Residents and charitable organisations from across North Somerset had the opportunity to put their local policing questions to Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens on her latest community day on Tuesday, March 13.
Throughout the day, the PCC travelled across the communities of North Somerset meeting with various organisations and local community groups, to discuss policing in the area and answer their questions.
The PCC’s day began at an Operation Topaz meeting in Bristol, where she heard about the multi-agency approach to tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE) and listened to ongoing cases. The PCC has made protecting the most vulnerable from harm a priority in the Police and Crime Plan, which includes tackling CSE.
Following the Operation Topaz meeting, the PCC began her community day with a visit to North Somerset Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network in Weston-super-Mare. The charity provides a safe place and a ‘home from home’ for the diverse community.
Speaking about the visit to the charity, Sue Mountstevens said: “It’s fantastic that this charity is having such a large impact on the community in North Somerset. The room was full of people all there for the same reason, to provide support and friendship to one another, and offer a helping hand in times of need.
“It’s always great to see volunteers helping in their communities, but the North Somerset BME Network really goes above and beyond in supporting locals and offering help with things we may take for granted, such as learning English or simply how to set up a bank account.”
The PCC then travelled to YMCA Somerset Coast in Weston-super-Mare, a charity which has received money from the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund. Here, the PCC met with outreach officers working to improve homelessness in the town and shared their concerns regarding the homeless community.
Joe Heslop, Homelessness Support and Nightstop Coordinator for the YMCA said "The numbers of those recorded as homeless is increasing across many areas within the UK, including the areas that YMCA Somerset Coast serve. Being homeless is a time of intense crisis, and can have a huge impact on someone physically, emotionally and mentally. By working with our clients to deal with the reasons why they became homeless,YMCA Somerset Coast aims to assist and support them in building their own foundations towards a much brighter and stable future. We welcomed Sue visiting our provision in Weston Super Mare and hope she found the meeting beneficial.”
Residents were then invited to join the PCC at a public drop-in session at Castle Batch Community Centre in Worle. These sessions are an opportunity for Sue to speak with local residents and hear their thoughts on local policing. Topics discussed during the session funding, neighbourhood teams and local crime issues such as anti-social behaviour.
Sue continued: “I always enjoy getting to meet with residents and organisations that aim to support and strengthen our communities. These days help me to be the bridge between the police and local people. It is only by listening to our communities that I can be your voice in policing.”
If you would like to find out where and when the PCC will be, or more about the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund visit www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk
Posted on Wednesday 14th March 2018