Sue in the spotlight #AskSue, 29 May, 7pm, live webchat
The date has been set for questions from local people to be put to Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.
At City Hall on May 29, the Bristol Post will use its readers’ queries to quiz the woman who holds the constabulary to account and has the final say on its £276 million annual budget.
Ms Mountstevens is inviting questions on all manner of crime and disorder-related issues.
About 10 have been received by The Post so far on a range of issues, but there is still time to get involved by sending an e-mail to email@example.com
Once the questions have been gathered, they will be put to Ms Mountstevens during a live webcast of up to one hour.
She will not know what questions will be put to her until 7pm on May 29, when it starts.
Ms Mountstevens said: “It’s really important to me that local people get the chance to talk to me and ask me their questions about policing, community safety and criminal justice matters.
“I see #askSue as an extension of my openness and accountability to residents and I welcome your honesty and variety of questions.
“It is only by hearing from you about the things that matter to you that I can truly be your voice in policing.
“Now is your chance to ask me those questions and I want to hear from you. Help me to make a difference in policing for you and your community.”
Ms Mountstevens is not in charge of day-to-day operational policing – that comes under the remit of Chief Constable, so questions of that nature may not be suitable for the question and answer session.
However, Ms Mountstevens’ priorities – tackling antisocial behaviour, violence against women and children, burglary and creating a louder voice for victims – have become part of the constabulary’s official policing plan.
It is also her job to hold the Chief Constable to account and, technically, she has the power to appoint or remove a Chief Constable.
Daniel Evans, Crime Reporter for the Bristol Post said: "As crime reporter at the Bristol Post I have interview Sue many times, but this is an interview with a difference.
"I am looking forward to asking her about the issues that mean the most to our readers and their daily lives. As Sue will not know what topics will crop up until the night, she will have to be on her toes and i'm sure she will be.
"The important thing is engagement between the Commissioner and the public she serves. I am proud to be the vehicle for that engagement."
Ms Mountstevens is in charge of setting the council tax policing precept and has the power to allocate various grants and funding pots to community groups and charities in the police force area.
In November 2012, the role of commissioner replaced the old police authority system, which had a body of councillors and independent members from within the police force area.
One of Ms Mountstevens’ aims has been to increase transparency and accountability and she makes weekly visits to different parts of the region to meet the community.
She is hoping the #asksue event will allow even more members of the public to get their views heard.
As well as the webcast being featured the event on the Bristol Post website, all the questions put to Ms Mountstevens, and her answers, will be published in the newspaper.
Ms Mountstevens was elected as Avon and Somerset’s first police and crime commissioner in November 2012, as an independent candidate.
She won the election by a landslide, defeating her closest rival and favourite Ken Maddock by almost 60,000 votes.
For many years, she was a director of the well-known family business, Mountstevens Bakeries.
As a magistrate in Bristol for 15 years, she served on adult, youth and family cases and was also an independent member on the Avon and Somerset Police Authority and vice-chair of the independent monitoring board at Bristol Prison.
She is held to account by a police and crime panel, made up of representatives from councils across the region, plus independent members.
If you have a question for the Commissioner please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Thursday 15th May 2014