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New police chief pledges to clamp down on violent crime
CLAMPING down on violent crime and burglary is top of the agenda for the new Wycombe Area Police Commander.
Superintendent Ed McLean said reducing assault, domestic abuse and burglary cases were top of his priorities - despite Wycombe being the "envy of the force" for its performance.
The 44-year-old moved to south Buckinghamshire two weeks ago after receiving a promotion from Deputy Area Commander of Milton Keynes.
He told the Free Press: "The Wycombe LPA really is envied by everyone outside of Wycombe across the force; I was one of those people!
"The obvious priorities will be burglaries; no-one wants to be the victim of a burglary. We have one of the highest detection rates in the force and it’s my aim, and the team’s aim, to continue to try and improve that.
"We want to deal with violent crime and to stop people being assaulted and, in particular, make sure the night-time economy is safe so people can come and enjoy themselves without fear of being injured.
"Our violent crime is already low and if you take our night time economy, we get very few incidents because we work with our partners, have a high-profile presence and work with door staff - it’s a safe place."
He said officers were taking a pro-active approach to dealing with repeat offenders of domestic abuse and alcohol-related assault. This included rehabilitation work with people who commit offences after drinking to excess and those with a known pattern of domestic abuse.
Supt McLean added: "You’ll always get the odd assault, whether it is on the football field or over a car-parking space, but the ones we think we can influence the most are the ones that are repeat...That sits with our strategy of trying to protect the vulnerable and dealing with offenders."
The former Royal Air Force Officer, whose last tour was at RAF High Wycombe, also plans to hit the streets with his officers to engage with the community. He served food to elderly residents at the annual High Wycombe Guarantors party in his first week in the job.
He added: "I want my staff to talk to the public, it’s about them providing a proper service and making sure they keep that victim contact. "I expect my officers to show leadership, even at constable rank. When things go wrong, the public look to them to take command and it’s something I expect them to do day-in day-out, delivering the tasks we set them and doing everything they can to disrupt and arrest offenders."
Supt McLean replaces Gilbert Houalla who was promoted to Chief Superintendent responsible for neighbourhood policing and partnerships.
He said he was not fazed by taking over from the area’s ‘best ever performing commander’ and is looking to put his own stamp on the job.
He said: "Sometimes it gets to a baseline where it becomes difficult to reduce crime further but we are now in reduction in terms of violent crime.
"Gilbert had some challenging periods during his tenure - but this was his life for four years, he built the policies and for me it’s about learning how it all works and tweaking them to make that extra bit of difference.
"It’s my turn to lead this LPA now and I'm really pleased to be here."
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