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Police service needs investment not cuts

Posted: Friday 22nd September 2017
Blog: 2017
We have reached the point where enough is enough and policing in Avon and Somerset cannot be stretched any further.  With yet another terror attack on the country’s capital, the reverberations felt locally continue to test all those responsible for ensuring the continued safety of our local communities.  At the beginning of this week, the Chief Constable and I wrote a letter and sent a report to the Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, stating that the Constabulary is facing a tipping point. The document outlines how we cannot sustain further funding cuts without extremely serious consequences.

It’s no secret how tight resources are at the moment and that is why the Chief Constable and I are committed to fighting for increased funding for policing in Avon and Somerset.  Between responding to incidents on the M5, ensuring people can protest peacefully in the city centre, managing the crowds that football and local sporting events bring, supporting the many vulnerable people across the city and responding to the local impact of national terrorism, officers and staff and working very hard in very difficult circumstances. That’s why it’s so important that our financial situation reflects this demand.

Policing is fundamental to the fabric of our society and that is why it needs investment to ensure a sustainable future.  Policing creates the conditions in which our society can exist and thrive and we will not stop until this message is heard.    The repercussions of the choices made by central Government on our funding settlement will ultimately impact on the service the police will be able to deliver.  This is your police service that hangs in the balance and I welcome your thoughts on the situation we are faced with.  You can read The Tipping Point report here and get in touch by emailing your views to pcc@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk.

On Wednesday, September 27 at 11am I will be hosting my next Facebook Live webchat with the Chief Constable and we will be discussing police funding and resources in more detail.  In addition to this, I will be putting your questions to Andy Marsh on a range of other topics including restorative justice, stalking and harassment and rape and serious sexual assault.  If you have any questions on the above topics, you can submit them to my office.  The webchat will be broadcast on Facebook live via the following link – www.facebook.com/AandSPCC - and I hope that you will be able to join us for the 30 minute session.

Finally, this week began with some big changes as we welcomed Avon Fire and Rescue to their new headquarters in Portishead.  I am delighted that we will now all be operating under one roof from our new joint base.  Becoming a Police and Fire HQ not only makes sense financially but also gives us the opportunity to work more closely as emergency services, providing the best service possible to our local residents.  Both organisations will retain their independence and the service local people see will be unaffected, but the move creates opportunities for much closer working between the two blue light services.

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