Nottingham City Council has launched the next phase of its campaign to urge a re-think over Nottinghamshire Police’s decision to scrap the city division and leave the city without a top cop.
Posters around the city ask why Nottingham’s city division was abolished when crime has more than halved under the city division model, when 82% of local people want a top cop in Nottingham and when other big cities including Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Bristol have city divisions. The posters aim to raise awareness of the issue among local people who may be affected by the decision but were not consulted about it by Nottinghamshire Police.
This is the latest part of ongoing efforts by the City Council to challenge the decision which was taken by Chief Constable Chris Eyre, who left the Force last month, to do away with the city’s police division.
The council had raised concerns about the plans and had hoped that Mr Eyre’s departure would prompt a pause in the process. However, Nottinghamshire Police went ahead with plans to restructure the Force, putting an end to a police division for the city, without consultation and despite assurances that no immediate action would be taken.
The decision was condemned by City Council Leader Councillor Jon Collins and the city’s MPs Graham Allen, Chris Leslie MP and Lilian Greenwood. The City Council raised the issue at the Police & Crime Commissioner’s Scrutiny Panel and the Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership Board last month.
The council carried out its own survey and of 1,200 people who completed it, 996 (82%) agreed it was important to have a senior police officer in charge of the city, and 757 (63%) agreed that the proposal poses a risk to the progress that’s been made over the past ten years in reducing crime.
The council also mounted a legal challenge to the decision, calling for the decision to be reversed and for proper consideration and consultation to be undertaken before any changes are made.
City Council Leader Councillor Jon Collins said: “We remain firmly of the view that the now-departed Chief Constable’s decision to scrap the city division was a retrograde step which puts at risk ten years of falling crime levels. We also believe that this was a decision of such strategic importance that the public and key partners should have been consulted about it.
“The police failed to do this but when we surveyed local people, 82% said they thought having a top cop in the city was important. We still want the decision to be reversed and for proper consideration and consultation to be undertaken and this campaign aims to put further pressure on the Acting Chief Constable to do just that.”