STAFFORDSHIRE’S police and crime commissioner has spoken with Uttoxeter councillors to reveal his plans for the future.
Matthew Ellis spoke at the Uttoxeter Town Council meeting last week to reveal what he has done so far to change policing and what his plans are for the future.
He started by describing last year’s elections as ‘diabolic’ for many reasons, including the time of year, getting the leaflets out, the weather and general misunderstandings.
He said: “I hope that in three years time at the next elections, the interest and understanding of the position will increase.
“My job is to improve safety and the criminal justice system from the diabolical mess it is.
“At the moment it is a very fragmented service with poor data sharing, a lack of strategic vision and the big chunk of it is the justice system, which is still working in an asylum mentality.
“I have responsibility for the entire budget of Staffordshire Police.”
However, he did outline many changes he had made within his first 11 weeks in office.
This includes ripping up the contract for the chief constable and asking him to stay in the position, stopping officers being forced to retire after 30 years, making sure convictions are pursued for drivers without tax and insurance and getting more young people involved in the police cadets.
Mr Ellis said: “I will do whatever necessary to reduce crime.
“This is the first time this has been done so it is about writing from a blank sheet of paper.
“The police authority is about governance and backward looking.
“The way I am tackling this is very different. I am putting the right technology in place and the services will be collaborating much more closely and working towards a more common goal.
“Staffordshire has the most comprehensive and ambitious plan in the country.
“It is about starting with a Utopian view, like if you had a blank sheet of paper, and saying what would we want to make this place like and then working back from that.”
Mr Ellis added that his aims for the service while he is in the position is to get officers back on the streets instead of doing paper work as he said the police spent 23 per cent of their time ‘doing stuff that is unproductive’, improve data sharing and invest in Neighbourhood Watch programmes, among others.
After the commissioners presentation, Councillor Alan Noyes said: “I admire the action not to retire police officers after 30 years, I always thought it was a stupid idea.”
He added the town is very supportive of its PCSO’s and officers and asked what he was doing to encourage this.
Mr Ellis said: “We need to bring them all back into a more collaborative approach.
“Visibility and time they spend being police officers will increase.
“We will have less bodies but the time they spend doing policing will be for longer. There are problems with the technology which wastes an enormous amount of time.”
Councillor Hermione Montgomery asked about the CPS chasing easy convictions but not the more difficult ones. Mr Ellis replied that is something that needs to be looked at but data sharing and technology will improve this.