The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon has reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the public and frontline community policing in his final term.
Earlier this year, Angus Macpherson announced he would be staying on as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon following the Government's decision to postpone PCC elections until 2021.
As a result, Angus has refreshed his Police and Crime Plan to set a clear, strategic direction for Wiltshire Police and provide the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon reassurance that they will continue to receive excellent policing services.
The areas of focus within the plan, which have been emphasised in the refresh, include protecting the public by increasing and safeguarding community policing assets and ensuring that new resources are prioritised for use within our neighbourhoods, focusing more on protecting our rural communities and ensuring our communities are fully engaged and listened to.
The overarching priorities remain as follows:
Priority One - Prevent crime and keep people safe
Priority Two - Protect the most vulnerable people in society
Priority Three - Put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do
Priority Four - Secure a quality police service that is trusted and efficient.
Angus said: "At the heart of everything we do must be the community that we serve so I wanted to fully demonstrate my commitment to local policing by ensuring that Wiltshire Police protects frontline community police officer and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) numbers.
"My commitment has been supported by our community through increases in local council tax.
"At the end of 2018/19, Wiltshire Police had 934 police officers and 131 PCSOs. In 2019/20 the precept increase supported an additional 41 police officers whilst protecting PCSO numbers.
"With both national funding and local precept increases police officer numbers will increase to 1,050 and PCSOs will continue to be protected for 2020/21.
"Local policing will see the majority of this increase with 72 additional officers in place by March 2021.
"Engaging with our communities must remain another focus for me, my office and Wiltshire Police - now more than ever as we continue to navigate through the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"I want our communities to know we are here to listen and to help with regards to all aspects of the criminal justice system.
"I am elected to represent the public's views on policing so communicating and engaging with our local communities, service users, the vulnerable and victims of crime, community groups, partners and other stakeholders is an important part of my role and informs me in delivering my role.
"My updated plan also includes greater emphasis on protecting children and young people from harm. We all have a responsibility to ensure those who might not have a voice for themselves are protected and safeguarded at all times.
"It is also important that our police estate and buildings are able to support 21 Century policing which is why I have commissioned a new sustainability strategy to understand and reduce our impact upon the environment.
"To help deliver this refreshed plan, I have made the decision to extend Chief Constable Kier Pritchard's contract up to December 2023.
"Mr. Pritchard has done an excellent job in the face of a number of unprecedented demands on our police service and his leadership has been outstanding. I am confident that he, alongside his executive leadership team, will continue to build on the great work being done in the Force and focus on the priorities in my plan. I look forward to working with him throughout my final year."