Posted: Friday 27th April 2018
Local people of the Easton and surrounding communities will understandably be concerned to hear of Cllr Afzal Shah’s arrest and subsequent de-arrest. The events surrounding this incident will have undoubtedly caused a great deal of embarrassment for Afzal and this is something I fully empathise with and sincerely apologise for. As a member of the Police and Crime Panel, I work alongside Afzal and know how committed he is to improving the policing services across the communities of Avon and Somerset. Since the incident I have spoken to Afzal and we will be meeting in the next week or so, along with Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Bristol’s Superintendent Andy Bennett, to discuss the lessons to be learned and how we can continue working together, improving the policing service for the future.
Last week, I was delighted to be able to finally announce the new Southmead police station will be moving to Westgate House, by Southmead hospital. For some time there has been understandable uncertainty by local people about the policing presence in the area, despite our continued commitment to maintaining a footprint in the community. I not only received letters and emails, but residents also shared their feelings with me when I attended the Henbury, Brentry and Southmead Neighbourhood Partnership meeting. The station is due to open this autumn following some refurbishment work and until then the temporary police station will remain at Southmead Fire Station.
Meeting the needs of the local community is really important in a world where we police by consent. That is why I am asking victims of crime and anti-social behaviour across Avon and Somerset to share their views about existing support services. This information will be used as part of the re-commissioning process to ensure the services meet the needs of our most vulnerable, putting victims at the heart of their work. Effective support services are central to enabling victims to cope and recover. Victims can share their experiences via a confidential and anonymous survey: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/avon-and-somerset-victim-services/. Alternatively people can also take part in an interview with a researcher, Dr Sarah Senker, by texting “PCC” to 07555 422150. You have until June 3, 2018.
Speaking to local people is vital if I am to remain your voice in policing. I am committed to making myself as accessible to the local communities of Avon and Somerset as possible. In doing so I host quarterly public forums, alongside the Chief Constable and members of the area’s neighbourhood policing team, to answer your local policing questions. My next public forum will be taking place on Thursday, June 7, 2018 between 6.45-9pm at The Shire Way Community Centre in Yate. For more information and to reserve your seat, visit my website – www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk. I hope you will be able to attend and I look forward to seeing you there.