Despite funding challenges, the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner has described ‘key victories’ he has achieved in the past year.
The office of Sir Graham Bright has described balancing the budget, protecting the frontline and enhancing the services for vulnerable victims of crime as among his achievements in a draft of his annual report for 2014/15.
Details include producing a balanced budget which has maintained the number of uniformed police officers while saving £4.9 million in the budget.
Collaboration between the forces with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire have also been highlighted, which are leading to savings, while victims of crime are also said to be able to request face-to-face support to cope and recover from their experience from specially trained in-house volunteers based in the Victims’ Hub - an idea introduced by the commissioner.
Commenting on his annual report, which will be sent to the county’s police and crime panel at a later date, Sir Graham said: “It has been another turbulent year financially and this has continued to influence the way we deliver services in Cambridgeshire.
“Despite this, we have still been able to maintain police officer strength at a time when other forces have not been so fortunate. This is a remarkable achievement and testament to the dedicated team we have in place to implement robust resource management and service streamlining.”
He added: “There has been a visible shift towards prioritising the victim in the past 12 months and this has given birth to a range of new services to support vulnerable people in the aftermath of a crime.
“The feedback so far from users of our Victims’ Hub has been extremely positive and over the next 12 months we aim to build on this positive start, helping many more people rebuild their lives and recover from their experiences.”
Other highlights said to be in the report include offering victims the opportunity to meet their offenders in restorative justice meetings and supporting young people to divert them away from crime by launching the Youth Fund in April 2014 to engage youngsters in positive activities.
Since the fund was launched, 25 grants have been awarded worth £33,960.
Sir Graham was in the news recently after a row broke out over the expenditure of his office.
A report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance branded his office the least cost effective in the country, although Sir Graham rubbished the claims.
View: The full report