Norfolk police chief says more to do

Stephen Bett Norfolk's new Police and Crime Commissioner ENGANL00120121122145829
Stephen Bett Norfolk's new Police and Crime Commissioner ENGANL00120121122145829
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Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner has praised the force for keeping up high standards despite major cuts to its budgets.

But Stephen Bett said he also wanted officers to solve more crimes in his second annual report since his election victory in November 2012.

The report claims that the force is currently on track to achieve six of Mr Bett’s nine main objectives for his term of office.

They include reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, cutting the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads, detecting more violent crimes and solving more offences committed by prolific criminals.

The areas where targets are not being met include detection of sexual offences and domestic cases, though both those figures are said to be improving, and overall satisfaction rates with the force’s service.

As previously reported, the force needs to find around £20 million of savings by 2018 because of funding cuts.

Earlier this year, plans to cut 350 jobs were announced by the county’s chief constable, Simon Bailey.

And Mr Bett said: “As we all work with reduced budgets, stretched resources and ever-evolving demands for service, the already challenging objectives I have set become an even bigger ask.

“Despite the current financial situation and bleak outlook – and the difficult decisions we face because of that – the high standards we have come to expect from our police force have been maintained.”

But he added: “I want to see more crime being detected”, also insisting that sex crimes and domestic abuse must also remain areas of “focus” for the force.

Mr Bett also praised the development of more integrated work between agencies, which he believes is essential given the continuing squeeze on the public finances.

He said moves including the signing of the mental health crisis care agreement by police, health chiefs and charities earlier this month “give me hope for the future.”