Residents, organisations and neighbourhood officers from across the communities of Mendip were invited to share their views on local policing with Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens on Monday, January 14.
The impact of a rural setting and lack of amenities in the Mendip countryside were illustrated to the PCC during her most recent community day in the area, with her first meeting taking place at the Elim Connect Centre in Wells.
Reverend Stephen Fowler, colleagues and volunteers from the Elim Connect Centre met with the PCC to discuss the importance of the centre for the community in Wells. During the meeting, Stephen and the PCC also talked about youth work, counselling and rough sleepers.
The PCC then travelled to The Dairy House, a part of the Elim Connect Centre, the only direct access accommodation based in Mendip for rough sleepers. The idyllic cottage, at the heart of a working farm near Stratton-on-the-Fosse, provides 1000s of acres of land that the residents use to grow fruit and vegetables which they then sell at local markets and events.
Speaking after the meeting, Rev’d Stephen Fowler said: “It is a massive encouragement to our staff and volunteers to know that the PCC is supporting our work. We enjoy an excellent relationship with the Police - we intend to build upon collaborative working at a time when it is so hard for people who are on the edge of community.”
You can find out more about the Elim Connect Centre here.
Following this, the PCC spent the afternoon hosting a public drop-in session at the Wells Town Hall, where she was joined by members of the neighbourhood policing team, to take people’s questions about local policing in the area.
During the session, attendees raised concerns about fox hunting, burglary and road safety. Local residents were advised to report concerns to the local team and suggested that they join local Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speed Watch schemes as well as burglary prevention advice.
To end the day, the PCC visited the Wells Police Station where she discussed Rural Crime with PC Hawkins and PC Pearson. During the meeting, they talked about reducing rural crime, challenges they face and how the Constabulary’s implementation of new technology has enabled officers to work remotely whilst improving visibility in the community.
Speaking at the end of the day, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It is fantastic to see the work that local organisations, like the Elim Connect Centre, are doing to create stronger communities. I appreciate hearing about the issues that rural communities face so that I can understand these issues and see what is required to make communities safer and stronger.
“I thoroughly appreciate the chance to meet with local people to discuss any concerns they have about the area. These public sessions 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.”
Posted on Tuesday 15th January 2019