“We are listening” – Commissioner thanks residents as ‘Policing Your Community’ roadshow highlights priorities for Force

Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Lisa Townsend has thanked residents for joining a series of ‘Policing your Community’ events held across the county this winter, saying that work by her office and Surrey Police is continuing to tackle the issues that matter most to local people.

Both in-person and online meetings were hosted by the Commissioner, the Chief Constable Tim De Meyer and the local policing commander in all 11 boroughs across Surrey between October and February.

Over 500 people took part and had the opportunity to pose their questions on policing where they live.

Visible policing, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and road safety emerged as top priorities for residents while burglary, shoplifting and contacting Surrey Police also featured as key issues they wanted to raise.

They said they wanted to see more police officers in their area carrying out work to prevent and support those affected by burglaries, theft and dangerous and anti-social driving.

Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend speaking at Policing your Community event in Woking

In addition, more than 3,300 people completed the Commissioner’s council tax survey this year which asked residents to choose the three areas they most wanted the Force to focus on. Over half of those who responded said they were concerned about burglary and anti-social behaviour, followed by drugs and drug related crime and neighbourhood crime prevention. Around 1,600 people also added additional comments about policing in the survey.

The Commissioner said her message to Surrey residents was – ‘We are listening” and that the Chief’s new Plan for the Force is designed to take the fight to the criminals by relentlessly pursuing the most prolific offenders, tackling pockets of lawlessness and driving drug dealers and shoplifting gangs out of the county.

Anyone who missed the event for their area can watch the meeting back online here.

The Commissioner said over the coming weeks she will be highlighting some of the incredible work already being carried out by policing teams across the county and some of the projects her office is helping to fund to combat issues such as anti-social behaviour.

Since October, Surrey Police have seen improvements in the average time it takes to contact the Force and will be providing an update on this soon.

The Force have also seen improvements in the number of solved outcomes for serious violence, sexual offences and domestic abuse including stalking and controlling and coercive behaviour. A solved outcome represents a charge, caution, community resolution, or taken into consideration.

Following a 26% increase in shoplifting offences in 2023, Surrey Police are also working closely with retailers on a new way to report offences and have already carried out a major operation in December resulting in 20 arrests in a single day.

While the number of solved outcomes for domestic burglary have increased at a slower pace – this remains a key focus of the Force who are ensuring that officers attend every report of burglary in the county.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Lisa Townsend said: “Listening to the views of residents and being their representative is the single most important part of my role as Commissioner for our wonderful county.

“The ‘Policing Your Community’ events coupled with the feedback we received in my council tax survey has given us a really important insight into residents’ experiences of policing across our county and the issues that concern them.

“It is vital that the public have their say on policing where they live and my message to them is – we are listening.

“We know how important it is for people to feel safe in their communities so we must make sure that Surrey Police is taking the right action to tackle issues such anti-social behaviour, road safety and burglary. And we must ensure that people can contact Surrey Police quickly when they need them.

“Surrey remains one of the safest counties in the country and the Force is now the biggest it has ever been. This means there are more officers and staff than ever before to protect our communities from not only visible crime, but also ‘hidden’ harms like online fraud and exploitation that account for over a third of all offences.

“Over the coming weeks we will be highlighting some of the incredible work already being carried out day in, day out by our hard-working police teams across the county and some of the exciting projects coming up that I believe will make our communities even safer.”

Police and Crime Commissioner walking through graffiti covered tunnel with two male police officers from the local team in Spelthorne

Chief Constable for Surrey Police Tim De Meyer said: “I am so grateful to all those who attended the ‘Policing Your Community’ events. It was extremely useful to be able to explain our plans for policing Surrey, and to receive feedback from the public.

“People were very supportive of our plans to improve our response to violence against women and girls, and of our determination to prevent crime and pursue criminals relentlessly.

“We are acting immediately on concerns in respect of issues such as shoplifting and anti-social behaviour and have made good strides in many of the areas that matter most to those we are here to protect, in no small part thanks to the hard work of our officers and staff. I am sure that I shall be able to report good progress when we next meet with our communities.”

Surrey Police can be contacted by calling 101, via Surrey Police social media channels or at https://surrey.police.uk. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress – please call 999.

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