Staffordshire’s commissioner for police and fire admits his term has seen radical changes to both services.

Matthew Ellis is entering his final months in post after seven years in office.

He was initially appointed as Police and Crime Commissioner before taking on responsibility for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service as well.

And Mr Ellis admitted some decisions have been needed to cope with a changing political landscape.

“As Government funding has shrunk over recent years, efficiencies have been driven harder and harder.

“Most recent, during the last year, are new collaborations between our fire and rescue service and police service which will see buildings shared as well as some support and admin services.

“This will help to make sure that more of the money available can be spent by both services right at the front end keeping people and communities safer.”

Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire Police and Fire Commissioner

“Tackling serious criminality head on”

Despite the need for “efficiencies”, the Commissioner said he had been able to help tackle changes in the fight against crime.

“In 2019 I asked local taxpayers for more investment towards policing and it’s already making a difference tackling serious criminality head on, including more digital and online capabilities, new specialist Police Disruption Teams, a return to dedicated roads policing and an increase in overall police officer numbers.

“The last seven years have seen crime continue to evolve, becoming ever more complex and diverse in its nature.

“From modern forms of slavery to online scams that strip individuals of their hard earned savings.

“Then there’s the scourge of child exploitation, domestic abuse and gang violence in what often feels to be a crueller society, at least parts of it.

“Law enforcement must however deal with atrocious crimes while also never losing sight of less serious harm which nonetheless can blight individuals and entire communities where it happens.

“I want to pay tribute to everyone over my two terms in office who have worked so incredibly hard and successfully to keep people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent safe, and the overwhelmingly professional way they have gone about doing that.”

Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire Police and Fire Commissioner

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