Posted: Friday 25th May 2018
Stronger communities are safer communities. However, strong communities can only thrive if we continue to develop our relationships, working together as residents, local people and the police. Occasionally things will happen that will test the strength of these relationships, none more so than recent events covered by the Post. I absolutely understand the concerns of the community and campaigners who have been involved with the events leading up to Friday’s court case in addition to the points raised in Desmond Brown’s letter. Local people must be able to trust their police officers and the powers they have including use of force and Taser. That is why I set up a panel of local people to scrutinise the Constabulary’s use of Taser, stop and search and use of force.
The court case which took place on Friday concluded a long and emotive process and I understand that Mr Adunbi and campaigners may be frustrated by the outcome. I am sure the past year and the attention on this case has been a severe strain on Mr Adunbi and police officer Claire Boddie. Until the conclusion of any misconduct proceedings it would not be appropriate to draw any conclusions. What is certain is that I am more determined than ever to build stronger relationships between our communities and the police going forward.
One year on from the Westminster terror attack and the Manchester Arena attack, it’s important that we take the time to honour those who lost their lives serving and protecting communities across the UK. Since 1749 and the creation of the Bow Street Runners as the world’s first recognised Police Service, more than 4,000 men and women have given their lives to serve and protect our communities in the United Kingdom. In order to pay our respects to those who have given their life to keep us safe, my team and I have been raising money for the UK Police Memorial Fund. The memorial will give families and friends a place to go and honour the memory of their loved one.
Last Saturday, my team and I took on the Bristol Tough Mudder challenge and completed it. Eleven obstacles over five kilometres in the sweltering sunshine - we might be bruised and aching all over – but it was worth it and I’m delighted so say we’ve exceeded our £1,000 fundraising target. I wanted to personally thank everyone who has supported us. With your gift, you will be honouring the courage and sacrifice of those who had laid down their lives to protect us and all those who serve so bravely every day. Just because we’re reached our target also doesn’t mean that we won’t gladly accept any further donations and if you’d like to you can support the cause by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/asopcc.
Before I finish, I wanted to take the time to recognise and share with you your Bristol Be Proud Award winners following last week’s ceremony. I’d like to congratulate the overall Specialist Operations Award winners - Operation Blueline and Response Officer of the Year PC Joe Iles. Operation Blueline sees neighbourhood policing making a difference to lives by listening and responding to the community and tackling the drug dealers who destroy lives. Joe was recognised for the way he serves local people and his diligence in obtaining justice for victims. You may also recognise his name from his infamous twitter account. Well done to both of you, and all of those people who were nominated, and thank you all for all your hard work keeping our communities safe.