Helping people feel safe in their homes, supporting young people and giving residents more power over their local services were just some of the initiatives Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens heard about on her latest South Somerset community day.
As part of the PCC’s commitment to spend a day each week in the community, on Wednesday, August 5, Ms Mountstevens began the morning in Yeovil where she joined Matt France, Avon and Somerset Police’s Bobby Van Carpenter.
The Bobby Van scheme, which is run by Avon and Somerset Police, aims to help reduce the fear of crime for vulnerable people and victims of burglary, domestic violence and hate crime.
During the visit, the carpenter and PCC attended a call to a couple who had recently been burgled. On arrival Matt offered advice on ways to increase security and arranged to fit locks on their doors to not only increase their safety but also hopefully their confidence.
Speaking after the visit, Matt said: “Without the bobby van scheme I don’t know how people would cope. I receive a lot of calls regarding a variety of incidents and I feel the service we offer allows them to feel safe in their own homes by offering the necessary support.”
The PCC then went on to visit the Zero Project, awarded £3000 from the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund, and who work with young people to provide them with opportunities to engage in leisure activities in a safe environment.
One of the people Ms Mountstevens met during the visit was Laurence Willis, Assistant Director (Environment), South Somerset District Council, who said: “We were delighted that PCC Sue Mountstevens was able to meet the multi-agency partnership group behind South Somerset’s Zero Project.
“Zero has achieved ground-breaking work with young people, helping them to enjoy safely the experience of socialising in a night-club environment and the input of police and community support officers alongside the Council’s Licensing Department has been central to this success.”
In the afternoon the PCC attended a National Play Day event at Goldenstones Leisure Centre, before hearing from Martock Parish Council about their ‘Our Place’ programme, which aims to give people more power over their local services and budgets.
Ms Mountstevens’ final visit of the day was to Youths with a Future who work alongside other organisations to support young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or threatened with homelessness across the Mendip area of Somerset.
Speaking after the day, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “These community days always give me extensive insight into the fantastic work that is happening in local communities. The work of the Bobby Van carpenters is crucial in putting the victim back in control as no one should feel frightened in their own home.
“In the same day, it is also great to see young people being integrated into their future social events at a young age so they are becoming familiar with local police, street pastors and community faces. I fully support initiatives like Youths with a Future who are there supporting our young people when they need it most.”
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Posted on Monday 10th August 2015