Of all the priorities to reduce crime and anti social behaviour laid out in my Police and Crime plan, ‘Safe days and nights for all’ is the easiest to explain. As the advert goes, it does what it says on the tin – or at least it aims to.

That’s why I have invested nearly £60,000 in the City Safe scheme to pay for the new post of Gloucester City Safe Coordinator. It is a grant over two years to get if off the ground, after that I expect local businesses to pick up the bill.

It’s a challenging role as the post holder will provide a link between the police, the city council, licensees, businesses and other vested interests in a partnership approach to improving the experience of visitors to the city.

The job description includes the three R’s:- Reducing anti social behaviourReducing alcohol related crime and disorder– particularly relating to the night time economy and Reducing daytime crime, especially begging and shoplifting.

One former chief constable described the idea of ‘Safer days and nights’ as ‘woolly’ but I see it as an aspiration with the introduction of a City Safe Coordinator vital to a partnership approach towards reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Does it work? Well, similar benefits can be seen in the 45 local organisations I have been able to support so far and who are making an important contribution to our quality of life. A good example is the Keep Safe scheme whose logo is now springing-up on windows and doors of hundreds of buildings all over the county, identifying safe places where vulnerable members of our society can go if they feel threatened or insecure, knowing they’ll get the right support.

Another benefit of this approach is that police officers now receive more effective training in dementia and autism awareness whilst the county council is enhancing dementia awareness in schools.

So, a lot of good work is going-on to make Gloucester a safer and even more welcoming place. The challenge now is to build on that good work by continuing to provide the right climate to give businesses every opportunity to thrive and people to enjoy the facilities and services on offer.

The daytime environment will be monitored to gauge the effectiveness of schemes like ‘Shopwatch’, the early-warning system which targets shoplifters and other anti-social behaviour and by acting as a lynchpin between the police and partners, the City Safe Co-ordinator will have an important role to play in making Gloucester an even more welcoming place to visit at night.

We know from crime surveys that people’s perception of crime is often unjustified. To balance that, it’s important therefore that they are aware of the huge amount of work that’s gone into revitalising areas like Gloucester Quays.

We want people to have a good experience when they come into Gloucester and it’s fair to say the majority of people want to enjoy themselves and help the local economy in the process.

The message to those intent on causing trouble is that they will face the consequences if they misbehave.