Commissioner vows to focus on the public’s priorities as she marks one year in office

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Lisa Townsend has vowed to continue putting the views of residents at the forefront of her plans as she this week marks a year since taking office.

The Commissioner said she has enjoyed every minute of the job so far and is looking forward to continuing to work with Surrey Police to deliver on the priorities the public have told her are the most important where they live.

Since winning the election in May last year, the Commissioner and her deputy Ellie Vesey-Thompson have been out across the county speaking to residents, joining police officers and staff on the frontline and visiting those services and projects the office commissions across the county to support victims and local communities.

In December, the Commissioner launched her Police and Crime Plan for the county which was firmly based on the priorities residents said were the most important to them such as the safety of our local roads, tackling anti-social behaviour and ensuring the safety of women and girls in our communities.

It followed the widest consultation with the public and our partners that the PCC’s office has ever undertaken and will form the basis on which the Commissioner will be holding the Chief Constable to account over the next two years.

In the last year, the Commissioner’s office has awarded over £4million to projects and services aimed at making our communities safer, reducing re-offending and supporting victims to cope and recover.

This has included securing over £2m in extra government funding which has provided more money to help tackle domestic abuse and sexual violence as well as Safer Streets funding which has helped improve safety for women and girls using the Basingstoke Canal in Woking and combat burglaries in the Tandridge area.

Major new services to tackle stalking and child criminal exploitation and a service aimed at the perpetrators of domestic abuse have also been launched.

Commissioner Lisa Townsend said: “It has been a real privilege to serve the people of Surrey over the last year and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far.

“I know from speaking to the Surrey public that we all want to see more police officers on the streets of our county tackling those issues that matter most to our communities.

“Surrey Police have been working hard to recruit an extra 150 officers and operational staff over the last year with a further 98 to come in the year ahead as part of the government uplift programme.

“In February, I set my first budget for the Force and the small increase in council tax contributions from residents will mean Surrey Police are able to sustain their current policing levels and give the right support to those extra officers we are bringing in.

“There have been some big decisions to take during my first year not least on the future of the Surrey Police Headquarters which I have agreed with the Force will remain at the Mount Browne site in Guildford rather than the previously planned move to Leatherhead.

“I believe this is the right move for our officers and staff and will most of all provide the best value for money for the Surrey public.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been in contact over the last year and I am keen to hear from as many people as possible about their views on policing in Surrey so do please keep getting in touch.

“We are working on a number of ways to make it easier to engage with our office – I am holding monthly online surgeries; we are inviting the Surrey public to take part in my performance meetings with the Chief Constable and there are plans to host community events across the county in the near future.

“The most important part of my role is being the representative of you, the Surrey public, and I look forward to working with residents, Surrey Police and our partners across the county to ensure we provide you with the best policing service possible.”

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