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Guest blog: A strategic document that will set the policing priorities for years to come

Posted: Wednesday 14th December 2016
Blog: 2016

In order to find out what’s gone on at school for my daughter, I reciprocate with information about my day. She won’t share more than ‘can’t remember’ until I tell her something I did that was interesting or worthwhile. I love the fact that she takes an interest in my work, although I do feel sometimes as though I’m being appraised daily and held to account somewhat for the time, quality and impact of my work!

Recently she asked ‘why have you spent so long working on one report; what are you going to do now it’s finished; and by the way Mummy, did the people it was written for actually like it?’ I answered her as best as I could at the time, and not that differently from what I’m sharing with you now.

I’ve been working on, supporting and developing Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens’ new Police and Crime Plan since May – so for about six months. That’s a lifetime to a seven-year old, but probably about right for a strategic document that will set policing priorities for years to come.

The new Police and Crime Plan contains four priorities:

  • Protect the most vulnerable from harm;
  • Strengthen and improve your local policing teams;
  • Ensure that Avon and Somerset Constabulary has the right people, right equipment, right culture;
  • Work together effectively with other police forces and key partner agencies to provide better services to local people.

Sue had these themes in mind even before work commenced on the Plan. So why did it take six months to produce? The first step was to ratify the proposed priorities with Chief Officers and others in the Constabulary with responsibility for strategic assessments, policies and strategies.

Sue is committed to listening to the voices of those who live and work in Avon and Somerset, and so the Office of the PCC then consulted on the priorities over the summer period. A version was then shared with key partners during August in order to have a finalised draft for the Police and Crime Panel to review in September. 

Essentially, the Plan needs to reflect the challenges in policing and the needs of people, be understood and followed – and so it was valuable and important to take time to develop the Plan consultatively.

So what will I be supporting the PCC on, now that the Plan has been published?

As well as the main Plan for Avon and Somerset, Sue has also committed to producing local Plans.  This means I will be balancing my time supporting with the development of joint local Plans with Community Safety Partnerships in local authority areas.  These Plans will serve as partners’ delivery plans of the Police and Crime Plan and other partnership priorities that require multi-agency approaches; monitor performance against the central Plan; and other duties as required – like answering tricky questions of a seven-year old on a daily basis.  Did the people Sue wrote the plan for like it?  We don’t know the answer to that one yet.

It got me thinking though – ‘who is the Plan written for?’ Police and partners? Local people? The document itself is a statutory responsibility of the PCC, to produce a Plan which clearly communicates her strategic direction. The content, that’s for the police and partners – to receive that steer.  The ultimate purpose though is to produce the stated outcomes, and that’s for the local people of Avon and Somerset.

So the value of my job, in supporting the PCC, lies in whether local people benefit from delivering the Plan. That’s potentially made my last six months’ work worthwhile, contingent on the months to come.

We hope you take the time to and enjoy reading the Police and Crime Plan and we’re here if you have any questions you wish to ask.


Karin Takel

Strategic Planning and Performance Officer

Avon and Somerset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

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