The Government’s most recent ministerial appointment will make her first official visit to Gloucestershire tomorrow (Thursday).
Victoria Atkins was promoted to the Home Office as Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism following the resignation of Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel.
Ms Atkins, 41, is MP for Louth and Horncastle and stood as the Conservative candidate for Gloucestershire in the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election in 2012.
In a letter inviting her to a meeting at Police Headquarters ahead of the visit, PCC Martin Surl outlined what’s being done to combat violent crime in Gloucestershire. He said, “The Constabulary is doing a lot of proactive work around prevention and enforcement, especially around the gang and dangerous drugs network (DDN) related violence.
“My office (OPCC) funds a number of initiatives - some working with the police, such as the diversion work carried out by the Great Expectations and the Aston Project through mentoring and educational programmes in schools and in the wider community.
“We’re also currently working with Crimestoppers (Fearless campaign) to get a youth worker into secondary schools in Gloucester to talk about the impact of knife crime. And we’re linked in with the judiciary and other partners in the successful Court ‘call-ins’ where young people who may have been on the ‘wrong path’ receive a series of hard hitting presentations at court about knife crime. I understand this scheme is now pushed by the Home Office as best practice.
“Over the last 2 years Gloucestershire and specifically Gloucester and Cheltenham have seen an increase in violent incidents, as is the national trend. We’ve had a few high profile attacks and victims and I felt it was something that needed a more cerebral approach.
“Violent crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility and not just that of the police. Under the direction of my Deputy Chief Executive and supported by Leadership Gloucestershire we have now established a ‘Safer Gloucestershire’ committee, to look at the wider community safety agenda in a more joined up and multi-agency approach.
“Congratulations on your recent appointment as Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism. I wish you well in your new role and look forward to working with you”.