Posted: Friday 5th July 2019
Last weekend, the biggest music festival in the world came to our doorstep and over 200,000 people descended on Worthy Farm for Glastonbury 2019. When I visited the festival with the Chief Constable on Thursday, it was wonderful to speak to both local people and those who had travelled for the event, as well as seeing people of all ages enjoying the festival. I was also pleased to hear that crime levels at Glastonbury have remained low with 118 crimes reported this year compared to 202 in 2017, a reduction of 41.6%. Avon and Somerset Police can be proud of the role that they play at the festival and I want to say a massive thank you to all our officers and staff who played an important part at the iconic event.
This week marks three months since Operation Remedy started. The operation, which focuses on knife crime, burglary and drugs in our area, has got off to a flying start and has made notable improvements in tackling these issues. In the last three months, there have been 450 related offences; 33 warrants executed, 23 of which resulted in a positive outcome; a total of 287 stop searches; and 414 reports of crime from both the public and police officers.
As part of the operation, two men were sentenced to a total of eight years for possession with intent to supply cocaine and in Bristol a pair were charged with assault and burglary in an incident in the Barton Hill area. Various stolen items have also been seized, recovered and returned to the original owners, and a number of drugs have been seized including approximately 645 cannabis plants, 12 grams of Amphetamine and 1 kilogram of cocaine.
I know local people will be pleased with the police’s increased focus on these issues. There’s still plenty of work to be done but I am delighted with the positive results that the team has achieved so far. We will continue to work hard and send a loud and clear message to criminals that coming into our villages, towns and cities to commit their crimes is not an option.
On 14 July, I will be supporting the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Honour Based Violence. The awareness day was set up by the charity Karma Nirvana following the tragic death of Shafilea Ahmed in 2003 and remembers the men and women affected by so-called ‘honour’ killings and honour-based abuse.
Forced marriage and honour-based violence are particularly difficult crimes to tackle as much tends to go on behind closed doors and victims are scared to come forward. The victims are sadly at risk from those closest to them – their families and relatives. There is no honour in crimes that cause suffering and, in Avon and Somerset, we will continue to work closely with affected communities and our partners across health, education, social care and the voluntary sector. I hope on these awareness days we encourage victims and survivors to come forward and report these crimes to the police.