Commissioner’s plans for a safer, stronger Gloucestershire unveiled
By Sophie Ladd | 10th September 2021
Residents in the Cotswolds were among the first to hear how the new police and crime commissioner (PCC) plans to make Gloucestershire the safest place in the country.
PCC Chris Nelson launched his draft Police and Crime Prevention Plan at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, the venue for the first of six roadshows to engage and empower communities on community safety in the County.
The document, which can now be viewed on the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) website, is open to public consultation and explains the PCC's ideas on how the police, public and a range of other partners can work together to reduce all forms of crime. It centres on the following priorities:
- Reducing anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crime and increase feelings of safety
- A strong, visible and responsive policing family
- A Criminal Justice System that supports victims and reduces reoffending
- A focus on vulnerability and victimisation
- Empowering our local communities
Mr. Nelson said, "Empowering communities is, for me, about finding every opportunity to work with people, to identify issues early and prioritise them, so that we can find practical, effective solutions to tackle these problems as partners.
"My job is to engage with communities to ensure the public's policing needs are met effectively because the partnership between the police and the public is crucial to tackling crime in Gloucestershire and that's what these roadshows are all about".
"My first Police and Crime Prevention Plan sets the strategic direction for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Gloucestershire Constabulary and other partners.
"It sets out what we are going to deliver, how we are going to deliver, and, alongside the delivery plans that will flow from this, how the public will know when we have delivered".
As well as the PCC, the Cirencester event included presentations from Chief Constable Rod Hansen - on the issues and types of crime the Constabulary is currently facing - the Superintendent responsible for policing the Cotswolds Mark Chicken, Neighbourhood Watch officer Bob Lloyd and Superintendent Paul Keasey, whose brief includes road safety and tackling one of the most anti-social elements that emerged during lockdown, speeding.
Mr. Nelson said, "Time and time again communities have told me about their concerns relating to road safety, particularly with persistent and problem speeding. Working with our parish and town councils, I want to see more community volunteer Speed Watch schemes and will support local councils in utilising technology like low-cost speed monitoring devices and / or high end ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras for evidence gathering".
The roadshow audience was made up of invited guests and members of the public with a number responding to the PCC's 'Call to action' by signing-up on the night for Neighbourhood Watch and community Speed Watch schemes, described by Mr. Nelson as "a promising start".
Roadshows covering the county's five other electoral districts are scheduled as follows:
- 20th September- Gloucester- Friendship Café Gloucester
- 21st September- Stroud -Subscription Rooms
- 22nd September- Forest of Dean - Forest Hills Golf Club, Coleford
- 11th October-Cheltenham- The Pavilion
- 13th October- Tewkesbury- Gupshill Manor
Following consultation, the final draft of the Police and Crime Prevention Plan, which will cover Mr. Nelson's three years in office, is due for publication in October.
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