PCCs tell MPs they are ideally-placed to bring agencies closer together to prevent crime
Two Police and Crime Commissioners have told a panel of MPs that PCCs are ideally-placed to bring agencies closer together to prevent crime.
Speaking to a committee of MPs about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, Hertfordshire PCC and APCC Criminal Justice Lead David Lloyd said: “One of the benefits of Police and Crime Commissioners has been our ability to bring different parts of the criminal justice system together, along with local authorities, so that we can better ensure that we reduce violence and crime; that the lessons are properly learned and that we put support for victims and perpetrators in the right place.”
Also giving evidence to the Public Bill Committee was Devon and Cornwall PCC Alison Hernandez.
On the benefits of tackling violent crime through prevention and a partnership approach, she said: “In Devon and Cornwall the Chief Constable and I have come together in a partnership to establish a serious violence prevention programme. We are funding that through council taxpayers’ funding, because we believe that it is fundamentally important that we make this a priority.”
On the Government’s plan to require the police and others to work together to tackle serious violence, she said: “I am an absolute supporter of the Serious Violence Duty. We have things within our own powers, as Commissioners with our local authorities, to set the priorities to tackle that.”
Mr Lloyd agreed, adding: “This measure strengthens what many of us are already putting into our own Police and Crime Plans. We really do need to ensure that the scourge of serious violence is reduced. There are many parts of the country - thankfully not Hertfordshire - where this is out of control, and this measure will help.”
Wednesday’s oral evidence sessions touched upon other areas of the wide-ranging Bill too.
As the APCC’s Lead on Road Safety, Ms Hernandez suggested increasing some fines for traffic offences to raise more money to spend on roads safety.
She said: “We carried out a survey on road safety through the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and over 66,000 people responded. It was absolutely clear that people witness offending behaviour on the roads where they live. There is an appetite for more enforcement.”
On the policing of protests, Mr Lloyd reflected on difficulties police officers had last year when trying to arrest people disrupting printing presses in Broxbourne.
And on proposals to make trespass a criminal offence, while both PCCs referenced the disruptive impact illegal encampments have on communities, Mr Lloyd noted the real solution was local councils, with responsibility for planning, providing more authorised sites.