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PCC visits South Gloucestershire during latest engagement day

During his latest visit to South Gloucestershire (Friday 4 February), PCC Mark Shelford met with local MPs, residents and a domestic abuse support service to find out more about their policing and crime issues.

PCC Mark Shelford met with both Chris Skidmore MP and Luke Hall MP, joining the latter on a local drop-in surgery and walkabout of Wickwar to meet with local residents. Alongside officers from Avon and Somerset Police, the PCC listened to concerns around parking issues in the village, fly-tipping that is impacting the local farming community and other rural crime issues.

The PCC also met with Opoka, a specialist local domestic abuse charity that focuses on the support of Polish women and their families. Established in 2012, Opoka has a bi-lingual team that provides one-to-one support and a national helpline.

PCC Mark Shelford and the Opoka team discussed the service’s relationship with the police and barriers faced by Polish domestic abuse victims and survivors such as a language barrier. The PCC assured the team that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) will continue to raise awareness of the service and encourage victims to access support.

“I had an excellent engagement day with two of South Gloucestershire’s MPs, helping to address some of their police and crime issues. It’s always brilliant to meet with local people and, during the drop-in surgery at Wickwar Social Club, I hope residents found speaking to myself and local officers useful.

“I felt very privileged to meet with the team at Opoka, who do so much to help Polish women and their families who are are victims of domestic abuse. I look forward to working together to improve outcomes for Polish domestic abuse victims including tackling the barriers that stop women and their families coming forward to access help”

PCC Mark Shelford