Holding police chiefs to account: Atherstone can expect ‘below-normal’ crime rate to rise with lockdown easing

  Posted: 13.05.20 at 12:18 by Nick Hudson

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ATHERSTONE and district can expect crime to return to “more normal levels” as Covid-19 restrictions start to ease, police and crime commissioner Philip Seccombe believes.

Police officers are “coping well” in current circumstances with strong support from the public of their “last resort” approach to the enforcement of restrictions, says the PCC.

North Warwickshire is typical of the whole county where crime is down in most categories while domestic abuse has been prioritising since lockdown left the vulnerable under the same roof as possible perpetrators.

The Warwickshire PCC, in his role of conducting “holding to account” meetings with the chief constable, thanked CC Martin Jelley for the “open way” he is answering questions – “given the pressures the Covid-19 emergency brings”.

The regular sessions touch on how enforcement of the Covid-19 regulations is being approached, the health and wellbeing of officers and staff, how support is being provided to victims and how road safety continues to be policed.

Supplementary: Cooping with Covid is an add-on to the Police and Crime plan

“During our question and answer session, CC Martin Jelley and Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Tedds were able to provide reassurance that the force is coping well in the current circumstances.

“I was pleased to hear there remains strong public support for the approach they have been taking towards enforcement, only using it as a last resort when other efforts to engage with people have not proved effective.

“Crime is down across many categories, albeit with levels expected to stabilise and then return to more normal levels as restrictions begin to ease, while domestic abuse continues to a priority for the force’s response.

“Significant advice and guidance have also been made available to officers and police staff to ensure that the investigation of crime can continue effectively and safely.

“I am also pleased to hear of the continued commitment the force has to work with organisations across the county helping to support victims, many of which I provide funding to.”

The meeting comes as the PCC has launched a document which looks in the future on supporting communities in the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The Covid supplement to the five-year police and crime plan outlines the work that is under way to mitigate the risks posed by the virus.

Mr Seccombe said: “The Covid 19 pandemic is surely the widest scale emergency this country has faced in peacetime and that’s why absolutely everyone has their part to play in helping to combat it and ensure that our vital services can cope at a time of unprecedented demand.

“While Covid-19 is principally a public health emergency, not a policing crisis, it does nonetheless present many challenges across the community safety arena.

“We have all seen disruption in our daily lives and it is really important to provide reassurance to the public as to how the priorities and ambitions of the Police and Crime Plan will continue to be delivered, despite these difficulties.

“That includes dealing with the ‘here and now’ while also putting in the foundations for ensuring that policing and community safety will be maintained over the course of the rest of the year as we begin to emerge from this initial phase of the pandemic.”

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