The newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Nick Alston was guest speaker at the meeting of the Safer, Cleaner, Greener Scrutiny Standing Panel on 12 February 2013.
Councillors, Youth Councillors, Parish Councillors and members of the public came along to listen to Commissioner Alston’s priorities and vision for the future. After a short introduction detailing his background, Commissioner Alston outlined what he had been doing during the 11 weeks since his election.
He was very complimentary about Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership, saying it is one of the best and most active in Essex. Many Councillors, including the Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread expressed their gratitude for the recognition of a very successful Community Safety Partnership, of which we are all very proud.
Commissioner Alston then faced some difficult questions, ranging from response times, reporting crimes, environmental crimes, such as fly-tipping and budgets to anti-social behaviour.
Youth Councillors put Commissioner Alston and the senior Police Officers present on the spot by asking some tough questions. Youth Councillor Edward Gokmen outlined problems in the area where he lived at Limes Farm. The Police District Commander accepted an invitation to attend the Limes Farm Youth Action Group so that he can be told what is happening. Community Safety Manager Caroline Wiggins assured everyone that there is a lot of joint working going on at Limes Farm with the police and other agencies and this clearly needs to be communicated to local people.
Commissioner Alston assured everyone that one of his main priorities is tackling youth offending as most people start young. He feels that we must think about our young people and make sure they know of the risks and are encouraged to be responsible. If young people do get caught up in crime, we should intervene early to stop re-offending.
Finally, Councillor Breare-Hall asked Commissioner Alston how he would like us to judge whether he has been successful at the end of his term. Quite simply, Nick said he would like there to be less crime and fewer victims.
For more information about the Police and Crime Commissioner go to www.essex.pcc.police.uk.