One reason for being there is because they feel safe
In March I launched the Police and Crime Plan and an individual plan for Bristol. These plans set out my objectives for the Constabulary following many events listening and talking with local people. It also contained measures on how residents can judge if the police were on target. The first results for April to June are now published and I am pleased to say that there have been a number of strong improvements across a number of the priority areas. Please see my website for the full breakdown across all four priorities – ASB, burglary, violence against women and children, putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.
The confidence local people have in the police has increased from 71-73% although there is still work to do to reach a top 10 national position. There has been an increase in ASB victim satisfaction from 81.5% to 83.9% and I see a lot of work in this area first-hand. The first Commissioner's Community Action Fund received a number of bids for preventative ASB work whether that was Friday night activities for young people or mentoring schemes.
Only this week I recognised the excellent work of Arran Bees, in the PCC's first Pride Awards. Arran runs Hanham Youth Club and he has really built up a fantastic support network for the young people. I have visited on a Friday night young people tell me that one of their many reasons for being there is because they feel safe. It's as simple as that. We must make sure there are places where young people can go, where they can hang-out with their friends and if necessary get support and feel safe. Anti-social behaviour is such a broad term. It really means different things to different people from cycling on busy pavements, littering, and abuse to criminal damage.
A focus for me over August is being able to improve our understanding of people's perceptions of ASB in their local area. I also want to better understand the way in which local people prefer to contact the police and their awareness of opportunities to have a say on local issues. This month there will be a telephone survey across Avon and Somerset with residents, so we can better understand the picture and look at what more we can all do - the police, councils, local people and voluntary organisations together.
I caught the bus home from Bristol this week and it reminded me of a meeting I had with First Bus recently. If a young person buys a ticket on a night out they automatically get a return for the night bus home. I thought this was a great idea. The thought of your children spending all their money forgetting how they were going to find their way home is worrying as a parent. This is a great scheme by a business supporting safety in the evening. If I knew who's idea it was they too would have received a PCC's Pride award this week.
August 20-29 is a note to put in your diary if you are interested in joining as a Special Constable – so if you have a free 16 hours available each month, you are fit and self-confident, have a look at the police website http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/recruitment/specials/