Michael Lane is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Being elected to be a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is a significant honour – the mandate that I was given by the electorate of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, and Southampton was a vote of confidence in my potential to serve them. Upon taking up my post on 12 May 2016, my first action was to commit to a partnership with colleagues to support Looked After Children.
I hoped this would reflect some of my values: to care for the vulnerable, to protect the young and to work in partnership for common purpose.
I made a promise and took an oath to serve all the people of the Constabulary area in the context of my declared mission ‘To make you, your family and your community safer’ – a mission that I imagine myself making to every individual and as a personal promise of my motivation that this should become a reality for each and every one of us.
It is key in the early days in office to listen to residents, stakeholders, partners and community leaders, including MPs and Councillors. My mandate as champion of the community’s priorities can only be delivered if I am visible and accessible to hear their views and debate priorities before setting the plan and its supporting budget. It has also been important to make timely decisions that continue the daily business of a PCC, whether about estates issues, budget approvals, commissioning projects, or contributing to policy and strategic thinking.
Community is the foundation of all that I do. It is neighbourhood and local policing that provides the first reassurance to people and both deterrence and early intervention. This is supported by specialist capabilities and projects that deliver for the whole constabulary and then connect, for effective and efficiency improvement, across regional and national groupings to contribute to the mission of keeping us safer.
It is likely that there will be two constant pressures on me as PCC: the first on budgets and the resources that they fund; and the second from the significant degree of change that will be required to keep us fit for today and the future.
Criminals and those who wish us harm are changing their tactics. They are often well funded and focussed, making it essential that the Police and Crime Plan, with its supporting budget, is tuned to keeping us ahead of them through modern technologies, training and processes all designed to empower operationally effective policing and targeted commissioning of preventative measures to reduce offending and support victims.
I expected the job to be demanding, complex and important. It is all of these, and then some. But it is hugely motivating for the positive difference that I and my team can make to enable partners and deliver for the community. I relish the challenges and opportunity to serve. And I look forward to delivering my first Police and Crime plan shortly.