Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today unveiled her fifth annual report after presenting it to the body which scrutinises her work.
Jane Kennedy has released her 2016/17 Annual Report following a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel at which she explained the report to members, who have now formally endorsed it.
The report details the extensive work carried out by the Commissioner over the last financial year, between 1st April 2016, and 31st March 2017, and gives both the Panel and the public the chance to review and appraise her progress in delivering her police and crime priorities.
The 47-page report has been designed to be more accessible and engaging than ever – with more infographics, diagrams and case studies intended to bring the Commissioner’s work to life. It details Jane’s efforts to engage with the communities of Merseyside over the last 12 months, the ways in which she holds the Chief Constable and his team to account, increasing scrutiny and transparency, and areas for improvement in the future.
The document also highlights the progress made during the second full year of the Victim Care Merseyside service, which provides support to help vulnerable victims of crime to cope and recover, and looks at the work that is carried out in partnership with Merseyside’s community safety organisations.
Jane said: “Producing an annual report each year gives me an important opportunity to reflect on the challenges and achievements from the previous 12 months.
“It’s been another busy year, full of memorable moments but also significant challenges, which this report details. These are testing times for our police service; budgets and people are stretched like never before. Great work is being done and efficiencies are being made, but it is in spite of the government’s programme of austerity, not because of it.
“There is no doubt that the challenges facing our police service are far greater than I ever imagined when I was first elected. This has made me even more committed to being a loud and strong voice for the people of Merseyside and for Merseyside Police.
“This year has seen the Force undertake a major structural overhaul, moving away from a command unit approach towards more of a ‘one team’ ethos, with less senior commanders and more functions delivered centrally. This restructure has been driven by funding cuts and changes in crime, but the Chief Constable is using it as an opportunity to modernise, to drive efficiencies and to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time to serve our communities.
“Major milestones have also been reached in my work to improve the stations and buildings that the officers and staff of Merseyside Police work from, to ensure they are fit-for-purpose, as efficient and economical as possible, and equipped for 21st century crime fighting.
“Releasing my fifth annual report gives me the opportunity to once again thank the men and women of Merseyside Police, who do such a fantastic job often under incredible pressure. I know the strain on everyone in the service has increased as their numbers have decreased, yet the service they offer remains exceptionally high. Their professionalism, dedication, energy, commitment and passion continues to make me very proud and drive me forward as Police Commissioner for Merseyside.”
The annual report details the PCC’s on-going efforts to set a balanced budget in the face of government cuts and how she is working with the Chief Constable to use the available resources in the most effective and efficient way to deliver policing on Merseyside. It also highlights how the Commissioner is using the funding she has available to address the Police and Crime Plan priorities in each area of Merseyside.
The Commissioner has a statutory responsibility to produce an Annual Report and, as she has done for the last three years, Jane took the decision to provide a draft version to the Police and Crime Panel, so members could provide feedback and suggestions.
Jane added: “I’m grateful to the Panel for their constructive suggestions and I hope that the final report will be both useful and accessible to the public and to stakeholders.”
Please find the full report below. All feedback is welcome.