- Combatting the threat of terrorism
It is vitally important that partners continue to work together to prevent and protect Surrey from the threat of terrorism. I will continue to review anti-terrorism plans and the resources at our disposal to ensure that Surrey Police, working with partners locally, regionally and nationally, can keep on top of the critical task of deterring and defeating terrorists. I will review partnership strategies and actions to make sure they are working towards the prevention of terrorism.
- Preventing and solving crimes that cause the most harm
Policing is becoming more complex. There has been increased reporting of the types of crime that are often committed “behind closed doors”, such as domestic violence, sexual offences and child abuse and exploitation. Reports of hate crime have risen. This increase in reporting is welcomed as, for many years, these types of offences have been hidden, with victims reluctant to come forward. Surrey Police has focused more resources to target those perpetrating these crimes and to support victims who often have been caused a great deal of physical or emotional harm. I will continue to support and scrutinise the Force’s plans in this area. I will work with Surrey Police to implement the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy. Violence associated with gangs and knife crime is thankfully rare in Surrey, but we will tackle violent and exploitative criminal activity and work with partners to prevent young people from going down the wrong path.
- Serious and Organised Crime
Serious and organised crime groups, whilst often hidden to wider society, are responsible for serious harm to individual victims and to the social and economic wellbeing of our communities. These groups carry out drug dealing, fraud, modern slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime. Although Surrey is a safe place overall, police and partners must stay vigilant in their efforts to tackle these groups, many of whom are internationally based or travel from London and elsewhere into Surrey to commit crime.
Two years ago, Surrey Police introduced a new policing model aimed at making the best use of its policing resource. This model has provided each of the three divisions with dedicated Area Policing Teams, responsible for responding to calls and investigating crime. In addition, specialist teams continue to investigate more serious criminality and a dedicated safeguarding unit focuses on offences against vulnerable people. Each of the 11 boroughs in Surrey has a dedicated Safer Neighbourhood Team to work with partners to address the root causes of crime and tackle those issues which can blight local communities.
- Maintaining a local policing presence
Residents of Surrey tell me how much they value seeing a policing presence in their local areas. Whilst we need to tackle the crime issues I have outlined above, I recognise that policing needs to be in touch with local communities. Surrey Police needs to carefully balance resources between tackling the most damaging of crimes and keeping a visible, local presence. I will require the Chief Constable to maintain Surrey’s well established emphasis on neighbourhood policing and to do what he can to improve the local visibility of policing, including an online and social media presence, within the resources available.