It's 2012 already and despite the gloom and doom in the high street, unemployment at worrying levels and dismal financial forecasts, there are many reasons to be cheerful and reassured about the state of policing in our wonderful county. I should say that I am an eternal optimist, so let me share with you my reasons for my cheerfulness.
I am pleased to again stress that Kent Police is one of the most successful forces in the land. Crime in the county is falling - bucking the national trend - trust and confidence in the service the force delivers is rising, the 20% savings target the government requires is bang on target, the force's new policing model begun in November is working well, we are to start modest recruitment again (20 probationer police officers) in February to my delight and we now have over 400 extra police officers working on our neighbourhoods.
All in all, a very good way to start 2012!
We are all back in the office after the festivities and it's business as usual for Police Authority members and officers. Today is catch up time, tomorrow sees the next meeting of the KPA Police and Crime Commissioner Transition Board which I chair and we are heavily into the planning of our own KPA Transition Seminar on 16th of this month.
The Seminar will give us a huge national profile as we have great speakers lined up, including the Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock and Stephen Rimmer, Director General of the Home Office Crime and Policing Group. We are hoping that the day will prime further work and discussion, as we are planning to hold other events prior to the transition to Police and Crime Commissioners in November of this year.
All it remains for me to do is to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful New Year.
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