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Lisa Townsend is the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey.

You may remember seeing pictures last week of the Prime Minister in a police stab vest, jacket and hat, out on an early morning raid with officers to highlight a crackdown on drugs in our communities. It was the start of the Government’s ‘crime week’, but you would be forgiven for missing it amongst other news coming out of Downing Street.

Locally, many Police and Crime Commissioners have been publishing our Police and Crime Plans in the last couple of months and this week I will be launching my plan for Surrey.

Despite being politically interested and well-read, I suspect most ConservativeHome readers won’t be aware of the statutory duty requiring all PCCs to produce a plan, setting out priorities for our force area during our time in office.

If you’re anything like me, you will be fed up with the endless stream of ‘reports’ and ‘plans’ and ‘strategies’ coming out of both local and national government. My recycling bin heaves under glossy brochures and well-meaning reviews, and my inbox pings incessantly with clever, insightful ‘thought pieces’ I probably won’t get round to reading. So why should my, or your PCC’s, Police and Crime Plan be any different?

For a start, it’s not really ‘my’ plan at all. Yes, it bears my name and the name of my office, and my brilliant team have, over the last few weeks and months spent many hours ensuring that we get it right. The contents however, the five priorities that are its focus, are those of local, tax-paying residents and businesses.

Thousands of people told me what they wanted Surrey Police to focus on and so this plan is their priorities. Many communities want more done to tackle anti-social behaviour. Drivers want safer roads and to know that if their vehicle is stolen, the police will investigate. Local schools told us they wanted more focus on young people, including visits from local officers and more focus on tackling county lines drug dealing.

The police and criminal justice services spoke of their frustrations and put forward helpful suggestions to take us forward as the country adapts to life post-Covid. Our local retailers called for efforts to combat shoplifting and the intimidation of their staff. Time and again, women and girls called for safer streets, safer homes and an end to violence and intimidation. Everyone wants 999 and 101 answered quickly.

These, and other concerns, are the basis of my plan. The Government can set priorities for the country – curbing knife crime, stop and search powers, the use of electronic tagging – and these areas are all taken on board by local forces. But Police and Crime Plans are localism in action.

My plan for Surrey wouldn’t suit Sunderland, or South Yorkshire. It wouldn’t even meet the needs of neighbouring Sussex or Kent, and it certainly doesn’t reflect all the crime types we see up close over the border in London. It is not the plan of one man in uniform, or a local government authority. They are the concerns you tell us, as your elected leaders, you want from your police force. And working closely with our chief constables, it’s what we promise to deliver – and if we don’t, you can vote us out.

It will come as no surprise to ConservativeHome readers that the recurring theme across all communities is the desire for more visible policing – whether online to combat fraud, on our roads to ensure dangerous driving is punished and of course in our local communities and around our streets.

None of the priorities in my plan for Surrey, or for those in your own area, would be possible without more police officers, and that is where the Government’s police uplift plan is supporting PCCs and communities across England and Wales.

Through the extra money from Government, plus Surrey taxpayers’ contributions, we have over 150 extra officers in Surrey to deliver on the concerns of local residents. This combination of central government policy and money, and the ability of locally elected PCCs to deliver for our residents is exactly how localism can and should be delivered.

As with policing itself, the plan does not stand still, it is a living document that when the time requires, will be updated to reflect new and growing concerns from my constituents. Like all plans, strategies and reports, these words are meaningless without hard work and commitment.

Over the next two and half years I will be putting these words into action, continuing to meet with local residents and feeding back concerns and queries to both senior officers and those in our neighbourhood teams.

I look forward to these conversations and to hearing residents’ feedback on what is working, and on what isn’t. In the meantime, I wish all readers of ConservativeHome, in Surrey and beyond, a safe and peaceful Christmas with your loved ones.