Posted: Monday 12th January 2015
Happy New Year 2015! Before we look to the year ahead, I firstly wanted to say that I hope you and your families thoroughly enjoyed the festive period. I also wanted to acknowledge and say a massive thank you to those emergency services that were required to work throughout the holidays, in order to keep us and our local communities safe. It is always incredibly appreciated.
I feel the arrival of a new year not only presents the opportunity to reflect and identify lessons learned, it also allows for a focused and in some cases different approach to the year ahead of us. The prospects of goal setting, embracing new challenges and gaining new experiences are all things that I would encourage you to look to maximise over the forthcoming year. After all life is not a rehearsal.
Many people talk of making resolutions and this is where I would like to challenge you to gain a new experience and act on getting involved in your local policing service. Volunteering is one of the most selfless examples of helping others and can be incredibly rewarding. With so many opportunities available in policing and the chance to try something different, there really is something for everyone.
My team and I are currently looking to recruit three new independent people, from across Avon and Somerset, to join my existing Independent Resident’s Panel. The panel of independent volunteers are responsible for scrutinising police complaints and highlighting good practice, before presenting me with a report of their findings. This enables me to hold the police to account on behalf of local people, to ensure that the same local people have trust and confidence in their police service. These reports are also published on my website.
Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) is another vital element of ensuring that the policing service is open and accountable to the people it serves. The role gives an insight into the conditions of police custody by visiting police stations unannounced, observing detainees and checking entitlements are being respected. We currently have ICV vacancies in Patchway and if you would like to find out more about this or joining my Independent Resident’s Panel visit www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk
Alternatively, if you have ever dreamed about working operationally within the police or in uniform, have you ever considered becoming a Special Constable? The part Specials play in supporting neighbourhood teams, reducing crime and offering reassurance to communities is invaluable. The role of a Special offers people from all walks of life an intimate first-hand experience of what being a police officer might be like. Details about the Special Constabulary can be found on the police website.
Whatever the chance that might present itself or the decision you chose to embrace this year, I would strongly encourage you to explore the extent of the possibilities available. I hope you will consider applying to be on the panel, becoming a custody visiting volunteer, joining as a Special or doing more for your community such as joining Neighbourhood Watch or Community Speed Watch. Go on, do something different, challenge yourself!