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Coastal communities invited to have their say in PCC’s ‘Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime’ survey

7th October 2020

People living in Northumbria’s coastal towns are being asked to share their views on how to fight crime and prevent crime as part of a new survey launched online by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness last week.
The survey is the key feature behind a new plan setting out what Northumbria Police should focus on in the years ahead.
Whether you’re a full-time mum, business owner, or help out at a local community group, Kim wants to know what the big issues are for you, and wants to make sure those leaving by the sea have their say.
Northumbria Police serves a wide range of communities, all with unique challenges, for example, it’s known that seaside towns often see a rise in anti-social behaviour and public order offences during hot spells and the tourist season. Kim wants to make sure we get as many views as possible around crime on the coast – this will then shape a new Police and Crime Plan outlining what the force should focus on to ensure Northumbria stays one of the safest regions in the country.
Since being elected in July 2019, one of Kim’s top priorities has been police officer recruitment and getting officers out on the streets, fighting crime and keeping everyone safe. As a result of this, the force’s latest recruitment drive has seen more than 300 officers hired since lockdown, and numbers are set to be 133 more than the Government’s uplift target.
The past year has also seen the Commissioner establish a Violence Reduction Unit which is working hard to improve lives and prevent crime and has helped towards an 18 per cent reduction in knife crime in the area before the start of the national lockdown.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Our policing needs are constantly evolving and after ten years of austerity it’s important we take a good, hard look at our police force and think about the needs and the expectations that people have of the service and I want to make sure we are shining the light on what matters to those living by the sea. I want a really clear picture of things are in places like South Shields and Whitley Bay so we can look at how things can be improved.
“What really matters here is that you have your say. If it’s cutting down anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood, reducing violence in our region, getting more police on our streets or a creating a future for our young people, this is the time to make it happen.”
To help get as many views as possible, Kim had also planned to take an engagement bus on tour over the coming months to meet lots of people to learn more about policing and community needs across the force area. For now, this has been postponed while the region adjusts to local lockdown, and will be re-launched once public health advice on how best to engage face to face has been considered.
When safe to do so, the whereabouts of the ‘Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime’ survey bus will be publicised on the Commissioner’s website and across her social media channels.
Kim said: “In the current climate, I can’t invite people to town halls or community centres so this is why I’m looking at taking a bus out to meet local people out in the open, touring the entire region and speaking to as many people as possible with social distancing maintained and face masks at the ready. Hopefully we’ll get the green light on this soon.
“Thankfully Northumbria is one of the safest areas in the country and I’m proud of our police force, but of course there are things we can do better. This consultation will allow us to say what needs improving and what we need to see more of. I want to hear the good, the bad, and I welcome new ideas too, it will all help our work to fight crime, prevent crime and improve lives in our region.”
Cllr Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Coastal communities face unique challenges and opportunities so it’s extremely important that people living here in South Tyneside share their thoughts on policing and community safety within the area.
“I would encourage everyone in South Tyneside to have their say by completing PCC Kim McGuinness’ survey on fighting crime and preventing crime. It’s important that you feel safe in your community so highlighting any issues or concerns you may have is key to helping North-umbria Police set out what they should focus on in the next five years, particularly around crime on the coast.”

People can respond to the survey online by visiting http://bit.ly/PCPCon2020. The consultation closes on Friday 27 November.