Posted: Friday 15th March 2019
Residential burglary, knife crime and the illegal supply of drugs have a devastating impact on our communities. I know local people continue to be very concerned about these crimes as I am - especially with the ongoing national conversation about knife crime - and you want to be assured that the police are doing everything they can to tackle these issues.
With the council tax bill coming through our letterboxes recently, you will have noticed an increase for policing. By increasing policing by £2 a month for the average band D household, the Constabulary will be intensifying their fight against serious violence and continue to make our communities feel safe.
This investment means we can recruit an additional 100 new officers and launch a focused operation that will tackle burglary, knife crime and the supply of drugs as part of an initiative called Operation Remedy. I want local people to see and feel the difference in our Constabulary’s fight against crime, and we will be sending a loud and clear message to criminals that coming into our area to commit crime and exploit the vulnerable is not an option.
This week, I was fortunate enough to meet and listen to local people at the public forum at Bristol’s Trinity Centre. The community shared their concerns about serious violence, with knife crime being the focus of the public’s Q&A session. The Chief Constable and I were able to discuss how Op Remedy will tackle serious violence including taking knives off our streets. I would also like to say thank you to all those who came along to the public forum; we know you care about your communities and want to make a positive change.
Local people in Bristol might have also seen the ‘for sale’ sign go up outside Trinity Police Station. As I have discussed in the past, the existing station is too big for the Constabulary’s needs, expensive to maintain and not value for money. However, I know how important the local neighbourhood policing team is to the community. We will maintain a smaller police station in the same location that will house an enquiry desk and our local neighbourhood policing team. Our officers and PCSOs will still be based in the heart of the community they serve, while allowing us to deliver significant financial savings.
Finally, we will be supporting child exploitation (CE) awareness day on Monday 18 March. Children can be victims of sexual or criminal exploitation in return for money, drugs, the newest trainers or simply just affection.
These children who are being exploited don’t think of themselves as victims; we need to be their voice, speak out on their behalf and raise awareness of the warning signs. Our frontline officers are working with hospitality businesses and taxis so employees can spot and speak out about this form of abuse. The police, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and youth workers need to continue to work in partnership and be the ones who ask, ask again and keep asking so we can stop the exploitation of our children. If you suspect a child is being exploited, please let the police, local authorities or a charity know. Help us end the cycle of abuse.