POLICING is seen by some as relatively straight-forward, and I guess in many respects it is.

POLICING is seen by some as relatively straight forward and I guess on many respects it is.

Breaking up a fight, arresting a burglar or giving a ticket to a speeding motorist are all in a days work, but things like engaging with hard to reach communities, long term managing of acute anti-social behaviour problems or managing the long term habitual offender when prison clearly doesn't work are more complex, take much longer and are often an unseen side to police business.

The success of this longer term and more complex work is only realised when the police join up with other agencies and work together to reach solutions.

Every week there is a meeting to discuss ways of stopping the district's habitual offenders and monitor progress, whether it is through supporting their drug and alcohol withdrawal, ensuring they comply with curfew conditions or get support with employment.

This is done by a team of officers and staff working with probation, drugs teams, Youth Offending Service and the courts. Recent successes have seen some of these free from offending for many months, but equally seen some sent back to prison as despite all the support they continue to offend.

Similarly the management of problem families who blight the life of neighbours and other residents requires the police to work closely with Huntingdonshire District Council and housing providers to find solutions to problems through the use of conciliation, injunctions, good behaviour contracts and then if all has been tried and failed and as we saw in Huntingdon this week, a family is evicted from their home to ensure the minority don't ruin a neighbourhood for the majority.

We also work with the habitual missing from home who cost the force hours of police time to trace and find and is often challenging. To help them from going missing we work with social workers, mental health staff, schools and others in order to stop them from going missing.

Engaging with communities where English is not a first language or where cultures and traditions are very different to our own takes an investment in time, but working with HDC and community leaders has resulted in great progress being made.

I have repeatedly made a commitment to do everything I can to ensure that Huntingdonshire continues to be a safe place in which to live, work or visit and I hope as the above illustrates, a lot goes on that is not always visible and brings together many teams and agencies all committed to achieving the same goal.

The successes we have seen are only achieved by the police and others working together in partnership and in the best interests of the community.