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A mixed week - 02-09-13

Posted: Monday 2nd September 2013
Blog: Blogs

A mix of emotions would be an appropriate way to surmise the last couple of weeks. 

In my last column I spoke about police officer conduct and integrity. Police officers do a very important and difficult job, they have special powers to carry out these jobs and we expect high standards of them. I do not believe in witch hunts against police officers however I do expect honesty and integrity of all officers and the public should rightfully expect transparency. Not only how officers are dealt with when they break the law but naming those officers if they are charged with a criminal offence and bring the police into disrepute. 

The fire at Black Rock Quarry, Portishead has been a devastating set back for what is going to be a fantastic firearms training facility that will allow Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Constabulary officers to work more effectively and efficiently together. So many officers and staff internally and externally have dedicated their time and efforts to creating a state of the art facility and with only weeks away from completion it is saddening to see the destruction and ruins left by the flames. I would like to say a particular thank you to the officers of Avon Fire and Rescue who have worked relentlessly to put out the blaze – your efforts are truly appreciated.

The feeling of upset was momentarily soothed whilst I spent a truly wonderful evening at the Special Olympics opening ceremony. I felt it a real privilege to have been invited and during the evening I was asked if I would assist in the honour of lighting the cauldron to which I delightedly accepted. The atmosphere of the evening was absolutely electric with hundreds of athletes enjoying themselves with their friends and families and there was a real sense of pride throughout Bath as everyone came together to make it such a fantastic event.

This week saw the Chief Constable and I visit South Gloucestershire to host our third PCC Police Public Forum. These very open, transparent public forums promote constructive discussion on a range of issues with the aim of involving the local community with their local and wider policing. I am one hundred per cent committed to engaging local communities asking you to contact me with your questions and queries, providing you with information ensuring transparency and visiting you where you live to make myself as accessible and visible a PCC to you as possible. 

Getting the best service for residents as well as ensuring the frontline is maintained is always at the forefront of everything I do and every action I take. There have been many discussions surrounding the outsourcing of some custody services and I would like to reiterate that plans are in the very early stages and no final decision has yet been made. We are all looking at how we can do more for less money, sharing best practice such as that I experienced when visiting Thames Valley Police custody suites. At this stage, I have agreed that the Constabulary can start looking at finding a private sector provider and I will then review any business case they present to me. I want to assure residents that any decisions made will be to deliver the best services to you. The Constabulary are currently asking for your views on this so please share your thoughts by emailing custodyfeedback@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Until next time, Sue.

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