An introduction from the newly elected Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), Philip Wilkinson.
The Area Board would like to hear from the PCC particularly about proposals to combat speeding in our towns and villages.
Followed by an opportunity for Q & A.
The newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Swindon and Wiltshire, Phillip Wilkinson, provided some background information about his career, as well as what he saw as his key priorities. The PCC reiterated that he came from a rural community and would bring his experience working on inter agency plans and as a military special forces officer to the role. He stressed that rural crime was his top priority, given its links to serious organised crime, County Lines and wider drug related issues.
Other points covered included
· New mobile speed cameras.
· Increased dialogue with communities.
· He urged the community to take part in the consultation on the annual Police and Crime Plan.
During the course of the discussion the key points raised were:
• Members welcomed the bottom-up approach and opportunity for further engagement.
• The public asked questions about what could be done to better utilise the data from speed indicator devices (SIDs) and how the available information could be retained and coordinated. The PCC stated that his office would coordinate the Speed Watch teams more effectively and that there was currently a lack of oversight.
• Members pressed the PCC on enforcement action and whether they could expect a proactive response where speeding hot spots had been identified. The PCC stressed the effectiveness of the new camera that he had recently purchased and pledged to purchase another two, so that they could be deployed in the areas of greatest need.
• The relative merits of fixed and mobile cameras were discussed. The PCC confirmed that the fines from mobile cameras could be retained by his office whereas the fines from fixed cameras would be sent to central government. He also stated that he was not minded to invest in fixed cameras because of their higher procurement cost. He noted that mobile cameras were more effective because speeders would not always know where they were.
• The PCC also stressed that cameras were required to be of a certain quality to provide sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution, so deploying cheap fixed cameras would not be effective.
• In response to comments from the public that they rarely saw the police, the PCC noted that lots of crime was committed after dark and that given all of their competing priorities, it was important to target resources in the way in which they would be most effective.
• When asked about his views on opening a new custody suite in Salisbury, the PCC said that he did share concerns about the facilities at Bourne Hill and felt that the building limited capacity to respond of serious offences. He reported that he had held discussions with the Leader of Salisbury Council and had asked the Chief Constable about operational requirements, both with and without a custody suite. He noted that a decision would be made once he had a firmer idea of operational requirements and would be contingent on budget and the available property in the area.
• Concerns were raised from Dinton Parish Council that their Speed Watch team had caught someone speeding at 63mph in a 30mph zone and that they had had limited feedback from the police. In response the PCC emphasised that cameras would be targeted at hot spots and reiterated the importance of feedback in informing priorities.