Paddy Tipping
Paddy Tipping

Each secondary school in Newark and Sherwood will be assigned a police officer to visit and discuss topics such as knife crime and alcohol and drug abuse, the police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire told Newark Business Club.

He spoke about both national and local issues, such as the closure of Newark Police Station custody suite.

He said since the closure, he had received no reports of any difficulties.

“The old coalfield area is where most of the trouble is in our region and it makes sense for people in that area to go into custody at Mansfield rather than Newark,” he said.

“The closure of the custody suite here saves around £250,000 per year.”

Tackling youth crime is a priority for Mr Tipping.

He said young people made up a large proportion of perpetrators of crime in the area, but also made up the largest proportion of victims.

From September, each secondary school in Newark and Sherwood will be assigned a police officer.

Nottinghamshire Police are also piloting a Mini Cops scheme, in which officers visit primary schools.

Mr Tipping said: “Things like this take time and we are investing a lot into young people. We have got the message and we are working on it.

“For example, we are the only force in the country, with the exception of the Metropolitan Police, that has its own dedicated knife crime team.”

Mr Tipping also spoke about the future of Newark Police Station.

He said: “I want to make one thing extremely clear. There are categorically no plans to close Newark Police Station — none whatsoever.

“There will always be a police station in Newark, and that is not going to change.”

Mr Tipping described crime in Newark as modest compared with other parts of the county.

He said there were parts of Newark and Sherwood where crime was virtually non-existent and it was crucial resources were put where the crime was happening.

Nationally, he covered subjects including police officer numbers.

He said the UK had 21,000 fewer police officers on the front-line than in 2010, and that fall was echoed in Nottinghamshire, where there were 1,920 active police officers, down from just over 2,300 in 2010.

Mr Tipping will have £4.5m more to spend on recruiting thanks to a rise in the police share of council tax.

The aim is to increase the number of front-line officers to 2,000.

Mr Tipping previously said some of the extra officers would be coming to Newark.

Speaking at the business club, he said: “The numbers have gone down but they are going back up and I can confidently say that we will have a better equipped police service in the years to come.

“I am proud of what we have achieved so far but there is more to be done.

“Fighting crime is everybody’s business — local communities need to be part of the campaign by spreading information and passing intelligence on to police officers where they can.

“By working together we can create a better, safer environment for us and our children.”