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Knives cost lives and we must never be complacent about it

Posted: Monday 16th April 2018
Blog: April

Knife and serious violent crime is making national headlines following the spate of stabbings in London, which has resulted in multiple deaths and even more victims.  Let’s be clear, carrying a weapon in Avon and Somerset will not be tolerated. I know the police are working closely with their local communities to ensure our streets remain weapon free.  Locally there has been a small rise in knife crime incidents in comparison to the country’s capital.  Knives cost lives and we must never be complacent about it. We will be watching what is happening in London closely.

The Government last week launched the Serious Violence Strategy outlining their response, in terms of both prevention and effective law enforcement. However, striking the balance between tackling offenders and those who carry weapons and exploring preventative measures is a tricky one.  This is especially so when police and partner resources are already stretched.  This topic is one I will be putting to Chief Constable Andy Marsh at our next Facebook Live on April 24 at 11am, when we will be talking about serious violent crime as well as stop and search, rural crime and vehicle crime.

I recently hosted a community meeting on the future of Trinity Road Police Station.  Every time I visit Easton, Lawrence Hill and the surrounding communities, local people tell me how important Trinity Road Police Station and the local neighbourhood team are to them.  Trinity is a station which is too large and costly for the police’s needs, only 10% of the space is currently needed for the neighbourhood policing team and the running costs equate to about £250,000 a year.  That’s why we were listening to local residents on plans for a new and improved station on the existing site. I’m keen to hear your views too please email trinitypolice@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk

Ensuring local people have the opportunity to have their say is really important in any decisions that affect our communities.  That’s why I was delighted to see Bristol City Council asking for feedback on the future of sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) in the city.  I fully support a nil cap policy on SEVs within Bristol.  The real issue is that these venues cultivate and actively encourage objectification and the attitude of entitlement and access to women’s bodies which all acts to reinforce gender inequality.  If we want to support healthy and equal attitudes towards women and to match the aspirations of the city a nil cap on licences is the most appropriate action.  I would strongly encourage people to visit the Bristol City Council to share their views. 

Before I finish, I wanted to acknowledge some of the fantastic local people, officers, staff and volunteers we have across Bristol and surrounding areas.  After selecting our finalists for this year’s Be Proud Awards, I’d not only like to congratulate everyone who has made it to the final stages of this year's awards, but also everyone who was nominated.  I’d also like to recognise all my latest Pride Award winners; who have made a difference to someone's life, selflessly dedicated an incredible amount of their time to helping others or who have gone above and beyond to be there for someone in their time of need. Well done and thank you all for all your hard work keeping our communities safe.

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