PEOPLE in South Tyneside are being given the chance to quiz the region’s senior police chiefs.
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Sue Sim and Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird will be holding a public meeting at South Shields Town Hall next month to explain their policies, answer questions from the floor and listen to suggestions and views that people might have.
The meeting comes after new figures show that crime levels in South Tyneside have risen for the first time in six years.
There were 7,214 crimes in the borough last year, compared to 6,476 in the previous 12 months – a rise of 11 per cent.
The figures are, however, still significantly down on the 11,014 crimes reported in 2008/2009.
Mrs Baird said: “My job is to make sure that all people of Northumbria have the best police service possible, and I work closely with the Chief Constable to make this happen.
“It is extremely important to me to hear first-hand what local residents think and I hope they will accept this invitation to come and find out more about policing in their area.
“Northumbria is vast, from Berwick to Sunderland and across to Haltwhistle.
“There will be a meeting in each local authority area to make it as easy as possible for people to attend. Anyone who is not able to attend the meeting in their area is welcome to attend one of the other meetings. I look forward to meeting local residents to hear their thoughts with the Chief Constable.”
Ms Sim said: “I strongly believe neighbourhood policing is the foundation on which the force is built, and listening to what our communities tell us is a vital part of that.
“The Commissioner and I are both committed to providing the policing service that people tell us they want.
“This includes having local police and community support officers out and about on our streets who are known in their communities and are easily accessible for people to talk to.
“Policing is a partnership with the public we serve, and we will continue to listen and respond to the issues they tell us concern them most.”
The meeting in South Tyneside takes place at 6pm on Monday, June 9, in the council chamber at South Shields Town Hall, in Westoe Road, South Shields.
It will be chaired by South Tyneside Council leader Coun Iain Malcolm.