Time to reflect Date published: 23rd December 2015 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

As we draw towards the end of 2015, time to reflect on a remarkable year for the Constabulary.

It seems easy to forget that in the middle of summer we embarked upon the largest change to how we work in a generation, reorganising the Force into 8 new operating areas or Local Policing Units, each headed by a Chief Inspector.

At the same time, we created a new Task Force to support crime fighting operations across the Force and set up a Public Protection Directorate to focus how we address the upward shift in reported violent crimes such as domestic abuse.

 The undercurrent is not of course about structure, but people and the service we deliver to you. The number of officers supporting local policing has gone up and despite the backlash of austerity, we have grown the size of the Constabulary by over 50 police officers this year.

The notion of accountability to the public has been reaffirmed by our ‘We’re Here’ campaign, acknowledging that we police the streets with your support and consent.

And of course a year when at times we have been stretched operationally including our response to the tragedy at Bosley, an air crash, frequent problems on the M56 and surges in work and policing public disorder around summer holidays and the Creamfields festival.

We don’t exist in a vacuum. The good news is that despite all this crime has fallen, bucking a national trend, anti-social behaviour is down too and we are a top rated service for how we respond to your calls and incidents.

And of course we have been ruled as an ‘outstanding’ Force by our main watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, only one of four Forces to achieve this accolade.

Looking to 2016, our ambition is to build upon these achievements to keep the county safe. We will continue to recruit heavily throughout the year which is good news and start to see tangible changes in the way we work as we roll out mobile technology to help keep up our patrol presence.

We also need to work out the detail of the ground breaking deal with Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service as we work towards a joint operational headquarters and different arrangements for managing our back office services so that we can maintain, or even boost, what you see on the frontline.

So, quite a year! Now time to wish you all a safe Christmas and a prosperous 2016. Thank you for your support. I am really proud to lead one of the best police forces in the country and we intend to keep it that way - #HereForYou2016!