Last Wednesday, I hosted a discussion with Chief Constable Suzette Davenport and other senior officers from the Constabulary. This discussion was broadcast live from the chambers of Stroud District Council, and is part of my fulfilling of the role of Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account. It was our second ever webcast, and it is a medium which I’m happy to embrace, as it’s important for the Constabulary and the OPCC to involve the public where we can, and to be honest with you about the challenges of policing in the county.

The webcast was broadcast live from the chambers of Stroud District Council

Neighbourhood policing was at the top of the agenda. Wherever I go in the county I am always asked about it, and I was honest that in my opinion, it has been eroding over the last few years. I questioned Chief Superintendent Joanna Smallwood about the strategy in regards to Neighbourhood Policing and the timeframe of which the public can expect it to be implemented. We discussed a number of issues, including the fall in crime in Gloucestershire, and what the causes of that might be, the wellbeing and recruitment of police officers, and the community benefits of the investment of the Commissioner’s Fund.

It was a lively, informative and honest discussion, and one that I was glad to share with the public. It also gave me the opportunity to thank Suzette for her hard work and support over the last few years, and to wish her the very best for the future.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl took part in a live webchat with members of the public

We plan to hold more webcasts in the future, so don’t worry if you missed this one – it is still available to watch here:

The webcast was followed by a webchat, where Suzette and I answered questions posed to us from members of the public. Among other topics, we answered questions on police vehicles, types of rising crime trends, the Police and Crime Bill, anti-social behaviour and the Commissioner’s Fund. This webchat is also available to see here:

(From L to R) Head of Corporate Services Hannah Young, Chief Superintendent Joanna Smallwood, Deputy Chief Constable Rod Hansen, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, Assistant Chief Constable Gary Thompson and Detective Chief Superintendent Bernie Kinsella.