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Coming together as a community can only make society stronger

Posted: Friday 25th August 2017
Blog: 2017
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.  Whether you like a bit of healthy competition, leisurely cycling with family and friends or commuting to work, the benefits of cycling are limitless.  It was therefore great to see the cyclists amongst us, travelling from across Bristol to take part in the traffic-free ride through the city centre last weekend.  The turnout of those taking part in the event looked fantastic and I was delighted to see people of all ages taking to two wheels to join in the fun.

What was overwhelming from this event, was how groups of people came together to enjoy being outside and sharing in the common interest of cycling.  Looking at pictures and hearing from those who attended, it was clear this was an inclusive, community event.  The importance of bringing people together, whatever the common interest, should never be underestimated and I welcome any opportunity that unites our communities.  We know that stronger communities, working together, are safer communities.

Policing is too big a job for the police along and it’s only by working with our communities can we make a difference in keeping people safe and feeling safe.  Over the summer, the police have been working closely with local residents across Bristol to help them take action to protect their homes against burglars if their houses have been empty over the summer.  This includes ensuring doors and windows aren’t left open in the warmer weather and giving hints and tips about keeping property safe and secure.

Many burglary victims have shared with me how disruptive and upsetting this crime is.  Being burgled means more than the inconvenience of an insurance claim and has the potential to ruin your summer.  As part of our burglary campaign we conducted a twitter poll asking people if they’d left their house unlocked or a window open - 68% of people who took part in the poll said yes.  Around 30% of all burglaries could have been avoided, because burglars got in through open windows, unsecured sheds or unlocked doors.

I am keen that together, we all do what we can to avoid opportunist thieves. That’s why I would encourage you to Be Home Safe and ask you to remember to hide your valuables, shut your window and lock your doors when leaving your home.  Please don’t make it easy for burglars.  It is really important that you are safe and feel safe in your home, knowing your property is secure, during the summer months and all year round.

Here's a handy guide from Sainsbury's to keeping your belonging's safe:

 Sainsbury’s Bank Visual Guide to Home Security

This week I celebrated some of the work of those individuals going above and beyond in our communities at my latest Pride Awards.  Among those presented with awards were members of the Safelink team, recognised for their efforts in supporting men, women and children that have been affected by sexual assault or sexual abuse.  We also recognised 7-year-old Jack Short, who raised the alarm when his elderly neighbour needed help, and which resulted in him saving her life.

Fourteen winners in total were presented with Pride Awards, all of them worthy recipients with stories and examples of ways they support and help their communities.  I am always humbled by the truly remarkable people living and working amongst us.  I consider myself very privileged as your Police and Crime Commissioner to get to meet just some of these individuals.  If you know of someone you would like to nominate for a PCC Pride Award, nominate them now at www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk.

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