Agenda item


To provide a verbal update on the Commissioner’s first year in office and to respond to public questions.


The Chairman introduced Mr Kevin Hurley, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey.  Mr Hurley summarised the responsibilities of the PCC:


·         Establish the priorities of the public

·         Establish a budget for the force

·         Hold the Chief Constable to account

·         Broaden partnership working


The priorities on which Mr Hurley was elected are:


·         Take a zero-tolerance approach to policing in Surrey

·         Deliver more visible street policing

·         Put victims at the centre of the criminal justice system

·         Give you more opportunities to have your say about policing

·         Protect local policing, standing up for officers and promoting the highest standards of service


The principal challenge facing the PCC is financial and he is faced with the need to make savings, noting that salaries account for the largest element in the Police budget.  In his first year in office, the PCC has worked with Sussex Police to maximise joint back-office and operational support functions and with partners in Surrey to explore savings on emergency services through more collaboration.  Progress has been made in developing a regional capacity to address criminal activity which is best addressed at that level.  He is making representations to central government for increased funding for Surrey Police and has cancelled a major computer development project; the sale of Police Stations has been resumed following a review.  Mr Hurley feels that he and his deputies are visible to the public and will be holding a Crime Summit in Waverley on 11 March 2014 at Farnham Maltings.


Mr Hurley reassured the Committee that he has a clear understanding between his role and that of the Chief Constable in terms of operational matters and that he holds her to account on a monthly basis for progress against his priorities.  He is equally alert to the need for care in measuring policing outcomes and, alone amongst PCCs nationally, he has not given the force performance targets.  In response to a question about specific activity to focus on crime and antisocial behaviour in rural areas, Mr Hurley referred to the comprehensive nature of his “zero tolerance” commitment and explained that the Chief Constable constantly keeps the balance of her resources under review, including that between rural and urban policing.  The Chairman added that the Police and Crime Panel, which scrutinizes the PCC at the county level, has established a task group to examine rural crime.


 Mr Hurley responded to a question on amalgamation of forces, by reflecting his view that the public’s interest is principally in visible, front-line policing and that support and managerial functions can be shared amongst forces; his own opinion is that there should be fewer forces nationally.


The PCC confirmed his commitment to neighbourhood policing and, although the number of Police and Community Support Officers would decrease overall, the local presence would not reduce.


Finally, Mr Hurley responded to a member of the public who had raised a question about the Police’s capacity to respond to human trafficking (especially involving children): the scale of this problem in Surrey is unknown, but he is pursuing the matter at a regional level.


The Chairman thanked Mr Hurley for his contribution.