Susan Dungworth, the newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, has said her priority creating safer streets and stronger communities.

At a meeting with the Chief Constable on her first official day in the job, Susan said she wanted to build a bigger policing presence and vowed to champion local communities to ensure neighbourhood policing best meets their needs.

As a former youth justice worker and councillor, with decades of experience representing people and developing policy, she said she knows the issues people face and will do all she can to fight for people’s right to feel safe.

Police and crime commissioners are elected to represent the public on policing matters and hold their local force to account.

Susan Dungworth was elected at the count which took place in Sunderland on Thursday May 2.

She is replacing Kim McGuinness who has held the post for five years, after being elected in the Northumbria force by-election in July 2019.

Susan’s first day in the office was Thursday and she began her day meeting Chief Constable, Vanessa Jardine, and setting out her vision for a bigger policing presence and outlined the following priorities:

  • Reduce serious and violent crime
  • Tackle anti-social behaviour
  • Strengthen neighbourhood policing
  • Communicate with and listen to you
  • Fight for properly funded police and public services

Ms Dungworth said: “I have spent my life fighting for our communities and by taking on this role my fight is really stepping up a gear.

"I have been out there, speaking to people on their doorsteps for decades and I know the issues they have and the concerns they have.

"And so, my offer to people is clear – I’ll do everything I can to make our streets safer and our communities stronger.

“I moved up here in the eighties and have never left. I chose to raise my family here because of the community spirit and the people, and I want to make sure everyone else who chooses to work, live or visit here feels safe, protected and supported.

"Good neighbourhood policing is key to this."

Ms Dungworth will spend the next few weeks listening and learning what needs are being met and what are not.

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She added: "Consulting with the public and those we work with; I will then develop a plan that builds on existing success and sets out new ways to tackle the challenges and push Northumbria Police to be the best it can be.

“I already have a lot of respect for our police force, I know how hard officers, staff and volunteers all work despite what feels like never ending budget pressures at the hands of Government.

"Over the years, locally a lot has been done to fight and prevent crime as well as supporting victims, but there is so much more left to do and we need to keep bettering ourselves. Community policing must reflect current needs.

"I am grateful to those who voted and put their trust and confidence in me to take what is a big task on.

The Northern Echo:

"I now want to get going so together with the Chief Constable we can deliver safer streets and stronger communities for everyone in our area.”

Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine said: “I look forward to working with Susan to help ensure we can continue to keep our communities safe and be there when people need us.

“As a force, we are absolutely determined to provide an outstanding service and I know this is a vision the Police and Crime Commissioner fully supports.”