April 3, 2013, by offcampus
A View From The Police and Crime Commissioner
Today, we’re pleased to welcome Paddy Tipping, the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, to the Off Campus Blog. Elected in November 2012, the PCC is responsible for setting priorities for the police force in Nottinghamshire, monitoring performance and setting the budget for the force.
Before I took on this job, I promised to become a ‘people’s commissioner’ rather than a ‘policing commissioner’. There is a reason for this. Many people, but especially the younger generation, have felt increasingly disconnected from policing in recent years and powerless to bring about any change. For young people, this has been partly due to negative publicity about young offenders and to some extent the controversy surrounding ‘stop and search’. There was also a perception that young people had no place in the circles in which decisions about policing were made – and to some extent this may have been the case.
I want to change this. Some 30% of those who live and work in the City are aged between 18 and 29, with students accounting for no fewer than one in eight of our population. To ignore the younger voice is to ignore a good proportion of our community – and my aim is to reach, listen and connect to everybody. For me, youth engagement shouldn’t be just a token gesture, a box-ticking exercise. Young people need to feel that it’s worthwhile putting their views across and have confidence that it will have a real impact on policing strategy and crime reduction. I have tried to forge stronger links with young people using your favoured communication channels-social media- and will ensure these opportunities grow under my governance and the results will help shape the policing agenda in Nottinghamshire.
Policing now finds itself in a refreshingly new landscape where public opinion is not only more readily embraced but can and will instigate change. Connecting with young people is not just necessary to promoting inclusion but also to delivering positive results in crime rates because young people are much more likely to have the solutions to how we stop offending. A disproportionate number of young people are victims of crime and as such they are key to helping us understand and address the alienation and anger which lead some to embark on a life of crime.
The safety of young people living in Nottinghamshire is of paramount importance, we are working hard with the University, for example, to promote a safe and secure night time economy for the City so that you can enjoy a night out without fear of violence or theft. Similarly, we are focusing on the areas most affected by anti-social behaviour to improve the quality of life for those who live there.
I have promised to invest scarce resources to protect young people from harm and offer them more support if they become a victim of crime. But everybody has a responsibility to play their part in making Nottinghamshire safe and reducing fear. Young people have a unique insight into the psychology behind offending and we’ve never been more ready to listen.