Posted: Friday 14th July 2017
Red, orange, yellow, green, purple and blue, all the colours of the rainbow and all the colours that filled my social media feeds last weekend, as people across the country celebrated Pride. It brought a smile to my face seeing all the pictures of everyone across Bristol dressed up, jubilant and joining together to celebrate our differences in sexuality. One of the biggest Pride gatherings to date, it made me proud to see our city come together in this way; revelling in our diversity and unified in our feeling that undesirable behaviour towards another based on their sexuality will not be tolerated and is not welcome here.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Bristol this week. As well as meeting with members of the Bristol Somali Forum to discuss the views of the local Somali community, I also met with Integrate Bristol’s Director Lisa Zimmerman. On Wednesday, I attended the Bristol City Gathering and the Bristol Ideal Awards. Meeting with people, who are at the heart of their local community, is vital in making sure that I am and continue to be your voice in policing and ensuring the police are concentrating on the things that matter most to you.
A particular highlight of my week was being invited by Mayor Marvin Rees to speak as part of the City Leadership Programme. The programme aims to help groups of 18-20 year olds develop their skills to become future leaders. As part of this, I was invited to talk about my role as your elected PCC, my opinion on what makes a good leader and was able to offer some advice I’d picked up along the way. I welcome any opportunity that gives people, in particular young people, the chance to gain an insight into leadership roles and shared the same vision as the programme, in setting up my Shadowing Scheme earlier this year.
Working together is the only way we can make a real difference for our communities now and for generations to come. It’s also the mind set behind our newly published Bristol ‘plan to keep you safer’, developed jointly by my office and Bristol City Council. The plan takes the policing priorities that have been set for Avon and Somerset and translates them on a local level, to ensure that together we are keeping our local communities safe and feeling safe. Together, the Safer Bristol Partnership, the Mayor and I are committed to delivering this plan and protecting our neighbourhoods. You can view the Bristol Plan at www.avonandsomersetplan.co.uk.
Next week, on Thursday, July 20, I’m due to be back in Bristol on one of my regular community days. During the day I’ll be holding a public drop-in session at the Malcom X centre between 10.45 and 12.30pm. These sessions are to give local residents the chance to come along and put their local policing questions to myself and members of the local neighbourhood policing team. If you’re available during this time, it would be great if you could come along, even if it’s just to say hi. In the afternoon I’ll be attending the Justice Advisory Group and in the evening, I’ve been invited by Made in Bristol to join them on their Crunch the Week show to talk about topics in the media that week. Tune in if you can.