Creating safer communities

Creating safer communities

I have spent a great deal of time talking to residents in Gloucestershire and it is clear that being and feeling safe are absolute priorities. When you don’t feel safe, it can affect your quality of life and how connected you feel to your community. Conversely, if you feel safe in your community, it builds civic pride and improves everything from the local environment to your own personal health.

It is for this reason that relentlessly tackling anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crimes was a manifesto pledge and is my first Police and Crime Prevention Plan priority. I want Gloucestershire to be the safest county in the country and it is for that reason that I have set my sights on a highly ambitious 50% reduction in neighbourhood crimes and anti-social behaviour. While I appreciate that this may be difficult to achieve, and that through taking a zero tolerance approach we may see reports initially increase, it is an aspiration I am committed to working towards nonetheless. I firmly believe that, through working in partnership with others, we can ensure that victims feel that their concerns are taken seriously.

Working in partnership

We can only crack down on crime by tackling its causes, and that means taking a partnership approach, working across the County to make the most appropriate interventions. This is the concept at the heart of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which acknowledges in law that community safety is everyone’s business and all of us in the public sector have a vested interest in working with communities to promote safer, stronger neighbourhoods.

Using this Act as a lever, I want to support the fantastic work done by local Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) and see more joined up county-wide activity, including with our local parish and town councils and Victim Support, to improve community safety and tackle concerns in our communities.

Concerns like persistent anti-social behaviour can have a big adverse impact on residents’ quality of life. That’s why I am reaching out to partners to ensure that we take a ‘One Gloucestershire’ approach and do all that we can collectively to respond to community concerns and reduce neighbourhood crime.

To this end, I would like to explore opportunities with partners to broaden best practice across the county under the already established Solace banner. This scheme has already proven to be effective and brings together all of the different agencies and bodies involved to intervene early and stop problems from escalating.

This is how I see my zero- tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour (ASB) developing and by ‘zero-tolerance’ I do not mean enforcement, enforcement, enforcement. I firmly believe that no incident or offence should be considered low-level or inconsequential. Zero-tolerance to me means that behaviours that cause alarm and distress to individuals and communities should receive the right intervention and at the earliest opportunity. This intervention can be from a variety of organisations but is vital so that the public have confidence that we, the appropriate authorities, care about our communities we serve.

When incidents do occur I want to make sure that we have the best support in place via our victims’ services. Through my office, we commission support for victims of antisocial behaviour as well as crime, and a bespoke service for young victims delivered by Victim Support. That service includes working with partners, such as housing providers and local authorities, as well as the police, to provide the best service possible for our victims and I remain committed to this approach as we move on. Where this doesn’t work, I will encourage and oversee the use of the Community Trigger to make sure that victims are getting the response they need.

Feelings of safety

Making sure that our residents feel safe, is just as important to me. So I am commissioning work to understand why communities feel unsafe – or why there is a lack of confidence in the police and partners in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

We will only help people feel safe, and give Gloucestershire’s residents the confidence that we are doing all we can to keep them safe, if we prioritise the crimes they are most worried about.

How we will deliver

Being present and listening to people Understanding our communities Working together Improving our services
Listening to our communities to focus attention on the crimes which have the greatest impact on them Monitoring levels of crime and anti-social behaviour and ensuring that the police and partners are tackling them Working with partners and building the response to crime and ASB in our communities by working with not doing to, so that we have the best chance for sustainable change Evaluating policies, practices and performance to ensure that we are constantly improving the way we work to provide local services that the public have confidence in
Providing resources Providing resources and improving visibility Meeting the needs of Gloucestershire residents
Supporting and resourcing community initiatives that divert people away from criminal behaviour, particularly supporting children, and helping to build safer and stronger local communities Protecting frontline policing, enhancing community safety through volunteers and providing resources for the police to deter, detect and deal with criminals Using contract development and monitoring to ensure the right service is delivered to Gloucestershire residents

 

The Commissioner’s Fund

Here in Gloucestershire, PCC Martin Surl allocates 1% of the overall policing budget to the Commissioner’s Fund, which supports county-based projects that deliver one or more of our priorities. Our aim is to work directly with communities to make Gloucestershire safer.

About the fund

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