Posted: Friday 20th March 2015
‘Road safety’ is a phrase which means different things to people and it may depend on whether you prefer to walk, cycle or drive. For some of you it may be cars speeding past your homes or schools, drivers who have picked up some bad habits, use mobile phones or still after all these years think it’s acceptable to drink and drive. It could be the potential for conflict between motorists and cyclists or badly parked cars which cause obstructions for motorists or pedestrians in wheelchairs or pushing prams.
During my two years as your Police and Crime Commissioner people regularly tell me how important road safety is to them and to their community. At public meetings, in conversations and in my mailbag people often raise the issue with me. Having listened to these concerns I’ve decided that road safety should be an additional priority for me, and in turn for Avon and Somerset Police. Earlier this week I published a refreshed Police and Crime Plan and it now includes road safety alongside my other priorities; reducing the impact of anti-social behaviour, tackling domestic and sexual abuse, preventing and reducing burglary and putting victims first.
Road safety needs to be a mix of enforcement and education and this is reflected in the plan. Responsibility for this largely lies with the police but we need to work with partners and the community to be truly effective. A great example of this is Community SpeedWatch which allows local residents to become involved and make a difference in their neighbourhood. I visited a scheme in St George earlier this week and saw for myself how cars slowed down when the saw their speed was being checked. It shows the communities working very closely with the police to tackle community issues.
The Police and Crime Plan is an important document which sets out my approach as your Commissioner, my priorities and how I will work with the Chief Constable to deliver improvements in these areas. It also includes performance indicators so that people can see what progress is being made – and it’s crucial that we have something against which my performance, and that of the Constabulary, can be measured.
We’re continuing to make good progress against the plan and of course there are areas which need more focus but what I’m most encouraged by is that 79% of you have confidence in Avon and Somerset Police. It’s important that you feel your police service is there for you when you need them and we must work hard to win over those who don’t feel so confident.
You can view the Police and Crime Plan on my website now or request a hard copy from my office. If you have a few minutes this weekend I’d encourage you to take a look at what we’re hoping to achieve – after all, I’m your Commissioner and it’s your police service.