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Let's celebrate, not hate, all that makes us different

Posted: Friday 16th October 2015
Blog: Blogs

I was delighted to announce this year’s Neighbourhood Policing Awards policing area winners. I cannot express the pride I have in the officers, staff and volunteers who make up Avon and Somerset Constabulary and cannot thank them enough for all that they do for their local communities. Reading the nominations that are sent in for these awards is always such a pleasure and it’s clear to see what a difference these individuals and teams make to the communities they serve. Comments such ‘I cannot praise them enough’ and ‘the dedication of this individual and their commitment is inspiring and outstanding’ just shows the importance of our neighbourhood policing teams to local people.

The importance of partnership working and the potential for what can be achieved when you work together cannot be underestimated. Working together effectively is the focus for myself and partners who are progressing an action plan and the development of a common strategy for managing the emergency treatment requirements of the Mental Health Concordat, a national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis. There’s a real commitment locally to work collaboratively to help people in mental health crisis. However, it’s important that all frontline staff are equipped to deal with such situations while ensuring those individuals experiencing mental health crisis receive the most appropriate help and support they need at first point of contact.

Regardless of who we are and what we experience as individuals we all deserve to be treated fairly and receive appropriate help and support when we need it most. As individuals, I truly believe our differences should be celebrated and I am delighted that this is the focus of the Constabulary’s campaign to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week this week. Part of the campaign encourages local people to celebrate their diversity by capturing it on camera and sharing it under the #celebratenothate hashtag. Our uniqueness is what makes each and every one of us who we are and being targeted because of your age, sexuality, race or religion is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset.

Finally, I wanted to take the time to briefly mention sustainability and why we should all be taking the time to think about what we can do to help. I believe that as a public body, the police and my office have a duty to reduce our CO2 emissions as part of our commitment to long-term sustainability. Whether it’s recycling your rubbish, driving an electric car or thinking of investing in a wind turbine there’s many ways that we can all get involved and do our bit to be greener. For the Constabulary and I, we’ll continue to look to identifying local opportunities to save energy and fuel and to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. This is our local community, on our planet and I’m sure you’ll agree that we want to look after it for as long as we can for generations to come.

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