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Local communities of Taunton and Sedgemoor welcome PCC on community day


Jane Hofmeister and PCC Sue Mountstevens

Meeting local people across Taunton and Sedgemoor was the focus of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens' latest community out and about day, where she listened to residents' views on local policing and visited a variety of the areas' projects.

PCC Sue Mountstevens began the day meeting Jane Hofmeister, the founder and driving force behind Think Amy; a safe driving campaign and registered charity set up by Jane after her daughter  Amy was tragically killed by dangerous driving. 

The aim of the charity is to ensure that all drivers Think Amy and Drive Safe for Life.  The Think Amy campaign has worked closely with Avon and Somerset Police throughout the 2015 Christmas drink and drug driving campaign - Operation Tonic.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: "The one thing Jane reminded me is that we all have choices and choices have consequences and we need to remember that every time we get behind the wheel of a car, we have a responsibility to drive safely.  Someone took away Amy's life without thinking what their actions could lead to.  This Amy is a reminder to us all."

RSPCA West Hatch Pet Retreat was the next visit on Ms Mountstevens' agenda where she visited the vital service which helps men, women and children fleeing domestic abuse, by providing temporary foster care for pets so the owner can find a place of safety.

The service, which is supported by the Commissioner's Community Action Fund, is available to local people across Avon and Somerset and thanks to a committed group of volunteer carers in the area.

Hannah Twentyman from RSPCA Pet Retreat said: "It is fantastic to meet Sue and talk to her about the RSPCA Pet Retreat service within Avon and Somerset.  We are so grateful for the funding from the Action Fund enabling us to continue to provide temporary foster care for pets owned by domestic violence victims.  Meeting Sue gave us the opportunity to thank her in person as well update her on the difference her support has made to the project."

Speaking after the visit, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: "Talking to domestic abuse survivors, the threat of their pet being neglected or abused can sometimes keep the victim within an environment which they know they should leave.  The Pet Retreat service allows the pet to be fostered until the victim is strong enough to leave home and provides reassurance for the survivor that their pet is safe."

In the afternoon the PCC hosted a public drop-in session at Angel Place Shopping Centre in Bridgwater where she heard from a number of residents and local people about their views on policing in the area. 

Home-start Sedgemoor was the PCC's penultimate visit of the day where she found out more about the charity that offers support to families facing difficulties and who offer one-to-one, personalised support for parents with children who are under five years old.

Jo Dean, scheme organiser for Home-start Sedgemoor said: "We were delighted to meet with Sue, she showed a great understanding of the issues faced by families across Sedgemoor in today's climate and was in high praise of the work that we do as an organisation to meet the needs of vulnerable adults and children."

The PCC ended the day with a visit to Dazed and Confused in Highbridge, who aim to provide information, signpost and engage local people in creating community led groups and providing courses which boost and maintain the mind, body and heart.

If you would like the PCC or a member of her team to visit you please visit www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk or email pcc@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk

Posted on Thursday 14th January 2016
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