Police to “meet and greet” in Dronfield

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PEOPLE from the Dronfield area will have the opportunity to meet local police chiefs as part of a series of events designed to give residents open access to those spearheading the fight against crime in their area.

This new-style public meeting will take place on 29 November 2011 to help familiarise the county’s residents with the changes affecting Derbyshire Constabulary as well as provide an opportunity to put questions to those tasked with protecting the public, including the Divisional Commander Karl Smethem and representatives from Derbyshire Police Authority.

The meeting, which will take place at Dronfield Civic Centre, Dronfield, will feature a series of presentations to help explain these developments and broaden the public’s understanding of the issues affecting modern policing as well as encourage them to voice their views.

This meeting, organised jointly Derbyshire Police Authority and the Constabulary, is designed ensure as many residents as possible have the chance to attend and learn more about the efforts being undertaken to make Derbyshire’s streets and communities safer – and how successful this work has been.

To ensure that the budget balances and every possible resource is used most effectively, further organisational change will take place over the next 12 months. Attendees will be given an insight into what this means and how the current high performance will be protected. In addition, further information on national changes will be provided, including the introduction of directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners and the launch of 101 non-emergency telephone number.

Philip Hickson, chairman of Derbyshire Police Authority, said: “This is a valuable opportunity to find out more about our plans to improve policing in Derbyshire and make the public safer. Despite our funding limitations and the impact these have had and will continue to have on our resources, we are intent on driving down crime within our communities still further and also reducing the fear of crime which is equally as destructive to quality of life.

“Both the Police Authority and force are well-placed and motivated to meet the challenges which lie ahead and remain firmly focused on improving performance. This meeting is a great chance for residents to see beyond the headlines and understand the complex decisions required of us to help us achieve our aim to provide greater protection to the public.

“The Police Authority relies on frank discussion to gain a clear idea of public expectations and these events will invite people to speak unguardedly about a range of topics or direct questions to the Chief Constable, Chairman of the Authority or one of the Chief Officers of the Constabulary.”

Chief Constable Mick Creedon added: “The annual public meetings are key to how we engage with many members of our community. They help us understand how we are doing and give us the chance to discuss how the force is changing and what will happen in the future. It is important that the Constabulary is aware of the views of our communities, so we can deliver policing to meet their needs.

“I would encourage people to come along not only to gain an insight into the Constabulary but to take the opportunity to discuss topics and issues with senior police officers and the Police Authority that matter to them. “

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available from 6.30 p.m with the event starting at 7.00 p.m prompt. If possible, residents are asked to let the Authority know if they plan to attend by calling 01773 733771 or e-mailing police.authority@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk. As there are several associated events, people are asked to state which venue they plan to attend.