SUNDERLAND’S new police chief has pledged to make the fight against antisocial behaviour her top priority,
Chief Superintendent Rachel Kearton also vowed to keep the city centre safe and free of drunken troublemakers.
She said: “I have been struck by the strong sense of community spirit in Sunderland and I want to work with that to increase community safety.
“I particularly want to focus on antisocial behaviour and improving community life for the people of Sunderland.”
In preparation for her new role, Chf Supt Kearton hit the city centre’s streets on New Year’s Eve and was impressed with what she saw.
Now she hopes to get more partners and agencies on board to help keep up the good work.
“I was on patrol on New Year’s Eve and was very impressed with how the licensed premises managed the number of people out celebrating.
“It seemed to be a very successful and peaceful celebration. I would like to be able to work with the licensees so we can manage alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour and reduce that as far as possible.”
Chf Supt Kearton, who grew up in Durham, has been working with Northumbria Police since moving from West Yorkshire Police in 2007.
She started out at the force as head of the human resources department before taking up the role of head of operations commander where she was in charge of the force’s fire arms, dogs and motor patrol.
And although this is Chf Supt Kearton’s first role away from police headquarters in Ponteland, she hopes to bring some of her skills from previous roles.
“There will always be that focus on dealing with the small minority that present a danger of carrying out more dangerous crimes,” she said.
“There are some very active pieces of work in place to tackle more serious criminals in our area.”
Strong neighbourhood policing is another area Chf Supt Kearton believes strongly in and has praised Sunderland’s beat bobbies for helping to strengthen communities, as well as working with partners like Safer Sunderland Partnership.
“Sunderland has been at the forefront of driving neighbourhood policing and have got some very well established relationships with their local community.
“I would like to support the progress of that and drive the contact even further.”