- Today marks 100 working days since Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Chris Nelson was elected
- Although voting took place on 10 May, votes were not counted and the result declared for a further four days
- Mr. Nelson’s main focus since then has been on strategic and financial issues relating to the Constabulary, drafting his police and crime prevention strategy and how to provide the extra 300 officers promised in his manifesto
- He said, “From the moment the result was declared, my mind has been on areas where I believe our Constabulary needs support to fight crime and keep us safe”.
Today marks 100 working days since the election of Chris Nelson as Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Although votes were cast on 6 May, they were not counted until four days later when Mr. Nelson’s victory over his predecessor Martin Surl was declared.
A veteran of the British Military who retired as a full Colonel, having played his part defending democracy in the First Gulf War and protecting the vulnerable on the streets of Northern Ireland, he has described being the PCC as his ‘biggest job’.
“It was definitely a strange feeling waiting four days before the votes were counted and to be truthful, I never expected to win. But I am proud to have been elected and will do my level best to repay the trust the people of Gloucestershire have put in me”, he said.
Biggest percentage growth of any police force in England and Wales.
Mr. Nelson’s main focus from day one has been on strategic and financial issues relating to the Constabulary, fulfilling the statutory requirement of drafting his Police and Crime Prevention Plan and how to provide the extra 300 officers promised in his manifesto, which lead to an immediate freeze on spending and any projects not already under contract.
“It has been an exhausting process but I am pleased that focusing on strategic and financial issues has led to an agreed plan with the Chief Constable to recruit 300 more officers, 150 more Special Constables/Volunteer Police Community Support Officers and 103 more police staff.
“These extra resources represent a 26% increase in establishment, the biggest percentage growth of any police force in England and Wales.
“It will give us more officers to reinforce Neighbourhood Policing, more resources to improve the failing 101 non-emergency answering service, a new emphasis on supporting victims and a better understanding of local crime trends, so we can become the safest area in the whole country”.
Mr. Nelson’s other main election promises around anti-social behaviour, crime in the countryside and the increase during the lockdown of pet theft are also being addressed.
“A steep learning curve but a challenge I am relishing”
“Some people see anti-social behaviour as low level crime and less important than other offences. I see it as a curse on communities which can seriously affect people’s quality of life and have agreed a zero tolerance approach with the Chief Constable”, he said.
“I am pleased the Constabulary is having some success in tackling rural crime and organised crime groups. I have reviewed its plans to reduce violence against women and girls and also its measures for improving road safety and confronting another malaise of lockdown, speeding. I am also proud to have been part of the working party that recommended tougher penalties against dog theft and look forward to that happening through the courts.
“It has been a steep learning curve but a challenge I am relishing. I believe we have a good force but one that can be even better. That is why I am now switching my focus onto more operational matters, so I can hold the Chief Constable to account on how he proposes to deliver the county’s crime fighting priorities while we wait for the extra resources to arrive”.