Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner sets out final priorities

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner sets out final priorities

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 6:00am 21st June 2020.

4 minute read

Angus Macpherson will leave the post in May 2021 and has drawn up his last Police and Crime Plan for the county.

The PCC was due to finish his term in office last month, but the Covid-19 pandemic means the election was cancelled, and he's agreed to stay on until the rescheduled ballot.

As a result of the delay, Mr Macpherson has set out a list of priorities for the coming year, sticking with the same themes as his previous Police and Crime Plan:

  • Priority One - Prevent crime and keep people safe
  • Priority Two - Protect the most vulnerable people in society
  • Priority Three - Put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do
  • Priority Four - Secure a quality police service that is trusted and efficient
Police Community Support Officer - PCSO - Police Officers in Salisbury (Mike Draper)
PCSO numbers have been kept steady in Wiltshire during Angus Macpherson's time in office

INCREASING FRONTLINE OFFICERS

Mr Macpherson has called for better Government funding for Wiltshire Police since he came into office, back in 2012.

He's said that the county force has been 'underfunded' but has also pushed to protect the number of officers and PSCOs working throughout Wiltshire.

Angus says that will contiue to be a priority: 

"At the heart of everything we do must be the community that we serve so I wanted to fully demonstrate my commitment to local policing by ensuring that Wiltshire Police protects frontline community police officer and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) numbers.

"My commitment has been supported by our community through increases in local council tax.

"At the end of 2018/19, Wiltshire Police had 934 police officers and 131 PCSOs. In 2019/20 the precept increase supported an additional 41 police officers whilst protecting PCSO numbers. 

"With both national funding and local precept increases police officer numbers will increase to 1,050 and PCSOs will continue to be protected for 2020/21.

"Local policing will see the majority of this increase with 72 additional officers in place by March 2021."

Police officers on patrol in Salisbury - Policeman Policewoman - cropped  (Mike Draper)
Wiltshire's PPC is calling for the community and police to have close links

ALL ABOUT COMMUNITY

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner also says the current situation proves that the relationship between the force and the public is vital.

Mr Macpherson says that's an area that he'll look to maintain: 

"Engaging with our communities must remain another focus for me, my office and Wiltshire Police - now more than ever as we continue to navigate through the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"I want our communities to know we are here to listen and to help with regards to all aspects of the criminal justice system.

"I am elected to represent the public's views on policing so communicating and engaging with our local communities, service users, the vulnerable and victims of crime, community groups, partners and other stakeholders is an important part of my role and informs me in delivering my role.

"My updated plan also includes greater emphasis on protecting children and young people from harm. We all have a responsibility to ensure those who might not have a voice for themselves are protected and safeguarded at all times.

"It is also important that our police estate and buildings are able to support 21st Century policing which is why I have commissioned a new sustainability strategy to understand and reduce our impact upon the environment."

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson
Angus Macpherson with Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard

CONTRACT EXTENSION FOR CHIEF CONSTABLE

Kier Pritchard came to office in March 2018, and Angus Macpherson has announced that he will remain in post, long after the next Police and Crime Commissioner takes over: 

"To help deliver this refreshed plan, I have made the decision to extend Chief Constable Kier Pritchard's contract up to December 2023.

"Mr. Pritchard has done an excellent job in the face of a number of unprecedented demands on our police service and his leadership has been outstanding. I am confident that he, alongside his executive leadership team, will continue to build on the great work being done in the Force and focus on the priorities in my plan. I look forward to working with him throughout my final year."

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