Welcome to the Annual Report for 2022/23, my second full year in office as your Police and Crime Commissioner. It has been an incredibly exciting 12 months for policing in Surrey with several key achievements which I believe will put the Force in a strong position for years to come.
More police officers than ever before
I was overjoyed that we were able to announce that Surrey Police managed to exceed its target for extra police officers under the Government’s three-year uplift programme to recruit 20,000 officers across the country.
This means that since 2019 an extra 395 officers have been added to its ranks – 136 more than the target the Government had set for Surrey. This makes Surrey Police the biggest it’s ever been which is fantastic news for residents!
I was very fortunate to attend an attestation ceremony at Mount Browne HQ with the final 91 new recruits joining as part of Operation Uplift and to wish them the best of luck before they commenced their training courses.
Surrey Police has done an amazing job recruiting the extra numbers in a tough job market and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard over the last three years to achieve this target.
That hard work does not stop here of course. As well as training and supporting these new recruits so we can get them out in our communities as soon as possible, Surrey Police faces a big challenge over the next year in maintaining those extra numbers. The retention of officers and staff is one of the biggest issues policing is dealing with across the country and with Surrey being one of the most expensive places to live we are certainly not immune.
I am committed to offering whatever support my office can give in not only welcoming these new officers into the Force but also in keeping them in our communities taking the fight to criminals for years to come.
Recruitment of a new Chief Constable
One of the key roles I have as Commissioner is hiring the Chief Constable. In January this year I was delighted to appoint Tim De Meyer to the top job in Surrey Police.
Tim was selected as my preferred candidate for the post following a thorough selection process to replace his predecessor Gavin Stephens, who was elected as the next head of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
Tim was the outstanding candidate in a strong field during the interview process and his appointment was approved by the county’s Police and Crime Panel later that same month.
Tim brings with him a wealth of experience having begun his police career with the Metropolitan Police Service in 1997 before joining Thames Valley Police in 2008, where he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief Constable. He is already settling into the role and I have no doubt he will be an inspirational and committed leader who will guide the Force into an exciting new chapter.
More money for vital projects in Surrey
People often focus on the ‘crime’ side of being a Police and Crime Commissioner, but it is really important that we do not forget the amazing work my office does on the ‘commissioning’ side.
Since I took office in 2021, my team has helped fund vital projects that support vulnerable victims of sexual and domestic abuse, reduce violence against women and girls and prevent crime in communities across Surrey.
Our dedicated funding streams aim to increase community safety, reduce re-offending, support children and young people and help victims to cope and recover from their experiences.
Over the last two years my team has successfully bid for millions of pounds of extra funding from government pots to support services and charities around the county.
In total, just under £9m has been secured which has helped support many vital projects and services across the county that provide a real lifeline for some of our most vulnerable residents.
They really do make a huge difference to a wide range of people, whether that be tackling anti-social behaviour in one of our communities or supporting a victim of domestic abuse in a refuge who has nowhere else to turn. I am really proud of the hard work and dedication that my team puts into this – much of which happens behind the scenes.
At a time when trust and confidence in policing has been understandably damaged by high-profile and often horrific revelations in the media, it is more important than ever that we demonstrate complete transparency to residents and a willingness to have difficult conversations.
During 2021/22 my team developed a new, first of its kind, Data Hub – to provide the public with convenient access to up-to-date local policing data in a format that can be easily understood.
The platform features more information than was previously made available from my public performance meetings with the Chief Constable, with regular updates that make it easier to understand progress and trends.
The Hub can be found on our new website that launched in November and includes information on emergency and non-emergency response times and data for specific crime types including burglary, domestic abuse and road offences. It also provides more information on Surrey Police’s budget and staffing, as well as information about the work of my office.
The Data Hub can be accessed at https://data.surrey-pcc.gov.uk
I would like to thank everyone who has been in contact over the last year. 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. I launched a monthly newsletter for residents this year which provides key monthly updates on what my office has been doing. If you want to join the growing number of people that are signing up to it – please visit: https://www.surrey-pcc.gov.uk/newsletter/
My continued thanks go to all those who work for Surrey Police for their efforts and achievements in keeping our communities safe during 2022/23. I would also like to thank all the volunteers, charities, and organisations we have worked with and my staff in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for their help over the last year.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey
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