Cheshire Constabulary has taken the bold step of describing what good policing is.
Last week, Chief Constable Simon Byrne and Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer stood side by side to show their commitment to a set of statements that capture what constitutes good policing in Cheshire.
The 'We're Here' commitments have been drawn up and, in consultation with staff and the public, been tweaked to reflect the high standards expected by Cheshire's residents of its police service in delivering a first class service and keeping our communities safe. It is believed that Cheshire is the first Force in England to adopt such an approach, giving the public a tangible set of written commitments to which the Constabulary can be held accountable.
The commitments fall into four key areas: We're Here Where You Need Us, When You Need Us; We're Here For Justice; We're Here For Victims and We're Here For Communities.
Each carries a number of specific commitments that shape the way the Constabulary's officers and staff work and conduct themselves. The We're Here For You service promise was publicly launched on Monday, March 30.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: "'We're Here For You' is about setting a simple framework for commitments we will make to the public of Cheshire. They remind officers and staff that we police by consent, must reflect local policing needs and are accountable to local people. This isn't a PR campaign – it's about a way of doing things.
"'Here for you where you need us, when you need us', is about a timely swift response when the public need us most in emergency incidents.
"'Here for Victims' commits to a service that prevents crime, and supports victims when crime happens.
'Here for Communities' enshrines Neighbourhood Policing at the centre of what we do.
"And 'Here for Justice' is a recognition that we need to be audacious on behalf of the public to use a wide range of tactics and laws to protect Cheshire and keep criminals on the back foot."
He added: "You may not always see us outside your home or in your street, but we want you to know we're here and we're working hard to be there where you need us and when you need us to support you if you are a victim, to target offenders and bring them to justice, and to support the whole community so that Cheshire becomes the safest place to live in the country."
Police & Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer said: "I'm delighted that the Constabulary is signing up to these commitments, as it sets a precedent to our communities about what they can expect from the police. "I will hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure that the Constabulary fulfil these commitments, so that we can all work together to continue to make Cheshire a safer place to live and work."
The devil is in the detail, and each 'We're Here' commitment has numerous statements that sit behind it committing our staff to a specific service level which will provide victims, witnesses and our communities with the opportunity to compare what we say we will deliver with the service they receive:
You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.We will prioritise your calls, attending emergency calls within 15 minutes and non-emergency calls within 60 minutes.If you request an officer to attend, we will arrange for someone to visit you at a mutually convenient time.Key community locations will have a named officer or PCSO assigned to them to maintain regular contact- examples include schools and faith centres.
We will offer guidance to reduce the chance of you becoming a victim again.We will provide you with a named point of contact for your case, agreeing if and how you want to be kept updated.We will ensure all victims are offered a referral to victim support service and we will help you make a statement where appropriate, detailing how the crime has affected you personally.We will act on feedback to improve out services.
We will record and investigate crimes reported to us and, should a decision be made to stop any further investigation, we will explain to the victim the reason why.We will support witnesses, providing information about giving evidence and the court process.If our investigation does not conclude with a court appearance we will explain to the victim what has happened.We will update you on the outcome of your case as soon as we can and as a maximum within 3 working days.
We will ensure that we are accessible to you in different ways, publishing how you can contact us and provide details on who your local officers are.We will be transparent about our performance, our successes and any improvements we need to make.We will encourage public participation in policing to make our communities safer.We will identify and target the main community and policing priorities in each local area and provide information on what we are doing about them.