Posted: Friday 31st January 2020
This week, we launched #BeHeard - a campaign to celebrate the work of our amazing support services that help thousands of victims on the journey to recovery.
I’m delighted that our commissioned victim services have supported nearly 2,000 local people since April 2019. As part of the campaign, which will run throughout February, we have created an art exhibition to increase officer and staff awareness of victim experiences and highlight what support can be offered to victims. The unique exhibition includes paintings, poems, sculptures and craft pieces made by some of those 2,000 people who have been helped on the road to recovery by the services. The art created by these courageous survivors show their recovery journey and experiences and I am amazed at their talents and how the pieces demonstrate how far they have come. Expressing your feelings, whether that’s through art, writing or just talking, is very therapeutic and can be a very important part of the recovery process for victims.
Later in the year, we hope to work with partners to publicly display the exhibition, which gives powerful insight into a range of experiences victims have faced and the support available.
As your PCC, the one thing that drives everything I do is what I have heard from victims. #BeHeard aims to make people aware that if you are a victim of crime there is advocacy, emotional and psychological support available whether you choose to report that crime to the police or not, no matter how long ago it took place. I know survivors hope #BeHeard will encourage others to speak out and assure them there are people who will hear them, understand them and be there every step of the way.
I would like to wish everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year a very joyous and peaceful celebration as we welcome the Year of the Rat. Bristol has an incredibly proud Chinese community which has made a hugely significant contribution to the cultural diversity of our city for many years. Unfortunately, during this special time of year, celebrations may have been overshadowed with the news of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China. My thoughts are with those in our community who may be worried about relatives affected.
We are incredibly fortunate to live in such a diverse city and with a range of cultures it is important that neighbourhood policing is at the heart of our communities.
People continually tell me how important their local policing teams are to the safety of their communities and access to the police. Applications for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) opened earlier this week. PCSOs are vital because they are visible and frontline points of contact between you and your local policing team. We want to ensure your police service represents you and understands the issues in your area so we want applications from people with a wide range of skills, experience and from diverse backgrounds. If you are committed to supporting your local community, becoming a PCSO could be the role for you, so don’t hesitate to apply via the police website: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk