Posted: Friday 29th March 2019
The sun has started to shine and it feels like spring is finally here. The much appreciated warmth and light also marks the start of a new financial year in the public sector from April 1, and I’m sure you’ve all been receiving your council tax bills. You will see there’s a substantial increase for the policing part and one which is paying for the recruitment of 100 additional officers. The first positive increase above our established level for a decade. Your additional £2 a month will also go towards proactive operations to tackle burglary, drugs and knife crime. The renewed focus to tackle these important issues called Operation Remedy will launch next week and soon residents will hear about the difference that this new approach is going to make on the issues that matter most to you.
Last week, I met with the Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd MP for a constructive discussion on tackling knife crime with my fellow police and crime commissioner colleagues from across the country. The meeting was in response to the young knife crime victims already taken this year and the two tragic murders of two teenagers in London and Manchester earlier this month.
Following the terrible events in New Zealand I released a joint statement with Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and the Chief Constable Andy Marsh. It is important to give extra support to our Muslim communities at times of such terror. As you would expect there have been patrols around the mosques in our area and both the Constabulary and I have spent time speaking with our communities and providing reassurance.
Supporting and reflecting our diverse communities is an important part of my role and a specific priority within my Police and Crime Plan. I was therefore delighted to attend the new Bristol Muslim Strategic Leaders Group last Thursday. This important group is looking at ways our Muslim communities can be more involved within our public services. There was a really positive involvement from the NHS, the city council, the Crown Prosecution Service and the police. Making sure our public services not only reflect the communities they serve with the people they employ but also that the service reflects their needs and those of their community is absolutely essential.
I was also pleased to hear that Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Diversity Champion Programme won the South West Mentoring Scheme of the Year. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Esther Wride, Kris Harris, Amelia Griffiths from the representative workforce team and all those within Avon and Somerset Constabulary who have been trained as Diversity Champion Mentors. The judges’ comments were really positive and it’s a real testament to all the important work going on to make Avon and Somerset Constabulary more representative of the communities it serves. Well done everyone.