Posted: Monday 20th July 2015
Over the past week I have understandably received emails from local people regarding the Chief Constable’s misconduct hearing. As I will soon be holding a sanction hearing with the Chief Constable there is not much I can personally say at this stage. I know from the correspondence that some people are worried that the process has been ‘behind closed doors’. I was disappointed that the Independent Police Complaints Commission decided not to hold the misconduct hearing in public, I think this would have helped give the local people confidence in the process. However following the sanction hearing I intend to publish the misconduct panel’s report on my website and any conclusions from the hearing.
I was reassured by the latest figures from the police’s summer drink and drug driving campaign which showed that more drivers were breath tested this year than last, and that fewer were charged.
During June the police breath tested 974 drivers and charged 78 drivers this year compared to 97 in 2014. It does seem drivers seem to be heeding all the messages about the seriousness and consequences of drink and drug driving. It would wonderful if we could get the same understanding from people about not using their mobile phone while driving too.
Residents told me how much road safety matters to them and their community. The drink and drug driving campaign will continue to be an all year-round commitment for the police as well as other road safety issues that concern local people.
This week I had the privilege of helping to launch a campaign which supports friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues to share their concerns if they know of or suspect someone is being abused.
The campaign highlights that if you have worried about someone close to you no amount of information is insignificant. Sometimes as a friend, relative, neighbour of colleague we might feel that something is wrong but we are not sure exactly what the problem is. The important message is not to ignore these worries and that there are a number of things you can do to provide support if you suspect someone is being abused. ‘It might be nothing, but it could mean everything’ is the key line.
Domestic and sexual abuse is never the victims fault and I want any victims reading this to know that they can come forward and report knowing they will be taken seriously and believed. I hope that the campaign billboards appearing over the force area, the programme of workshops and self-help guides will support friends and family in sharing their concerns. More information about the campaign can be found at www.thisisnotanexcuse.org. If you know of or suspect someone is being abuse you can share your concerns anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.