Posted: Friday 3rd August 2018
Given the recent heatwave we have been experiencing you were no doubt as surprised as I was to hear the Islamic Cultural Fayre in Eastville Park was being postponed due to inclement bad weather. So much planning and preparation goes into community events such as this, so I know many would have been disappointed to have had to make such a decision. However, I was delighted to find out the event will be returning on Sunday, August 19. My team and I will be attending the day and look forward to speaking to you about your views on local policing. If you can’t wait until then, on Saturday my team will be joining the Constabulary, Avon Fire, the APE Project, Vision BME and many other partners and local community groups at the Hartcliffe Summer Fun Day. Come to the @Symes community centre between 1-4pm to join in the fun, there will be games, face painting and giveaways, we look forward to seeing you there.
Last week I was delighted to announce the Ministry of Justice and I have signed a memorandum of understanding, making a commitment to finding new approaches to stopping the revolving door of persistent offending. 60% of people who are sentenced for fewer than 12 months go on to re-offend according to analysis conducted by our local Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). Breaking the cycle of crime and reoffending is possible, but only if we work together and provide the right intervention at the right time. Prevention and rehabilitation are critical components in reducing both offending and reoffending, for without tackling the factors that drive offending behaviour, we cannot solve the problem. We have a strong track record in innovative partnership working with initiatives such as the Integrated Offender Management Scheme but there’s still more that can be done.
At the same time, the Justice Secretary David Gauke announced changes to the future provision of probation; improving the current criminal justice system and investing £22 million in reducing reoffending by supporting those who are leaving prison to re-enter society. Not only this, but in the future CRC’s and the National Probation Service will be regionalised, helping to simplify ways of working and strengthening relationships with local partners. In my opinion the success of the criminal justice service in supporting victims and bringing offenders to justice, while working to reduce reoffending, relies on a collaborative approach to working and an open door partnership between all involved in the criminal justice journey. I welcome any opportunity to work more closely with partners and provide tailored services for the local communities of Bristol and the wider Avon and Somerset area.
Over the summer I will be out and about in the community speaking to local residents about the policing part of the council tax, ahead of setting the policing budget for next year. I’m asking residents for their views on whether or not you would be happy to support policing by paying an additional £1 a month. With this additional funding the Constabulary will be able to continue investing in large scale operations to disrupt and dismantle drug supply on our streets as well as extend ‘Operation Topaz’, the multi-agency response to identifying and tackling those responsible of child abuse. After telling me it is important to you, the police have said they will look to improve their response to burglary, seeking justice for victims, as well as focusing on their response to cybercrime with dedicated cyber protect officers. Without your support neighbourhood policing may not be protected and £4.5 million of savings will have to be made. As your voice in policing, it’s important that I hear from you and that you have the opportunity to have your say, so please get in touch.