Visiting good causes and projects protecting some of the most vulnerable people in Bath was the focus for Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens recent visit to the city.
PCC Sue Mountstevens spent the morning meeting with local charities including Julian House, Genesis Trust and Life Project Bath, to find out more about how they are supporting vulnerable people in the area.
Julian House run many different projects and one of these is the homeless shelter which uniquely has individual pods for men and women to sleep in and store their items for as long as they need.
The PCC had a tour of the shelter before heading to the Julian House Bike Workshop. A social enterprise project that gives people the opportunity to take a six week course to learn how to build a bike, write a CV and apply for jobs, they even come out with a bike at the end of it.
Following this, the PCC met with Nick Mayo, CEO of the Genesis Trust. The meeting began in St Michaels without Café; underneath the café is one of their projects, Lunch Box which serves affordable food, from a glass of milk to a full English breakfast, to homeless individuals in Bath for an hour every lunch time.
The PCC also visited the Lifeline project - another venture ran by the Genesis Trust. Lifeline is a daily drop-in centre which offers support to rough sleepers and vulnerably housed adults. They can access information, advice, food, hot water and a homely environment for 2 hours every weekday afternoon.
Afterwards, the PCC met with representatives from Life Project Bath, a small charity that run projects for individuals with learning disabilities. Their main aim is to create a family community and friendly environment in their activities that they run in the Acorn Barn near Bath.
After the visits, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It is important that when vulnerable people need relief, help is available to them and there is someone to support them. It is important that individuals who are homeless or those feeling isolated with learning difficulties know there are always people who can help.”
To end the day, the PCC held a session at Bath Police Station, located within the One Stop Shop, Manvers Street, to talk to local people about local policing in the area.
During the session, attendees raised concerns about the enquiry office hours being reduced, they were advised that the reduction in hours are in direct response to the changing policing environment and selling the old police station helped to protect neighbourhood policing. Local residents were also keen to join local Neighbourhood Watch schemes and find out more about how to set them up in their area.
Speaking after the session, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “I’ve heard from local people regarding the changes to the police station opening hours and about the visibility of the station within the One Stop Shop.
“I am reassuring Bath residents that the policing presence in the city is unchanged and I will work with the Constabulary to increase the prominence of the police enquiry office on Manvers Street. I have listened to people’s concerns and there are some things that can be addressed.
Sue added: “Today’s police service is completely different to 1966 when Bath Police station first opened, the nature of police work and crime has changed and the service has had to adapt not only to austerity but also to the ways local people engage with the emergency service. Keeping an old, under-utilised and under-occupied building worth millions of pounds is not the best use of taxpayers’ money. Police stations don’t keep people safe, people do and where money is tied up in such buildings, it means there is less money to reinvest in local policing. We are investing in neighbourhood policing in Avon and Somerset, we are currently recruiting police officers and PCSOs and we are making sure that local people have the police officers and staff they need to keep them safe.”
If you would like to find out more about the charities the PCC met with visit:
Julian House: www.julianhouse.org.uk/
Genesis Trust: www.genesistrust.org.uk/
Life Project Bath: www.lifeprojectbath.org.uk/
Posted on Tuesday 11th September 2018