August: A message from Avon & Somerset PCC

August 01 2019

We're keeping our cool ...

With the schools finishing for the holidays and the sun shining, summer is in full swing. It’s important to remember that for those working during this time, in particular those working in uniform, the heat is more than a little uncomfortable. Regardless of this, I know officers will continue to keep our communities safe and feeling safe to ensure you are able to enjoy all that summer brings.
In Avon and Somerset, we’re lucky enough to have many wonderful events take place over the summer. At the start of July, the biggest music festival in the world came to our doorstep and over 200,000 people descended on Worthy Farm for Glastonbury 2019. I was pleased to hear that crime levels at Glastonbury have remained low with 118 crimes reported this year compared to 202 in 2017, a reduction of 41.6%.
I was also delighted that St Paul’s Carnival was back again for another year as it’s a fantastic celebration of people, diversity, culture, community and music. The event proves what great things can happen when the whole city pulls together, and is a testament to the local community and the love that residents have for the place they live and work.
Most recently, we celebrated Bristol Pride and officers proudly donned rainbow colours and marched alongside revellers at the annual parade. As with the other two events I have mentioned, Pride brings local people together to celebrate our differences and allows us to share the important message that hate crimes will not be tolerated. Being targeted because of your age, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other reason is unacceptable.
It's been over three months since Operation Remedy started. The operation, which focuses on knife crime, burglary and drugs in our area, has got off to a flying start and has made notable improvements in tackling these issues. Since April, there have been 450 related offences; 33 warrants executed, 23 of which resulted in a positive outcome; a total of 287 stop searches; and 414 reports of crime from both the public and police officers.
Various stolen items have been seized, recovered and returned to the owners. Drugs have been seized, including approximately 645 cannabis plants, 12 grams of Amphetamine and 1 kilo of cocaine.
I know people will be pleased with the police’s increased focus on these issues. There’s still plenty to be done but I am delighted with the positive results the team have achieved so far. We will continue to work hard and send a clear message to criminals that coming into our villages, towns and cities to commit their crimes is not an option.
Finally, I mentioned a new initiative called the ‘Chat Bench’ that hopes to tackle isolation within the senior community. I’m delighted to read that this Avon and Somerset Police initiative has gained real traction and inspired communities as far away as the USA to start their own ‘Chat Bench’ to tackle loneliness.