I promised to bring your voice to policing and I hope that you can see that your views are reflected in this Plan. Listening to you is vital to better understand your needs and to make sure that the police are meeting them and improving your experience of policing. As your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) I want local people to have confidence in the police and for our communities to be safe and feel safe.
This Plan is my commitment to you. I will work hard to ensure that your police service is open, transparent, operating efficiently and effectively and delivering value for money. Over the next four years, priority will be given to those who are most vulnerable to harm. Your police service will focus on crime prevention, victim support and enforcement of the law. And the Constabulary’s workforce will treat people respectfully, fairly and be representative of the communities it serves.
As Chief Constable it’s my job to ensure that our communities across Avon and Somerset are safe and feel safe, and have the highest confidence in our policing.
Like many of my officers and staff, I see policing as a vocation and I feel deeply passionate about wanting us to be the very best we can be. Over the years since the start of austerity the force has lost 600 officers and we are still embedding new ways of working to be as agile and efficient as we can. We, along with health, local government and other blue light services such as fire and ambulance, see the importance of working more closely together to intervene early and protect the most vulnerable. Increasingly we are taking advantage of the opportunities that digitalisation and predictive analytics offer to help us achieve that.
Although the basic principles of our work remain the same, community expectations and the context within which we police have changed dramatically. In this global and digital world, the emphasis on communications and engagement has shifted, and we have had to move with the times too. Many in our communities no longer seek their information and contact through traditional communication and contact channels, but turn instead to active online conversations and debate about almost anything, from police operations to views on the culture and ethics of the service. And the expectations of a 24/7 response are high, even when the call for service is not a policing matter.
The role of the Panel is to scrutinise, challenge and support the PCC in the effective exercise of her functions.
The roles and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Panel are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act). Scrutinises the work of the PCC by:
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Part of my role is to ensure that the Chief Constable fulfils his duty relating to equality and diversity. In carrying out the Constabulary’s Equality Action Plan, I consider the Chief will be fostering the right culture and complying with his public sector equality duty to:
Both the OPCC and the Constabulary must publish information that demonstrates compliance with the Equality Duty. Equality objectives are set and published at least every four years.
As responsible organisations, my office, the Constabulary, and partner agencies must aim to minimise the impact on the environment in which we all live and work. The Constabulary will continue to set sustainability objectives which will include reducing the amount of energy and water used in its buildings and the fuel used by its fleet, reducing waste and recycling more, minimising business travel and making sustainability buying decisions. The Constabulary’s sustainability performance is overseen by my Chief Financial Officer.