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PCC visits Weston College and Clevedon Town FC

Inspector Stuart King, PCC Mark Shelford & Paul Davis

Today (Friday 15th March), the PCC Mr Mark Shelford visited Weston College and Clevedon Town Football Club in North Somerset as part of his weekly Friday engagement day.

The PCC started the day by talking to Year one Criminology and Politics students at Weston College’s Loxton Campus in Weston-super Mare. Mr Shelford shared about his life experience and career in the army and as a businessman before joining into active politics starting as a Councillor in Bath and later as the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Mr Shelford spoke at length about the role of a PCC followed by a question-and-answer session. Mr Shelford told the students, “The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the Chief Constable to account. I am responsible for the totality of policing, but importantly I am independent to the police.” Some of the areas the PCC is responsible for are the police budget, appointing and dismissing the Chief Constable and oversight of the police complaints system. And commissioning responsibilities (funding) for specialist victim support services.

A student asked the PCC to give an example of police misconduct. The PCC responded by asking first if the learners had watched To Catch A Copper documentary broadcasted by channel 4 in February? He said while the cases in the episodes are extreme, they are in the minority. He then gave an example of the incidents shown in the first episode which relate to mental health and sexual misconduct. However, the PCC stressed: “Majority of officers work hard every day to uphold high standards while doing a difficult and complex job. But if officers do not live up to those standards the Chief Constable must have the legal right to remove officers from service.”

The PCC finished the talk by giving examples of the role of the PCC in practice. For example, supporting crime prevention initiatives and listening to the public’s concerns about crime in their area. By working together, we can tackle the root causes of violent crime.

Mr Shelford said: “I want to reassure you that there are numerous proactive initiatives to support young people, youth professionals and local community groups in North Somerset through the Violence Reduction Partnership.”

From Weston Super-Mare, the PCC visited Clevedon Town Football Club where he with Club Chair Mr Paul Davis. Mr Davis gave the PCC a tour of the Everyone Active Stadium and shown the new mural, which gives different elements of the artwork and how they tie into the club’s history from 1880 into the future. Mr Davis also talked about the club’s efforts to engage with the community and their under 18 team made of young people identified from nearby academy and surrounding areas. Plans to uplift their CCTV cameras. Mr Davis said: “Currently the club does not have policing and crime concerns.”

                                                          PCC Mark Shelford & Laura Bissett