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The future’s set to be safer and fairer, so embrace it today by having your say

July 24, 2013

TODAY I’m urging people who read this to give their views about the new drive to help make communities across Staffordshire a better place to live.

The Safer, Fairer, United Communities strategy has been published by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Staffordshire for consultation across the county and the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

It is the biggest opportunity yet to shape the future of Staffordshire and make sure taxpayers’ money is spent better to protect front-line services and keep police officers on the street.

And the county’s police and crime blueprint for the next five years will push through sector-wide improvement and change, not just tinker around the edges to make bits of the system better.

This is all about the spending of public money. We must scrap silo thinking, work to common goals – spend better, achieve more.

We have to move away from ‘I’m alright Jack’ organisational approach which shifts cost from one organisation to another so that the quality of service suffers.

Instead, there must be a ‘whole-system’ approach with public services working collaboratively to common agreed outcomes that make a difference to local people.

This is not ‘pie in the sky’ or blind ambition. The evidence is there that organisational silo working and lack of focus on outcomes that matter to real people, along with a tendency by some to adopt an ‘it’s always been done this way’ culture, does get in the way of more effective services serving our population better and more cost effectively.

We want everyone involved to be honest and brave by stopping things that haven’t worked in the past, or don’t join up properly, in favour of starting things that do.

The system needs to work differently, better and more cost effectively for all of us with local solutions for local people. It needs to fit the people it serves rather than people having to fit the system.

This strategy could affect you, your family and your community over the next five years – so you need to have your say to make sure it works.

We all want effective visible policing on our streets and a criminal justice system that meets our individual needs should we require it.

But that won’t happen if we don’t make the significant, practical changes that this strategy calls for.

It’s about getting organisations and the public working together to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour before it happens, supporting victims and witnesses, stopping repeat offenders and making people feel safer.

Building safer, fairer and united communities is something we all have a part to play in. It’s a big challenge but we can achieve it together.

People can get involved now in a variety of ways and have their say – including joining the conversation or on Twitter @StaffsPCC

The wide-ranging strategy focuses on four key priorities – intervening early to prevent crime from happing in the first place, supporting victims and witnesses, managing offenders and public confidence.

It can be viewed in full at where people can also watch an animated video called ‘Meet Jen’ which focuses on how the strategy will affect the life of an ordinary Staffordshire citizen.

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