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Sue Mountstevens reflects on achievements on one year anniversary in post


PCC Sue Mountstevens One Year in Office

Avon and Somerset’s first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens is today celebrating one year in office.

It has been a nonstop 365 days for Sue Mountstevens who between lobbying on Mental Health, hosting Rural Crime and Public Forums and encouraging reporting of victims of hate crime, continues to deliver on the priorities outlined in her Police and Crime Plans.

The anniversary, which shares the date with Children’s Commissioner Takeover Day, will see Sue welcoming young people into her world to shadow her for the day. Working alongside her team, being involved in decision-making and giving the young people an active involvement in policing and crime matters. 

Tonight Sue will be back at last year’s election count venue, the University of the West of England Conference Centre to give a lecture about life as Commissioner– “The PCC One Year On: Reflections and Futures.”                                                                                                     

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate my role as the voice of residents. It is an absolute honour to be Avon and Somerset’s first Police and Crime Commissioner and the feeling is as strong now as it was on the day I won the election.

“My diary continues to be at full capacity and I welcome this as it is vital to engage with local residents, voluntary and community organisations, partners and agencies because without them I cannot fulfil my role to its full potential. 

“The feedback and interest in the public forums the Chief Constable and I host, business and rural crime forums and community days highlight the appetite for local interaction and I will continue to ensure local residents are listened too and represented.”

Listening to and hearing from residents has remained an on-going priority for the Commissioner and consultation on the budget, custody and provision services, victims experience and commissioning and grants strategy has seen nearly 6000 people express their views.

Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council and Chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Panel said: “A year on, I would say the new structure is working well.  We have established the right working relationship between the Commissioner and the Panel, and we understand the difference between the new arrangements and the previous police authority.  Things are working much better than I first feared as there is a clear demarcation between the role of Commissioner and Chief Constable.”

The PCC has also launched, in partnership with Bristol City Council, a Road Safety Summit next month, following residents highlighting road safety as a priority for the Police and Crime Plans.

Furthermore Sue Mountstevens’ time in office has seen her responsible for improved communications with local community action groups such as Neighbourhood Watch and an increase in Volunteer Police Cadets across Avon and Somerset.

Cllr Heather Goddard, lead member for Partnerships at South Gloucestershire Council said: “We were delighted that within three weeks of her election as PCC Sue found time to join our Safer and Stronger Partnership meeting where she explained her aims and objectives as the new Commissioner.

“Since then she has also joined our Local Strategic Partnership and takes an active interest in all we do in South Gloucestershire.  We feel we are very fortunate to have such a hardworking Commissioner and one that actively involves herself in our diverse communities.”

The Commissioner continues to lobby on significant issues such as extra beds and appropriate support for mental health patients, writing to the Clinical Commissioning Group and by holding a Mental Health and Criminal Justice Conference.

Sue’s aspirations to see the Special Constabulary increase in strength to 700 officers has also not be forgotten this year with the Constabulary holding three intakes for new recruits.

More recently the PCC and Chief Constable Nick Gargan were joined by special guests to celebrate the men and women who go above and beyond the call of duty in serving their local communities at the first Neighbourhood Policing Awards.

Looking forward to 2014, major projects include the commissioning of victims’ services locally and for the first time commissioning drug referral services in the new police custody centres.

Avon and Somerset Probation Trust CEO Sally Lewis said: “Avon and Somerset nationally leads the way in delivering integrated criminal justice services where police, probation, drugs workers and other professionals work hand in hand to protect the public.  The reductions in crime that we have achieved by working together in this way have achieved hundreds of fewer victims in our communities.

“Our PCC Sue Mountstevens has been an important champion in consolidating and developing these strong working relationships and fostering the partnerships which make our neighbourhood safer places to live.”

South-west PCCs and Chief Constables will continue their work around regional collaboration; this holds particular importance since contracts have been signed on Tri Force Specialist Operations and Special Branch Collaboration with Forensic contracts in the pipeline.

Posted on Friday 22nd November 2013
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