Setting the bar high Date published: 4th March 2016 12am

Simon Byrne | Chief Constable

I am the Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary. I want to use this blog to provide information on the latest goings-on and provide updates on the future direction of policing in the county

The Force has had an historic week receiving fulsome praise from our main regulator, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, for both the direction and delivery of plans to improve the policing of Cheshire.

Whilst acknowledging that we will not get every encounter perfect, we have been praised across the piece for how we protect residents and businesses across the County.

Highlights I am really proud of include:

  • Setting a clear sense of direction and objectives for the force
  • Acknowledgment of an investment in neighbourhood policing and an emphasis on solving problems for local communities
  • An outstanding track record for tackling crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Outstanding praise for the way we understand and work with our many different communities
  • Real confidence in our long term financial plan coupled with ambitious, yet realistic, plans to grow and modernise the skills for our workforce

Behind the scenes, officer numbers will peak soon to levels not seen for 5 years and the number of special constables and volunteers who are supporting what we are doing across Cheshire has reached an all-time high.

Taken together, this is great news – both in terms of keeping where we live, work and visit safe, and as well, making us an attractive employer as we plan for the future.

Having recently set a new budget we are determined not to lose our momentum and this year whilst recognising how important community policing is to us, will invest the 70 new officer posts with improving our response to emerging issues like cyber-crime, as well as organised crime and protecting children and vulnerable people.

Let’s remember though, in the almost two years since I took up my post, this means that we have grown the number of police officers by some 135 posts.

To do so has meant making some tough decisions alongside our Police & Crime Commissioner.

We are not working in isolation either, which can be seen in the ambitious plans to share our HQ and administrative services with colleagues from Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service.

I hope you will sense something in my confidence of our future plans, and the growing sense of pace and momentum in the Force, that we will deliver for you the best possible policing. While recent plaudits mean that we are one of the top performing forces in the country, let me reassure you we are not complacent. I am happy to set a high bar so that the trust and confidence you have placed in us to protect you and your communities keeps pace with the investment we are making in the future.