Within a hundred days of assuming office Tipping, elected Nottinghamshire PCC in November 2012, has exceeded his headline pledge to place a hundred and fifty extra police officers on the streets.
Speaking to Impact, Tipping noted the need to convince the public that the PCC role can be effective; “I had to get off and prove Police Commissioners could do something; I need to demonstrate the first hundred days have been successful – I know people are sceptical about politicians, but the way to solve that is to deliver on your pledges, and I think I’m delivering on mine.”
With the approval of his first year’s budget at a sixth of February Council Meeting – a budget of over £197 million pounds – financing for the extra police officers was approved. Funded largely by a 1.95% increase part of the Council Tax, this will ensure a return to pre-coalition force numbers. The initial 150 extra officers will be maintained by further hiring in subsequent years, resulting in a net increase of 228 officers over a five year period.
The increase in officer numbers, despite a cut in funding of £42 million from central government over a four year period, is being made possible by a refocusing on community policing, as well revaluations of existing spending. Greater emphasis on regional cooperation and regional spending – most significantly with Derbyshire – is at the heart of this programme, with joint legal services and murder investigation being key examples.
Whilst previously Nottinghamshire had a dedicated murder squad, the county has an average of just two murders per year; such services are now being organised at a regional level, with a Nottinghamshire police officer currently leading the continuing investigation into the Derby house fire that killed six children last year.
Tipping has worked closely with Deputy Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Cutland, ex-executive director of Women’s Aid in Nottingham. They have focussed on domestic violence and crimes against women. 60% of all crime in the city of Nottingham is related to domestic violence, prioritising new focus on high risk cases, provision of shelter, counselling, especially in regards to joining up the support programmes already in existence with policing efforts.
Elsewhere, Tipping is planning a new focus on Victim Support, ready for when it is devolved from the Ministry of Justice in March 2014, with a greater emphasis on the needs of the victim. A continuing emphasis on anti-social behaviour, which saw a reduction of 17% last year, is to remain at the heart of policing in Nottingham, with an emphasis with working with both local authorities and communities.
Amos Teshuva, Nottingham University SU President, said of Tipping; “He’s been very good and helpful with our issues with the council; he’s stuck to his word with us.”
Tipping is due to visit the University within the next few weeks for a session focussing on student safety, and was keen to emphasis his close links to the University, having first arrived in Nottingham as a Postgraduate Student and irregularly lecturing at the University to this day.
Paddy Tipping is to host a live webchat to answer questions from young people about policing issues. Paddy Tipping will be joined by Nottinghamshire Police Sgt Debbie Barton, who specialises in youth issues, for the question and answer session, which will take place on Tuesday, February 19 from 7-8pm.
To take part in the WebChat click here