Crucial to the recovery from Covid19 will be the day-time and night-time economy (NTE). Businesses operating in our villages, towns and city will need all the support they can get to rise from the clutches of Covid-19 and individuals and our communities must feel safe and secure when out working, shopping and socialising. Policing the NTE in our main urban areas must be based on the needs of those communities and, again, will benefit from close working with partners in the leisure and entertainment sector and other key stakeholders including Street Pastors, Guardians, Night Safe, taxi wardens, Pub Watch and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships.
Since 2012, the OPCC has developed a very strong working relationship with the voluntary and community sectors and I will continue to commit 1% of the policing budget through the Commissioner’s Fund to continue this good work. Local communities have a key role to play in supporting policing in our county. I want the police to embed that thinking into its future planning by further developing community based schemes like Neighbourhood Watch, Community Speedwatch, Paws on Patrol, Business Crime Reduction partnerships and other like-minded initiatives.
Under ‘Safer days and nights’, I also want to see an equal focus on anti-social behaviour (ASB), which far too often I hear referred to as ‘low level’. This diminishes the impact the drip effect of ASB can have on individuals and communities. There are powers to deal with ASB from environmental to neighbourhood disputes. These powers sit with local councils and housing providers, we will support them in their efforts to tackle ASB which falls within their remit, whilst the police will focus their attention on the ASB that they can influence particularly those behaviours that lead to criminality.
It’s right to acknowledge that the police, councils and housing providers have done much to address ASB across the county and I want to support this with a coordinated approach through Safer Gloucestershire. This will help us identify not only best practice but also areas for improvement and ensure that those experiencing or dealing with ASB receive the best support. We’ve already commissioned a dedicated ASB worker as part of our wider victims’ service commissioning contract to support this work.
Above all, over the course of this Police and Crime Plan, I want the police to maintain a strong visible presence in our communities and continue to build on it in the future.