Crime tsar on the beat to put ‘victims first’

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ONE of Yorkshire’s new police and crime commissioners has pledged to put “victims first” after spending his first hours in office out on the beat.

Humberside Police Commissioner Matthew Grove said he wanted to alter the perception that criminals received better treatment from the justice system than their victims.

He also questioned whether too many offenders were evading justice after noting there had been 576 crimes in the area between January and September but only 120 charges.

Speaking at a Press conference flanked by Chief Constable Tim Hollis at Grimsby Neighbourhood Centre yesterday, Mr Grove said: “I think we need to give the public that confidence to know that actually our policing is working and our police officers are not being let down by other parts of the criminal justice system.

“One of my priorities has been and always will be applied to victims. That’s why I have asked to have once a month a victims’ surgery - I want to meet victims, both to help them, but more importantly for them to help me.

“I see the fears and concerns of victims to be my fuel - it’s what will drive me passionately to help them, to reduce them in number and to make sure the system recognises them and values them. We have to put victims first.”

Mr Hollis called it a “historic day for British policing” and said he was glad the “uncertainty” of the elections and the debate surrounding the role was over, adding: “We are here to do the best for our communities in Humberside given the resources available to us”.

West Yorkshire’s new crime tsar Mark Burns-Williamson is set to launch the search for a permanent successor to Sir Norman Bettison today, and said he hoped to make an appointment within three months.

Mr Burns-Williamson, who met acting chief constable John Parkinson yesterday, said adverts could be published today and he was treating the appointment as his “first priority”.

Sir Norman resigned a month ago amid mounting pressure over his role in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, when he was a South Yorkshire Police inspector.

North Yorkshire Commissioner Julia Mulligan confirmed her plans to close the force headquarters at Newby Wiske Hall in a bid to cut costs.