Suella Braverman hailed Nottinghamshire Police as national leaders after being given a tour of some of the force’s facilities and trailblazing projects.
The Home Secretary was shown around the force’s new state-of-the-art custody suite and headquarters by Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry and Chief Constable Kate Meynell on Friday (May 12).
She heard how violence against women and girls is being tackled locally through the Home Office funded Safer Streets project, including the recent launch of the Night Time A-Z of Consent campaign.
A new trailblazing programme led by the PCC’s Violence Reduction Partnership to offer speech and language therapy to people in custody was also showcased - using ‘reachable moments’ to support young offenders and put them on the right path after they come through the custodial process.
The Home Secretary also joined a classroom session with some of the force’s newest recruits, who joined as part of Operation Uplift - the national drive to recruit 20,000 new police officers.
Speaking to the new recruits, she said she had seen some “excellent initiatives” that she hoped to learn more about and take back to the Home Office for other forces to replicate.
“I’m grateful to have joined you very briefly today to learn about the excellent work in Nottinghamshire,” she said.
“You are great leaders in our country and some of the big areas that we are tackling when it comes to law enforcement and criminal justice.
“I wish you all the best in your policing careers and long may you prevail.”
She also gave them encouragement in the face of recent national challenges to trust and confidence in policing.
She told them: “You are all heroes. You are heroes for your country. I’m incredibly proud of people putting themselves forward in the name of public safety, the highest professional standards and fighting for justice.
“You are part of the national effort, you are part of the family and you are part of a noble effort.
“I’m here to back you. The Prime Minister and the Government is backing you to be the best and you can be part of the new generation and change and improvement that we always need to see in policing.
“Let’s not forget British policing is one of the best in the world. At the Home Office I’m on the receiving end of countless requests from around the world from countries that want to learn.
“Despite these challenging times we must never lose sight of the very high standards that we are known for globally. When it comes to perception you should all be very proud of what you do.
“We should continue to keep maintaining high standards but know that you are part of the solution in the challenge of restoring public perceptions because there is a challenge that we can’t ignore.”
Other highlights of the Home Secretary’s tour included an explanation of how the Nottinghamshire Police is using out-of-court disposals to prevent the criminalisation of some first-time entrants to the criminal justice system, and a visit to the force’s state-of-the-art control room, which has the best record in the country for its speed in answering emergency 999 calls.
Commissioner Henry said: “I invited the Home Secretary to visit because I’m really proud of all the work that is happening here to prevent and respond to crime and support victims and I’m delighted at how impressed she was with some of our trailblazing initiatives and I look forward to sharing more detail with her about the projects she saw.”
Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “I would like to thank the Home Secretary for coming to visit us. A lot of hard work has been achieved to ensure we have more officers working on the frontline to keep the public safe and tackle the problems affecting our communities.
“Safer Streets funding which has included an investment in cameras has been beneficial to tackle crimes such as burglary and protecting residents including young women and girls.
“There is still more work to be done and we are never complacent but I am proud of what we are achieving as a Force as we continue to ensure our communities feel safe and listened to.”