Lancashire Constabulary’s South Divisional Commander promises to tackle issues affecting local communities
Lancashire Constabulary's new South Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Eddie Newton says “everything is about putting victims’ first”
"We are a good police force and we know we are, but there’s room to improve. We want to be outstanding”, were the words from Chief Superintendent Eddie Newton who has been appointed Divisional Commander for Lancashire Constabulary’s south division.
With responsibility for Chorley, Preston, South Ribble and West Lancashire, he said one of the main aims was to understand different issues affecting the communities within Lancashire, with the clear purpose of putting victims’ first.
“I am delighted and very proud to take up the position of Divisional Commander in the area I am passionate about and in which I have spent so much of my service.
“Everything is about putting victims’ first. If we get that right we get everything else right. It is also my aim to develop and continue the high level of commitment and expertise of the local policing team to enable us to play our part in preventing and investigating crime and keeping the public of Lancashire safe; by doing our job well and getting it right first time, every time."
“My role in division will be to understand the local issues of the communities and work with strategic partners to build collaborative community safety relationships to be able to focus on long-term solutions.”
He continued: “I have 750 staff on this division. Part of my job is to make sure I know that we are using that resource to the effectiveness.
“By far the best way to organise ourselves as the public, councillors, MPs all know that there is one person in charge of the division that they can come to.
“We take the view as a force that we now need to have a single person who is in charge of a division as it is far easier to hold one person to account.”
Originally from Liverpool and with more than 29 years’ policing experience under his belt, Divisional Commander is not entirely a new one as each policing area used to have its own prior to restructure in 2016.
With numerous accolades to his belt including two Queen’s Service Medals and a Long Service Medal he says his proudest moment is becoming District Commander.
“I was part of this division in 1992 in Chorley which gives me a sense of pride. There are lots of things I am proud of over the years with lots of riskier situations such as having guns pointed at me.”
Reassuring those who have lost faith in the police he continued: “It is one of our biggest challenges if we don’t have the trust of the public. We constantly apply the public centre-check to what we do.
“Policing will always be divisive. You have to accept as a police officer that we aren’t going to please everybody.
“Covid is a really good example of this. Some members of the public really supported us while some said we were infringing on their human rights.”
Asked what he likes to do when he is not policing the streets tackling crime and injustice? Chief Supt Newton who is also the Chair of the Lancashire Police Superintendents’ Association and has been a Trustee of the North West Police Benevolent Fund for the last five years, added: “In the little time I have I’m a family man. The main thing is keeping healthy for my mental health. I love to row, swim, cycle and go for walks with my patient wife.
“This job is long days, six days a week when you are often on call but we do it because it’s a passion and because we hope that we make a difference.”
Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “This is an example of what I have been pushing for, ensuring that local policing has the ability to focus on issues that matter most to people, where they live. I’m pleased that the Chief Constable is strengthening the ability of each policing division to tackle the unique challenges within their areas and help address local concerns.
“With hundreds of new police officers being recruited and getting out onto our streets to keep people safe, the reintroduction of divisional commanders will ensure accountability against what the Chief Constable and myself want to see, which is criminals off our streets, and the people of Lancashire feeling safer.”