December 11, 2019 10.44 am This story is over 23 months old

North and North East Lincolnshire crime crackdown ‘won’t be felt for years’

Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said the force was starting to see the impact of his efforts

The effect of a force-wide crime crackdown won’t be felt for years, Humberside’s police and crime chief said.

Keith Hunter told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines that he believed policing in the North and North East Lincolnshire areas to be “the best it’s been for a number of years”.

He pointed to successes such as getting more officers operating on the South Bank of the Humber since 2011, extra capability being brought back to Barton and Epworth and further service improvements coming to Brigg and Immingham.

“We’re trying to push all these resources out to the community and feeling the benefit of that,” he said.

“We are starting to see the impact on levels of crime.”

He acknowledged there were still challenges, including tackling the county lines drug trade and the impacts of deprived areas.

However, he said: “We have increased officer numbers, better spread out and better turnout with increased capability in those areas targeting persistent problems and offenders.

“However, we’ve got to be doing that for a couple more years until the impact will be felt.

“We don’t turn around an area that has been declining for a decade in a year. We are very much still in the recovery stage.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hunter welcomed the promise of 97 new officers coming his way from Central Government, but said it wasn’t a “game changer” in the face of the near 500 officers the force had already recruited over the past three-and-a-half years.

He said more clarity was needed over future numbers in the face of the Conservative government’s previous promise of 20,000 extra nationwide.

Earlier this year, Humberside Police received its first ever “good” rating from HMIC, while a survey from the Police Federation said officers had the highest morale of any force in the country.

Mr Hunter will see how the public has reacted to his leadership when he faces the vote in next May’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

He will be standing under the Labour and Co-operative party, but is keeping his expectations in check because of the current “turmoil in politics.”

However, he added: “There isn’t a PCC in the country whose got a better story to tell about the turn around of a police force in their tenure.

“Hopefully, the electorate will look at the work I have done and let me continue the turn around and make our force outstanding. That will take a bit longer.”

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