Posted: Friday 4th October 2013
Last weekend I joined people locally and nationally in marking Police Memorial Day; a national day of remembrance founded following the brutal killing of fellow Kent Police officer Jon Odell in December 2000. The day was very emotional as I had the privilege of meeting with the families and friends of the fallen and together we took the time to remember and honour those who served their communities; passing on our personal heartfelt thanks. These police men and women paid the ultimate price whilst working to keep out communities safe and for that we will be eternally grateful.
The event was a reminder of the risks police officers and staff undertake every time they are on duty and how they go above and beyond to keep us safe and feeling safe in our communities. This month, on Thursday October 24, the Chief Constable and I will host our very first Neighbourhood Policing Awards to recognise the exceptional contribution that police officers and staff make to the communities of Avon and Somerset. These awards are extra special because the nominations have come directly from you, the residents, and we have been truly overwhelmed with your response.
One of the categories for the awards is Volunteer of the Year and one of the district winners is a team of Street Pastors. We have some exceptional volunteers working selflessly amongst our communities and Street Pastors who play a particularly prevalent part in keeping us safe. The Street Pastors, established in 2003 are a Church response to helping local communities, in particular young people, and have seen remarkable results in the areas they operate with over 9000 trained volunteers across the UK. I have been out with the Street Pastor teams that operate in our area and they do a fantastic job of helping young people on their way home after a night out. They are a friendly safe face when some people are feeling worse for wear and I hear the flip flops they usually give out are very handy.
As a resident and your PCC I feel that we should all look out for one another and stand against criminals and for them to know that criminal behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated in our communities. For instance I was deeply saddened to hear of a distraction burglary that took place in Lawrence Weston earlier this week and how the local Neighbourhood Policing Team are working with the victim personally and with the wider community to ensure others don’t also become victims of this or any other crime. There are some fantastic groups such as Neighbourhood Watch in and around Bristol which help communities to be more vigilant, helping the police and residents working together in tackling awful crimes such as burglary. By joining in a united approach, together we can make our local areas safer. Find out more about Neighbourhood Watch by visiting the police website or by calling 101.