The Government wanted locally elected PCCs yes to oversee the local police force, but ultimately be the person with a wider remit with the primary focus of keeping crime as low as possible. Not always easy when you don’t have all the tools at your disposal.
I take the “and crime” bit of my job very seriously.
That is why I setup the Commissioner’s Fund.
The Commissioner’s Fund supports the delivery of the Police & Crime Plan. Each year I allocate 1% of the policing budget (c. £1,000,000) to the Commissioner’s Fund to support projects and programmes that seek to break the cycle of harm and offending.
Breaking that cycle of harm is critical to the success of the Police and Crime Plan and to realising our aim for Gloucestershire to remain a pleasant county to live and work in. The police can’t do this alone which is why I am
the only PCC in the county to ring fence this amount of money dedicated to early intervention and prevention work and especially the investment in partners and not just the police. The aim is to help fund local projects and programmes that are strengthening communities and helping individuals.
Since 2013 my office has funded over 440 local initiatives aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
The Commissioner’s Fund annually invites community groups, voluntary and public sector organisations (including the police) to apply for financial support from the OPCC. We fund many of the projects for up to four years, with the aim of making them sustainable by the end of this period.
There are loads of examples, but here’s just one, the loss of a youth club in Coney Hill in Gloucester has had a huge impact on the young people in that area. From a police perspective the result has been a massive rise in anti social behaviour. In 2017 through the Commissioner’s Fund we supported the community themselves reestablishing a youth club – Echoes#2 The result a small investment of a few thousand pounds is the parents and young people are making their youth sustainable and a place for people to hang out. The positive outcome – ASB has dropped by 30 % in the area. A small investment of money a huge reduction in demand on the police. That’s why i am so proud of the Commissioner’s Fund.
In fact the former Policing Minister Nick Hurd praised the fund and also my dedication to it:
I’m passionate about the public sector and as someone with 30 + years in frontline policing I care about the service, but I also recognise agencies alone are not the answer. Investing in our communities and letting local people highlight concerns and solutions rather than constantly telling people what to do, is a big mantra of mine.
I don’t just talk though –I have shown my commitment through investing in hundreds of projects sine 2013.