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PCC focuses on visiting support services for victims on Bristol community day


PCC Sue Mountstevens with PS Chris Green and a local business owner

Finding out more about support services for victims across Bristol was the focus of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens’ latest out and about community day on Tuesday 15th March 2016.

Throughout the day, the PCC visited Opoka Bristol and Chandos House, before meeting the new Clinical Director at the Bridge Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).  This was followed by a meeting and walkabout with members of the Easton neighbourhood team before the PCC hosted a public drop in session at the Kingswood Civic Centre.

The PCC began the day visiting Opoka who provide advice and support to Eastern European women who are fleeing violent relationships perpetrated by their husbands or partners in the UK. Opoka aim to bring out of isolation these women and children who are hidden and due to cultural barriers are more unlikely to get lifesaving support and help they need.

Speaking after the visit, Sue said: “For such a small agency Opoka has done amazing work and have supported over 100 victims of domestic abuse in the last year. The Polish community can often be seen as a hidden minority and we need to make sure that there is support available wherever and whenever a victim needs it.”

The PCC then went on to visit Chandos House - Chandos Addiction Treatment Centre is an all-male treatment facility focused on helping those committed to their recovery from addiction. Chandos provides active, therapeutic intervention through counselling and group work in a supportive and semi-structured environment, with emphasis on health promotion and emotional well-being.

Meeting with the new SARC Clinical Director Emmeline Brew-Graves was next on the PCC’s agenda.  The Bridge SARC, which is co-commissioned by the PCC and NHS England, offers medical care, emotional and psychological support and practical help to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted.

Over lunchtime, the PCC visited the Easton neighbourhood team to find out more about the work they are doing and hearing about issues in the area. The Easton neighbourhood Police Sergeant (PS) Chris Green accompanied the PCC on a walkabout of Stapleton Road.

PS Chris Green said: “It was great to have the PCC visit the Easton area and I know my neighbourhood team were grateful for the opportunity to talk to her. Most importantly we were able to talk about our own ideas and initiatives which protect vulnerable people including our commitment to sports programmes and visiting local primary schools to engage with young people.

“As we wandered around Stapleton Road taking in the atmosphere and talking to local people Sue reminded me just how far we have come; Stapleton Road is a challenging but extremely rewarding place to work and police.”

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “Walking down Stapleton Road, I’m delighted that there are real improvements in the community. It’s clear to see the friendly relationships that the local beat team have built with local residents and business owners. There have been massive improvements which have been achieved by everyone working together.”

The PCC ended the day with a public drop-in session at Kingswood Civic Centre where she heard from a number of residents and local people about their views on policing in the area. 

You can stay up-to-date with the work of your Police and Crime Commissioner by following her on Twitter - @AandSPCC and @SuMountstevens – liking us on Facebook or Instagram or by signing up online to receive regular newsletters.

Posted on Wednesday 16th March 2016
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