Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is today publishing her second annual report which reflects on the progress and challenges from her past year in office.
The report provides an overview of Emily Spurrell’s activities and key successes over the 2022/23 financial year, providing a snapshot of the work being undertaken to deliver on the priorities set out in her Police and Crime Plan
It covers key achievements including the recruitment of 665 new police officers, reductions in serious violence, gun crime and knife crime and the launch of the Victim Care Merseyside hub, providing specialist support for victims of crime.
It details how the Commissioner has secured more than £11m of extra funding for vital crime prevention initiatives and to support victims of crime across the region.
The report also shines a spotlight on some of the key projects being undertaken during the past year to increase the safety of people and communities in Merseyside including the Clear, Hold, Build campaign EVOLVE which works to tackle serious violence, the Safer Streets Merseyside initiative working to prevent Violence against Women and Girls and the You’re Safe Here scheme focused on creating safe spaces across the city.
Despite these successes, the report also recognises the lows experienced during the year, in particular the five firearm-enabled murders that took the lives of Sam Rimmer, Ashley Dale, Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Jacqui Rutter and Elle Edwards, as well as further murders from knife crime and violence.
Emily is required by law to produce an annual report. She has unveiled the final version today after presenting it to the Police and Crime Panel, they body which scrutinises her work. Panel members, who had previously provided feedback on a draft version of the report, formally endorsed the document.
Emily Spurrell said, “It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner for the past two years and I’m pleased to release this extensive report which updates residents on the work which has been undertaken to build a stronger, safer Merseyside during that time.
“It’s been a fascinating, busy, productive, and sometimes challenging year. We’ve seen some great highs and some major successes. Firearm discharges and knife crime are down, organised criminal groups have been disrupted and weapons, drugs and cash have been seized.
“This report provides an overview of how these achievements have been brought about and highlights some of the work of which I’m most proud.
“However, there’s no escaping this past year has seen some devastating lows. The five shootings that deprived Sam, Ashley, Olivia, Jacqui and Elle of their futures rocked the entire region.
“Those appalling murders, as well as other acts of violence we saw during the year, show that we must resolute, more determined, and collectively raise our game against those toxics individuals who seek to bring misery and suffering to our communities.
“It also illuminates just how critical our prevention work is and will be in the future. Our goal must be to prevent abuse and violence, stop the vulnerable from being preyed upon and exploited and to stop young people from seeing involvement in crime and gangs as an appealing lifestyle choice. And there is no time to waste.
“A well-resourced and supported police service is essential. It’s what I’m determined to deliver, and I’m pleased we’ve seen Merseyside Police’s ranks swell with 665 new officers.
“But policing alone cannot stop crime.
“From education and youth services to health to housing; we must start younger and intervene quicker if we are to prevent violence and keep people out of criminality.
“The work of our fantastic Violence Reduction Partnership is critical to this and I’m proud it’s going from strength to strength. The 15% reduction in knife crime across Merseyside is a great example of this and – like so many others – is one we must continue to build on for the sake of everyone living in our proud, passionate region.
“More than £11m of extra funding has also now been secured and invested directly into key initiatives preventing crime in hotspot areas and providing specialist support for vulnerable victims of crime, the results of which are already being seen and felt in communities on Merseyside.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported and worked alongside me to deliver all these important initiatives and projects. There’s such a commitment across our region to preventing crime, supporting the vulnerable and improving the safety of our communities. There’s much more still to do and I am determined to waste no time – the work detailed in this report is just the beginning.”
The report, which has been produced as an interactive PDF, includes infographics and case studies illustrating the Commissioner’s work including how she engages with the communities of Merseyside, holds the Chief Constable to account, and delivers the Victim Care Merseyside service, which provides support to help vulnerable victims of crime to cope and recover.
During the past year, the Commissioner and her team have met with more than 15,000 members of the public and partners across Merseyside, attended 413 community meetings and events and consulted more than 3,000 people. She’s used the 54-page report to thank everyone for their support and reaffirm her determination to use the rest of her term to deliver much more.
The report gives both the Panel and the public the chance to review and appraise her progress in delivering her police and crime priorities.
The full report is available to read on the PCC’s website at www.merseysidepcc.info/AnnualReport and feedback from the public is welcomed.
Image: PCC Emily Spurrel