Posted: Friday 24th June 2016
In my first blog since being re-elected I wanted to start by thanking residents for choosing me as your Police and Crime Commissioner for the next four years. It has been a privilege to have represented local people over my first term and I’m delighted to continue this important work. I look forward to grasping the opportunities and facing the challenges ahead. My focus returns to being your Police and Crime Commissioner, keeping you safe and feeling safe, ensuring I represent your views and remain your voice in policing
Together with the whole of the country I was deeply saddened by the news about Jo Cox MP and my sincere condolences go out to her husband, children, family and friends. I cannot comprehend the depravity of the individual who mercilessly took away the life of a loving mother and wife, who fought so hard for others and stood up for what she believed.
In the week since her tragic murder I’ve been asked by national journalists whether as a public figure this means I will change my approach and interactions with local people. I am clear that we cannot let this horrific incident inhibit us from continuing with the job we were voted in to do. I will be mindful of my personal safety and those of my team, however I will not let what has happened restrict my accessibility to local people. We cannot and must not be defeated or live in fear of such hatred and violence. We must stand together to condemn such acts. We cannot let evil prevail.
Listening to local people and bringing your voice to policing remains a priority for me. Today I have launched my consultation on the policing priorities so I can hear direct from local people about what matters to them. The views of residents, community groups, businesses and partner organisations will help shape and develop the next Police and Crime Plan for Avon and Somerset. People can respond to the consultation on-line at www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk or alternatively call 01275 816377 for hard copy surveys. Copies of the consultation will also be available at police stations and libraries. The consultation closes on Tuesday, August 30, 2016.
Also today, I will be holding one of my regular community days in Bristol. I will be holding a public drop-in session at the Podium, Broadmead between 9-10am before going on to a school and to visit projects I have funded through the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund. I am delighted to be able to re-open applications or my action fund, as I am always amazed by how a small grant can make a big difference in our communities. It is clear to me that people have a real desire to make a difference whether it is mentoring young people, providing emotional and physical support for victims or innovative ways to tackle anti-social behaviour, people care about their communities and I forward to receiving many more innovative applications over the next four-years.