Crime Tsar: 17p-a-week rise will help us fund ex­tra po­lice of­fi­cers

Bangor Mail - - YOUR COMMUNITY -

APOLICE boss vowed to do ev­ery­thing in his power to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, af­ter sign­ing off a 17p-a-week in­crease in the cost of polic­ing in the re­gion.

The ex­tra money will pay for 43 new of­fi­cers and staff mem­bers, as well as safe­guard­ing the posts of 15 con­sta­bles in North Wales.

The 3.58% in­crease pro­posed by North Wales Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Ar­fon Jones was backed last week by the North Wales Po­lice and Crime Panel.

It will be the low­est rise in the polic­ing el­e­ment of the coun­cil tax of all the four forces in Wales, and will be among the low­est of the 43 con­stab­u­lar­ies across Eng­land and Wales.

Even af­ter the in­crease, Band D house­hold­ers will pay less than £5 a week in coun­cil tax to­wards polic­ing.

An on­line sur­vey, con­ducted by Mr Jones, showed that 60% of Coun­cil Tax­pay­ers who re­sponded were in favour of a hike of 3% or more.

More than 1,300 peo­ple took part in the sur­vey, which was a 33% in­crease on the num­ber of peo­ple who par­tic­i­pated in a sim­i­lar poll last year.

Mr Jones, a for­mer po­lice in­spec­tor, said: “It was vi­tally im­por­tant that we set the pre­cept at the right level to en­sure we can con­tinue to pro­vide an ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient po­lice ser­vice while, at the same time, re­main­ing fi­nan­cially pru­dent and de­liv­er­ing money.

“In these days of re­duced po­lice spend­ing, we must tar­get our re­sources care­fully and the in­crease in pre­cept has been ar­rived at with value for that in mind.

“I worked closely with the Chief Con­sta­ble and dis­cussed with him what level of bud­get was needed to de­liver the pri­or­i­ties in my Po­lice and Crime Plan.

“The in­crease will en­able us to em­ploy an ad­di­tional 43 peo­ple this year, on top of the 46 we re­cruited last year.

“My vi­sion for polic­ing North Wales is based on re­duc­ing threat, risk and harm by iden­ti­fy­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in so­ci­ety. I will do ev­ery­thing in my power to pro­tect them.

“Three of the five pri­or­i­ties in my Po­lice and Crime Plan are based around vul­ner­a­bil­ity, and the plan also re­flects the chang­ing face of polic­ing, with the emerg­ing and of­ten hid­den crimes like mod­ern slav­ery and hu­man traf­fick­ing and child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, with the threat posed by on­line pae­dophiles.

“In re­la­tion to child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, a mul­ti­a­gency re­gional plan was de­vel­oped some time ago.

“The Onyx team, es­tab­lished by North Wales Po­lice to tackle these ab­hor­rent of­fences, will con­tinue to fur­ther de­velop their work. I will work with our part­ners to en­sure all that can be done to safe­guard these chil­dren is given the pri­or­ity it de­serves.

“In ad­di­tion, we will in­crease the num­ber of pro­grammes for per­pe­tra­tors to re­duce re­peat of­fend­ing and re­peat vic­tim­i­sa­tion.

“An­other pri­or­ity is the con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment of the Pae­dophile and On­line In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team (POLIT) in iden­ti­fy­ing per­pe­tra­tors of child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, in­clud­ing those ac­cess­ing in­de­cent images of chil­dren through the in­ter­net, and ef­fec­tive multi- agency work­ing to pro­tect chil­dren iden­ti­fied as be­ing at risk.

“I’m pleased we’re in­vest­ing so many re­sources in tack­ling on­line sex­ual ex­ploita­tion be­cause the care of chil­dren is the most im­por­tant thing we do.

“I’m very happy to sup­port the force in pro­vid­ing as much re­source as needed to en­sure chil­dren, wher­ever they may be in the world, are safe.

“The aim is to se­cure an in­crease in re­port­ing of sex­ual and do­mes­tic abuse by giv­ing vic­tims the con­fi­dence to come for­ward.

“We will pro­vide an over­all bet­ter ser­vice for vic­tims af­fected by do­mes­tic and sex­ual abuse, and I want more per­pe­tra­tors brought to jus­tice so they can an­swer for their ap­palling crimes.”

Ar­fon Jones, North Wales Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner

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