Commissioner’s blog – preventing crime right up your street

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite writes …

Solving crimes is a major part of the police’s role but it is not the only one. The police also play a major role in preventing crime.

And in times when budgets are tighter and demands are high it is really important we look for innovative ways to prevent crime or be faced with the escalating bill of solving it.

As one of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, famously said: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’

So I warmly welcome the Chancellor’s announced funding for 62 additional officers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough because it means we can meet increased demand for our services, cut crime, provide better outcomes for victims and invest more in preventative work.

Since I was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough three years ago, I’ve spoken to thousands of residents, businesses and organisations from our very different cities, towns, villages and rural communities to understand the issues you care about the most.

One of the things I hear all the time is a desire for more officers down your street.

Neighbourhood policing plays a pivotal role in prevention.  Being based at the heart of communities means those officers can understand the issues and work with neighbourhood watch, youth groups, residents associations and other community champions to look for ways they can support each other to discourage and prevent crime happening there.

There is already some fantastic preventative work happening such as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP) which brings together more than 20 organisations including the police, councils and community groups together to raise awareness about scams and support victims.

There’s also our project to prevent knife crime, thanks to a successful bid for £385,000 Home Office funding with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Youth Offending Service. The grant is funding a team of specialist workers to support young people with complex needs who are at significant risk of criminal exploitation and youth violence and getting involved in knife crime.

We can all play a part in preventing crime and keeping Cambridgeshire safe.

The police cannot be everywhere all the time. They need your support so please get involved whether that’s reporting crimes, providing intelligence to assist in bringing offenders to justice or giving information to help safeguard the vulnerable.

People often talk of the halcyon days of a bygone era when neighbours watched out for children and everyone looked out for each other. Times may have changed but the basic principle is as relevant now as it has always been.

Join your local groups on Facebook and follow local organisations on Instagram or Twitter, it’s amazing the information that you will pick up. Get involved in your local community and encourage your families, friends and neighbours, to do the same.

Keep your eyes and ears open to what is going on around you and if you think you have a skill or an idea on how issues could be tackled, get in touch with me I want to hear about it.

As communities we will always be stronger if we work together than we ever are when we go it alone.