Special constables from across Exmoor and Dulverton were presented with a PCC Pride Award, as part of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens’ latest Somerset community day on Monday, 13 August.
Four special constables, volunteer officers, were nominated by Sarah from the Exmoor National Park authority for their dedication and commitment to aiding the success of the Rural Crime Initiative in the Exmoor area.
The Exmoor House, part of Exmoor National Park, played host to the presentation which saw the volunteers recognised for their “working anti-social hours, liaising with other agencies and working closely with colleagues in Devon and Cornwall Police”.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “I feel privileged to work alongside so many people who selflessly give up their time and who are passionate about policing and our communities. I know the Constabulary shares this view and are working hard to further develop the involvement of volunteers in policing in the widest sense.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about or becoming a constable, you can do so here: https://bit.ly/2vJr1yy
The PCC then spent the afternoon meeting with local charities including Mind Taunton and West Somerset, Somerset Survivors and Taunton Women’s Aid, to find out more about how they are supporting vulnerable individuals in the area.
Mind Taunton and West Somerset run many different projects and one of these is the Suicide Bereavement Service which exclusively focuses on those individuals who have attempted suicide or have been affected by suicide. Rather shockingly, a person is 60% more likely to attempt suicide if they are affected by it.
Another of their projects is the All Gender Domestic Abuse Support Group, a unique support group for anyone to attend, regardless of gender. The group provides a safe place for individuals to come and get the support they need. One of the group organisers believes the most important part of a support group is that “you have to feel safe to be honest”.
Following this, the PCC met with representatives from Somerset Survivors, a charity that specifically focuses on domestic abuse in Somerset. Somerset Survivors work closely with the Constabulary’s victim and witness care organisation ‘Lighthouse’, who provide them with 82% of their referrals.
The PCC then went on to meet with Taunton Women’s Aid, a domestic abuse support service, who also provide grants to local charities and groups supporting women and children who have suffered from domestic violence.
Speaking after the visits, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It is important that when victims of domestic abuse are ready to come forward, help is available and there is always someone to talk to. Domestic abuse is an inexcusable form of cruelty and will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset. No one deserves to suffer in silence; there are people who can help.”
PCC Sue Mountstevens ended the day, hosting a public drop-in session at the Watchet Community Centre, where she was joined by members of the neighbourhood policing team, to take people’s questions about local policing in the area.
During the two hour session, attendees raised concerns about speeding in the area, were given advice on joining local Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speed Watch schemes as well as crime prevention advice. Local residents were also keen to hear about training that the police are given to help them support people experiencing mental health crisis.
If you would like to find out more about any of the charities the PCC met with visit:
Mind in Taunton and West Somerset: http://mindtws.org.uk/
Somerset Survivors: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk/
Taunton Women’s Aid: www.tauntonwomensaid.org.uk/
Posted on Tuesday 14th August 2018