Humberside PCC Matthew Grove needs to 'balance long ambition with short-term wins' executive says
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove will not set targets for his time in charge, his deputy executive has said.
Neil Kingston, deputy chief executive of the police and crime commissioner's office, said it would be up to the public to judge how effective his policing had been.
Mr Kingston said the commissioner would need to balance long-term ambition with short-term wins due to the election in May 2016.
The comments came as Mr Kingston was questioned by the North Lincolnshire Council Places Scrutiny Panel.
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"In around three-and-a-half years' time he will face re-election. I don't know if that is what he wants to do it. He needs to balance that long-term ambition but he always needs some quick wins," he said.
"Matthew does not want to set targets as he does not believe they drive the right behaviours.
"We will need some performance measurement but it is down to the public to judge whether things are changing and can they see a difference."
Mr Kingston visited the panel as part of the consultation period for Mr Grove's police and crime plan.
Andrea Davison, Labour ward councillor for the Ashby ward, questioned Mr Grove's plan to attract more special constables in to the force.
She said: "A lot of our village streets are patrolled by PCSOs. The concern is that we are going to replace PCSOs with unpaid officers."
Mr Kingston replied: "With the reducing budget what we have got to try and do is to protect the frontline, join up some of the back office services and utilise the community more.
"Faced with 20 per cent cuts over the next four years, the more we can join up services and deal with the causes of crime, that is going to be a way forward.
"Continuing to reduce crime with a lower budget is a difficult trick to pull off.
"This can lead to more special constables, increasing the number of volunteers to free up community support offices (PCSOs) to provide greater presence.
"Can we look at patrol strategy – do we always need to patrol in pairs? "There are ways and means to improve visibility.
"We need to attract more special constables and once they are in, we need to retain and benefit them.
"We need to improve the strategy around volunteers and utilise their skills in a better way, all who bring different skills, be it public order, patrols.
"We need to identify their skills and use them to the best of their abilities. It is about having people in the right place, at the right time at the right cost. "We have around 320-350 specials but we need a greater incentive to how they can progress to the regular service."
Attracting more PCSOs and special constables to the force is one key aim of Mr Grove.
The powers of PCSOs were hotly discussed during the meeting, with agreement that the visibility of an uniformed officer provided comfort and safety to many residents.
"The powers of a PCSO are left to the discretion of the chief constable," he said.
"There are certain powers here that PCSOs don't have. Can we extend the powers of PCSOs without putting them at risk or in difficult situations. "They don't have the same protective equipment. They don't have the power to stop and search, do we want to extend that power?
"If crime happens, we need to do everything we can to try and solve that.
"Catching criminals is critical."
Consultation on Mr Grove's police and crime panel will last until the end of the month.
Prior to being published, the plan will have to be put before the police and crime panel who will give its own observations.
Mr Kingston said: "The commissioner is responsible to write the plan but to consult with the chief constable.
"Matthew believes it is about keeping a personal distance but being as one with what they want to deliver.
"The plan is what he wants to deliver to the people of Humberside and the majority will go to the force to be the prime deliverers of that ambition.
"We want to support our partners, the police service and victims of crime.
"We need better preventative working to tackle the preventative issues.
"The police will always have to respond to crime, never will there be a time where we have zero crime, but the more they can work with partners to tackle it, it would reduce the demand within the police and courts."
Councillor Davison asked Mr Kingston his views on neighbourhood action teams and whether they would be rolled out across Humberside.
She said: "I believe they are very successful in North Lincolnshire. Is this is something you plan to roll out across the force area?"
Mr Kingston said: "We want to identify good practice across the area. What is working on one area and how do we encourage that in other areas. "Good things are happening and we are investing in initiatives that are doing really well but how do we deliver that in other parts of Humberside? We want to be doing more of the things that are working."