proactively address speeding.
“I am confident there is much more success to come. We are in a great position to build on this fantastic start, and I will be doing everything possible, in partnership with my team and wider criminal justice colleagues, to make these improvements happen.”
Achievement highlights for 2021-22 include:
• A 10 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents
• Appointment of three new Victims’ Champions to give victims a greater voice and improve services in the way they want
• Recruitment of 137 extra Police Officers and 27 PCSOs – Durham now has 50 PCSOs above the national average
• Reduction in rural crime claims – Durham is one of a few forces nationally to have seen a drop in agricultural vehicles machinery and livestock theft claims
• £830,000 investment into tackling neighbourhood crime and community-based crime prevention
• Funding worth £600k secure to expand provision of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)
• Funding worth £500k from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund to make the streets safer and protect women and girls from violence
• A 16 per cent reduction in the number of stalking offences
College bars at Durham University have been praised by PCC for meeting strict standards of safety as part of a national accreditation scheme.
Four outstanding Community Peer Mentor volunteers have been invited to Royal celebration events to mark King Charles III’s Coronation.
PCC has praised the swift roll-out of a free security scheme helping former victims of crime and their neighbours to feel safer in their homes.