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Communications, new careers and crimestoppers

Posted: Tuesday 22nd April 2014
Blog: Blogs

I'm sure many of you have seen the story about a police officer who was dismissed for his social media use.  The decision was  made following an internal investigation before the case went to a gross  misconduct panel with two senior officers and an independent member.

Mr Ryan's dismissal has provoked an emotive debate, not only in the media,  but throughout the 'blogosphere'.

The hearing has also raised an important point in highlighting the  significance of the appeals process, as an officer has the right to appeal  against the findings of a misconduct panel should they choose to.

It is my responsibility as Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure  impartiality.  Therefore, part of my role is to set up an independent panel to  review the outcome.  Hopefully this experience will not deter Avon and Somerset  police from using social media as I feel they do so effectively in communicating  with the  communities they serve.

The potential reach of social media is something  we should all be aware of.   If used correctly as a communications tool, social media can not only  dramatically improve communications, but also enhance the policing service local  people can expect.

I enjoy communicating on Twitter (@SuMountstevens), as does the Chief  Constable (@ngargan_police), and as it says in the advert, it gets to the places  and people that we normally don't get to.  But it's only one of many ways we can  engage with local residents.

Another way of improving the policing service is ensuring that the right  people are in the right roles helping to deliver the challenging requirements  that policing demands.  Policing  is a diverse business and requires individuals  with great people skills, a passion for community safety and flexibility in  dealing with a variety of situations.

Over the past couple of months I have attended several student officer  graduation ceremonies to welcome the men and women who are embarking on  their  journey with Avon and Somerset police.

It is a great privilege to witness these special moments and see those who  have met the challenge and embraced this opportunity.  More recently, the  constabulary has opened its doors for further opportunity and is welcoming  individuals to apply to be part of an accelerated three-year promotion and  development programme, and also taking part in a direct entry scheme.  I want  the very best people for your police service.

The importance of having the correct people in place to deal with the variety  of situations policing brings is particularly significant in specific  instances.

The constabulary and I have recently launched a domestic abuse trial, which  aims to bring staff and partner agencies together as one team to deliver a more  co-ordinated service for victims.

The purpose of the Lighthouse Victim and Witness Care programme is to provide  support and care for some of the most vulnerable victims and will be delivered  by a dedicated team of police staff and independent sexual violence  advisers.

When a victim is vulnerable, they need stability and this is the focus of the  programme which will ensure each victim has an assigned victim care officer  throughout their recovery, giving them not only knowledge and support, but  putting the victim back in control.

Providing care to victims as and when they require it most and working in  partnership with partner agencies plays a paramount part in policing.   Crimestoppers are  just one of the organisations that  work closely with the  police to support victims and help bring offenders to justice.

For example, this week they have put up a £2,000 reward for information  following the robbery and assault of a wheelchair-bound, Royal Navy veteran in  Worle  in January.

If you have any details about this disgraceful act of hate crime I would urge  you to contact Crimestoppers or call 101.  Crimestoppers do a fantastic job and  I was delighted  Chief Constable Nick Gargan, among others, ran the London  Marathon and raised money to support the work  they do.

Until next time.


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