Here are some examples of how the Commissioner’s Fund is making a difference, funding local organisations and local projects
Accessibility and accountability
Neighbourhood policing in Stroud and Dursley will be enhanced by the provision of three electric cycles – two for Stroud and one for Dursley. PCs and PCSOs will be able to travel quickly and economically around the local area without the necessity of using a police vehicle.
Electric cycles are a well-established technology and with the introduction of lithium batteries they are suitable for use in large and hilly geographical areas like Stroud. Their use will raise the profile of the Neighbourhood Policing Team and maximise engagement opportunities across the district
The bikes have been funded by the PCC and the purchase meets many of the PCC’s priorities, primarily 'Accessibility and accountability' and 'Safe days and nights for all'.
“The bikes can travel 40 miles before a re-charge is required so they are an efficient and eco-friendly way to patrol a large geographical area, ensuring that police staff remain a visible and reassuring presence in our communities and I hope they will make life a little easier for our PCSOs as they cycle around the hilly Stroud locality.” said Mr Surl.
The bikes, an A2B Hybrid 24 model, have been agreed as part of a pilot scheme to assess their value to the constabulary. They were purchased from eCycle UK (http://www.ecycleuk.com/index.html) based in John Street in Stroud who have the largest selection of electric bikes in Gloucestershire.
Older but not overlooked
New milestone reached as more businesses pledge to Keep Safe
It started as a small group of 10 memory clubs in the Cotswolds. Now, ‘Keep Safe’ has a 1,000 businesses signed up and its network reaches throughout the county.
They provide a safe haven for more than 6,000 of Gloucestershire’s most vulnerable people who carry the Keep Safe card.
The Cirencester branch of the Halifax today (5.3.15) became the 1000th signatory. Branch manager Robert Lewis said, “Halifax Bank are delighted to be supporting Keep Safe. All five branches in Gloucestershire have signed up because we want to support our communities we work and live in.
“If you know of any vulnerable people please get them to register in this very worthy scheme”.
‘Keep Safe’ was set up in 2010 as a partnership involving a number of bodies including Gloucestershire County Council, the Police and the NHS. In September 2013 The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire Martin Surl commissioned Memory Clubs UK – a community interest company – to develop and expand the scheme.
It is one of more than 100 schemes underwritten by the Commissioner’s Fund and now offers support to more than 6,000 registered members with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia across the county.
Keep Safe Director, Kelly Hennessey-Ford, said: "Our aim was to build and broaden the scheme and with the help of the Commissioner we continue to do that. Since he pledged his support, we have been able to recruit many of the big chain stores and high street names - the Halifax is the latest.
“They are all training their staff in adult awareness and their premises display the Keep Safe logo so that people who are vulnerable know that inside is a place where the people will keep them safe from harm and abuse”.
Mr. Surl said, “If we are to make Gloucestershire an even better place, we have to think of how we safeguard the most vulnerable members of society. Ultimately we’re trying to encourage stronger and more inclusive communities where everyone can feel safe and welcome.
“Keep Safe is an outstanding example of how community groups and organisations have embraced new opportunities offered through the police and crime plan”.
Anyone can register as a member of Keep Safe, which identifies safe places where help can be sought when required. Keep Safe users carry a card with their details and an emergency contact number which can be shown to specially-trained staff at shops and businesses displaying the Keep Safe logo.
If a member needs help while they are away from home they have only to look for the Keep Safe logo in the windows of shops and businesses that have signed up to the Scheme where staff are trained to come to their aid.
Young people becoming adults
Turning young people away from crime earns local police project top UK award
It was set up with the aim of giving young people a purpose and steering them away from crime. Today, the Cheltenham based Aston Project is recognised as a leader in its field after winning a national award.
The Aston Project, which is run by Gloucestershire Police with funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner, was shortlisted by the Howard League for Penal Reform in its annual Community Programmes Awards and came first in the ‘Police led diversion – young people’ category.
The award was presented by HRH the Princess Royal at the Howard League’s annual conference in London (yesterday).
The Aston Project originally came into being under the concept of preventing and deterring anti-social behaviour among youths in St.Paul’s, Cheltenham. It was re-named in September 2011 in memory of PC Lynn Aston, a committed and popular community officer who died of cancer that year - and in recognition of a much broader approach to youth engagement, not just targeting young offenders.
It offers local young people aged 10 to 18 the opportunity to earn time credits by getting involved in a range of clubs and workplaces, and then spend those credits on their own choice of activities and experiences they would not otherwise have the opportunity to do.
PC Lea Butcher, who co-ordinates the project said, “On behalf of our young people, our staff, supporters, partners and funders, I was very honoured, and surprised, to receive this award from HRH Princess Anne.
It is tribute to the hard work of our young people and our team over the last 2 ½ years, and we would all like to say thank you to our funders, the PCC Martin Surl, and all our many and varied supporters, especially Ruth Fitzjohn, who came with me to receive the award and whose support has been invaluable. It is fantastic to have our Project recognised; we are all very proud of it, and I’m sure Lynn would be too.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, whose policies support a number of schemes designed to help young people become responsible adults, said, “We’ve all known that the Aston Project has been doing great work in the local community for years. Getting national recognition is a fitting tribute.
“It’s the sort of scheme I want to encourage because it’s an excellent example of the kind of sensitive, relevant and effective policing that’s needed to turn our young people away from crime and anti-social behavior and help them become law-abiding, productive members of society”.
Partnership Inspector Andy Davies said, “I am honoured that the judging panel (made up of young people) felt that the Aston Project was worthy of an award.
“I believe that this is great recognition for the hard work of the staff and young people on the project. We will continue to look at ways to develop the Project further over the coming years.”
Safe days and nights for all
New card system to root out troublemakers in city centre
Troublemakers are being warned: Misbehave in Gloucester and you’ll get a yellow card. Carry on and you’ll not only be kicked out of the city but you’ll probably face a ban as well.
The Yellow Card System is one of the measures being introduced to make Gloucester City Centre a better place to live, work and socialise.
'Safe days and nights for all' is one of Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl’s five priorities. To help implement the policy, he’s funding the new post of Gloucester City Safe Co-Ordinator whose job will be to link the police, city council, licensees, businesses and other organisations in a partnership approach to creating more peace and good order. The Citysafe Scheme will receive £59,930 over two years.
Gloucester Local Policing Area Chief Inspector Richard Burge said, “A lot of good work has already been done to improve both the day and night time economy in Gloucester. We want people to have a good experience when they come into the city, and for those who want to cause trouble to be aware of the consequences. They could be banned from shops, pubs and clubs in Gloucester for anti-social behaviour.”
The Gloucester City Safe Co-Ordinator’s job will be to make the city a safer place, day and night, by:
- reducing anti social behaviour
- reducing alcohol related crime and disorder, particularly relating to the night time economy
- reducing daytime crime, especially begging and shoplifting
- making everyone who works, lives or visits Gloucester feel safer
The priority is to make Gloucester a safer and more peaceful place to visit at night. The daytime environment will also be monitored along with schemes like Shopwatch, the early-warning system which targets shoplifters and other anti-social behaviour.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said the funding would add to the good work already underway:
“The majority of people want to enjoy our city centre and help the local economy but a small minority want to spoil it for everybody else. The message for people intent on causing trouble is that they will face the consequences if they misbehave”.
Safe and social driving
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl made 'Safe and social driving' one of his priorities to try and improve road safety in Gloucestershire and the way motorists behave towards one another.
Pathfinder is an offshoot of the Under 17 Car Club and is one of the projects he actively supports.
Pathfinder runs two week long courses in Gloucestershire every year in the Spring and Autumn for novice drivers who are too young to drive on the road but are usually planning to drive as soon as they are old enough to start lessons.
The most recent was at Throckmorton Airfield earlier this month.
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From Sue, the mother of Liam a student on the course with the triple challenge of autism, aspergers and diabetes. Mum was very hesitant about bringing him but was persuaded. This is what she had to say:
“What an amazing week!
I am so proud of Liam, especially being ‘Student of the week’, which was so unexpected & something I would never have thought possible. He was fabulous & I really didn’t think we would have lasted the course.
Please pass on our thanks again to all of the team, because it wouldn’t have happened without the support of all of you being so patient with us, especially Liam. He grew in confidence and self esteem, realising that he can achieve these things and has now done something that his peer group at school have not done.
Many thanks again”
It is now estimated there are around 1,000 cyber-attacks on small businesses every hour, every day. That is why Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl and Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Richard Berry stepped- up the fight against cybercrime when they launched the country’s first Safer Cyber Forum at a business conference in Cheltenham.
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As well as advising traders on how to stay safe on the internet, they updated business representatives on the progress the Constabulary is making to combat the threat.
‘Safer Cyber’ was added to the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan priorities in April 2014 following overwhelming support from the public who wanted more done to prevent things like internet fraud and online bullying.
Click here for message from the Police and Crime Commissioner
“The internet provides a wide range of opportunities but it also has a dark side which criminals have been quick to exploit. It has made people vulnerable both at home and at work. As a result, people have lost vast sums of money after being ripped-off by conmen and many young lives have been ruined on social media.
“I want us to be proactive in our approach to building a safer cyber environment for Gloucestershire and I believe the business community has a big part to play in developing partnerships that really do make a difference”.
ACC Berry said:
“Cybercrime is an issue we all have to face up to. It is a key priority within the UK’s Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) which means every police force, large or small, has to make a contribution.
“The Constabulary will launch our unique Safer Cyber Forum at the event and we will welcome the engagement and support of the business community to help protect each other as we go forwards. This will be the first of its kind in the UK.
“Gloucestershire Police must be able to contribute effectively to any form of cyber-attack on a national scale and to develop our own cybercrime capabilities beneath that level of threat”.
Cybercrime was one of the themes of the two-day Gloucestershire Business Show held at Cheltenham Racecourse. The Constabulary’s safer cyber co-ordinator and cybercrime harm reduction advisor are also taking part. There were workshops looking at business awareness of the risks around cyber security; practical housekeeping around business protection and the advice available to allow a business to stay up to date.
Click here for a reaction from business representatives at the conference
Another session will explain the Constabulary’s aim to develop a multi-tiered cyber-security forum.
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