An Inspector Calls by Inspector James Davies (Thames Valley Police’s Neighbourhood Inspector for Aylesbury Vale)
I write this piece following my attendance at the Great Brickhill, Wing and Ivinghoe Local Area Forum (LAF).
For those of you not involved in local politics, this is a quarterly meeting that includes representatives from parish and town councils as well as Bucks County and Aylesbury Vale District Council.
There are discussions around transport issues, the roads and presentations from various interested groups. Last night Aylesbury Youth Action, including some of the young people (I feel old when I say that) discussed their excellent activities for the youth of the Vale.
So what has this all got to do with policing?
Before I took over the reins as the ‘Neighbourhood’ Inspector I had largely been completely operational and doing what most of you would recognise as day-to-day police work.
I thought a public meeting was something that would be time consuming and would distract us from policing our communities.
However very quickly I realised that the police service is not always very good at publicising some of the excellent work we do.
As a result the public see national horror stories about corruption and unethical behaviour and sadly the actions of a few often tar the 128,000 hardworking officers with the same brush.
So the LAF is an good way of presenting to communities what we are doing locally and what crime in the area looks like.
Last night I spoke about priorities and why sometimes I say no to people or why sometimes it takes a while for us to get round to things.
What is a priority in your village may not be a priority for a neighbouring village.
Two final things to mention: house burglaries have reduced locally by 41% - we know offenders now often bypass the area to go elsewhere and for me the police service needs to improve how we communicate success and hopefully through columns like this we will get there.