Reducing reoffending, serious violence and protecting the most vulnerable was the focus of Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens’ latest visits to Bridgwater.
Last Tuesday (27 February), the PCC met with Amy Hurst, the Project Sicga Community Coordinator, and representatives from Crimestoppers. Amy and Crimestoppers had spent the day visiting many locations in Bridgwater, from Cornhill to Hamp estates, engaging with local people to increase their understanding of County Lines in the area. Local people were encouraged to use Crimestoppers as an anonymous way to report crime or suspicious behaviour in the area.
The PCC joined them at their final destination, the ‘Together Team’ hub and heard about the work they are doing to support vulnerable people at risk of becoming victims of County Lines in Sedgemoor.
On Monday (4 March), the PCC returned to Bridgwater to visit the Nelson Trust’s brand new Women’s Centre in Kings Square. The centre, which is yet to be officially opened, plans to work with many partners including SARSAS, project SHE, HMP Eastwood Park and many others to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for vulnerable women to get the support they need. The charity, which already has successful Women’s Centre’s in Gloucester and Swindon, will offer spaces for 1-2-1 meetings with such partners and will also offer a free crèche and facilities for washing and cooking.
Project SHE, partly funded by the PCC, is a part of Nelson Trust, which aims to offer support for vulnerable women, especially those who have been or are at risk of being in contact with the criminal justice system.
Following this, the PCC spent the afternoon hosting a public drop-in session at the Victoria Park Community Centre. She was joined by members of the neighbourhood policing team to take people’s questions about local policing in the area.
Concerns raised included burglary and road safety and local people were advised to report concerns to local teams. Local people were also suggested to join local Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speed watch schemes as well as accessing burglary prevention advice.
Following her recent visits to Bridgwater, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It’s really important for me to hear about the issues that local people face. We need to continue to work together to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe.
“I’m committed to intensify our fight against serious violence on our streets, I hope that the work of Project Sicga sends a loud and clear message to criminals – coming into our area to commit their crime and exploit our children is not an option. I am so pleased to see the work that organisations, such as the Nelson Trust, are doing to support those at risk in Sedgemoor. It’s crucial that we provide support for the most vulnerable to break the cycle of crime and help to reduce reoffending.”
Posted on Tuesday 5th March 2019