Lies damned lies and statistics, its been the running theme from one of the PCC candidates in this years election* (and also last years postponed election). The willingness to simply trot out facts and figures, without any context, painting a negative picture of our county, in an apparent effort to win votes seems to fly directly in the face of one his election ‘pledges’ to ‘stamp out spin’. It feels something akin to the Trump play book of politics where people are quite happy to fan the fear of crime for political ends.
One of the advantages of having a Police and Crime Commissioner over the old system is that when an opportunity arises, decisions can be made more quickly. For example, in 2015 when I heard that the well-known photographic film company Kodak was about to put a three storey building on the Waterwells estate on the market, I was able to move quickly and snap it up as a new home for the Constabulary’s investigations teams.
Rural Crime or crimes in our rural communities are NOT ... I repeat NOT out of control! This election has been marred for me, with people being very economical with the truth or I would go as far as saying telling out right lies. But I will continue to tell the truth and keep my promises to you.

As an animal lover and dog owner, I understand the heartbreak of losing a family pet and I abhor the opportunist increase in dog theft that has evolved during the pandemic. Of course, penalties for offenders should be more severe to act as a deterrent to...

Police numbers are really important.

We know that because we saw the impact it had when the number of officers nationally was cut by 20,000 – a figure that did not include the many support staff and other Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) also lost at that time.

I have been honoured to serve as your Independent Police and Crime Commissioner since 2012. I have kept my word, delivered everything I promised and kept party politics out of local policing. I hope you will let me continue.

When I read Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk’s column in the Echo, which began ‘All crimes matter’, I thought I could not have put it better myself.

Then it occurred to me that actually I had, on page 27 of the same newspaper.

Two Gloucestershire police stations, earmarked for closure a decade ago, will  be  open to the public once more.

 Lydney Police Station in the Forest of Dean, which was re-opened a year ago, is now trialling a public reception.

Barton Street in Gloucester will follow suit as soon as the building has been adapted to receive visitors. 

Giving the public a voice on local policing issues was one, if not the most important reason that Police & Crime Commissioners were created in 2012, and it’s something I take exceedingly seriously. How that voice is heard and how it’s communicated to the chief constable and his officers is an important question, perhaps best illustrated by an increase in pet thefts over this last year. 
Today the Government will outline the first part of its review into the role of Police & Crime Commissioners. It's a two stage review, the second part will be published after May's elections.
In my manifesto in 2016 I made a promise to put money aside for a business case to be prepared for investing in Gloucestershire Constabulary’s operations base. Well we've not only had the business case, we've made the decision to invest, planners have now given it the green light  and this week the bulldozers have started work to get the site ready.

True to my word - road safety was a priority in 2012 on being elected and its still a priority in 2021.

And we are delivering on our word to empower local communities to come forward and tell us where there is a problem.
As Police & Crime Commissioner, my role is to be your voice in #policing in #gloucestershire .
One part of the role, and something i take really seriously is the being the voice of victims.

How could they have got it so wrong? Last week the Health Secretary dashed the hopes of frontline officers when he decided they would get no priority in vaccine rollout. Worse than that, they wouldn’t even be getting the left overs! Damaging for moral The Chair of the Police...

We can all agree that “You can’t please all the people all the time”.

We all have differing views, good days and bad days and none of us are perfect or infallible.

You could not have survived in either of my former professions if you thought otherwise.

Gloucestershire Police, RSPCA and council officers today seized more than a dozen dogs on a site near Gloucester.

A mixture of breeds were seized by police.

A number of other dogs were taken into the protection of RSPCA and Stroud District Council dog wardens.

This last month I've been canvassing your views on whether you can and are willing to, pay more for policing in Gloucestershire. My office has conducted a survey using social media as well as a written letter to every household. This year more so than any other I really needed to hear from the public before making my mind up about putting up taxes.

I was delighted to see Gloucestershire ahead of the rest for its vaccine roll out, which calls for an unequivocal big thank you to all the surgeries, vaccine centres, volunteers, firefighters and many others who made it possible. 

But could we do even better?

You might remember before Christmas the government announced the funding for policing in Gloucestershire for the next year. You might also recall it wasn't as clear cut as ministers were promoting.. i.e. Gloucestershire was "getting" an extra  £6.6 million this year...
The headline issued before Christmas from the Government with regards to police funding was full of festive cheer.... £6.6 million investment in policing in Gloucestershire was the headline as you can see from the main picture with this article. BUT... that figure was not the whole picture.
On BBC Radio Gloucestershire this week, I heard a presenter encouraging his listeners to put up their Christmas decorations. Whether you regard the last weekend in November as too early to be ‘decking the halls’ is a matter of personal choice, although many shops have decided not to delay their festive displays any longer when in previous years they would have been out before bonfire night.

Today, I refer you to the British writer C.S. Lewis, probably best known for his ‘Tales of Narnia’ who said “You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.

For while even the most optimistic person will have found 2020 challenging, I believe we will win the battle with Coronavirus and emerge better for it.

One of the groups most isolated by lockdown is also the most at risk on Gloucestershire’s roads, once lockdown lifts. That is according to Gloucestershire’s Older Drivers Forum, which suggests that drivers are more at risk of serious collisions as they age, due to the pressures added by the Covid-19 lockdown.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition verses the General Data Protection Regulation.. a battle of the acronyms. But ... it’s now official - privacy law will not get in the way of educating speeding motorists. That's what nearly happened though, but thankfully due to communities not accepting it and with the backing from my office - sense has prevailed.
Yes you read the headline right. I have been praised for my vision and determination to get Gloucestershire Police a new training facility. The force which is the oldest outside of London has never had its own proper training facility.... it does now!
... investing now for the future. In my 2016 manifesto I talked about investing in the future of the force, its people and its infrastructure that became part of my Police & Crime plan, see page 5   . Today we launched a consultation on plans for the forces new operations centre based a Bamfurlong.
The recent Reported Missing’ documentaries on the BBC have been a credit to Gloucestershire Constabulary. What has been really nice for me, is to see the many positive comments from you the public who were impressed by the police officers professionalism and compassionate approach.

A caped crusader or someone politicking and creating fear for political ends? I’ll leave that for you to decide. As someone who spent his first career covering politics and writing headlines, I get the need to grab people’s attention. But I have always believed in presenting the...

New methods of working, brought about by the pandemic, is reinforcing Gloucestershire’s reputation as the ‘greenest’ constabulary in the country.

Increased working from home, less printing and online technology replacing the  need to travel miles to meetings are all recognised now as ways of saving energy.

Road safety for me remains one of my key priorities as Gloucestershire's Police & Crime Commissioner. But a report out this week by  HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has said that roads policing in England and Wales has become less important.  HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said: 
“Our inspection suggests that roads policing, despite the number of road deaths plateauing and likely to increase, is seen as less of a priority than it should be.

The report was critical of some of my PCC colleagues who don't include road safety in their police and crime plans or make little reference, that is despite the high number of people still killed on the country’s roads each year.

To meet this newspaper’s print deadlines * , I am required to submit copy for this column by the Tuesday before publication at the latest. I leave the subject as late as possible to make it topical and stick to local issues to make it relevant.

I was about to submit this week’s offering when the latest pictures of the riots in America following the death of George Floyd appeared on TV. It was easy to see why it was the first story, other than the daily update on coronavirus, to lead our national news bulletins. 

The events surrounding the shocking death of George Floyd have really troubled me. Policing in the UK is very different to that of the USA. We police by consent.

From the day she was conceived Gloucestershire let her down.  Before she was even born, in 2009, she was made the subject of a ‘Child Protection Plan’ because there were serious concerns based on the neglect already shown to her half-sister Charlotte.  By the time she was...

Today things change in Gloucestershire. COVID-19 restrictions have eased, but that does not mean we should be complacent about this virus, which has taken the lives of so many. It is still here, this crisis is not over and we all have a part to play in helping to slow the spread of the virus.

This Thursday should have been Election Day for me. Instead, like so many other events, it was an early casualty of coronavirus.

Like many of the thousands of GCSE and A level students whose exams were cancelled, I felt a sense of frustration that having worked hard, stayed the course, prepared well and had a reasonable - though not certain - level of confidence in the outcomes we never had the chance to prove it. At least I get a second chance next year.

Along with the overwhelming majority, I support the extended lockdown. Like many, though, I miss the freedoms I had just a few weeks ago and look forward to popping-out for no particular purpose or sharing a meal or pint or two with friends. ‘Big Brother’ seems...

Since the lockdown began, a high proportion of the emails from the public into my office have been about people driving fast and reckless  on the county’s largely deserted roads.

In fact, two people have been killed in separate collisions and the Constabulary’s camera enforcement team recently recorded speeds of 104 mph on a road with a 60 mph limit; and 74 mph in a 30 mph limit. Speeds of up to 122 mph have been recorded on the Gloucestershire stretch of the M5.

Publication deadlines mean that as I write this, the Prime Minister remains in intensive care and we await the next bulletin on his condition in the hope of better news, and that he makes a full recovery. Yet while Mr. Johnson is among the highest profile...

Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable and my message this Easter is clear .... we need the public to abide by the Government’s social distancing rules and stay at home. It is my job to hold the Chief Constable Rod Hansen to account on your behalf . I do this through regular formal and informal meetings.  But in these different times, even the way I hold to account has to change and adapt to the world we are currently living in.

Victims of crime and personal antisocial behaviour in Gloucestershire will be able to access innovative and additional support as a new Victim Support service launches in the county....

The most vulnerable during this pandemic need the support of the government. That's why I have written to the Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland, I want ministers to get tough on  criminals who target the elderly during the Corona Virus crisis.

I have been very impressed to see how communities are beginning to support each other during these unprecedented times. Making sure our service providers are paid on time is another way I think the police can play its part.

That’s why I have asked the Constabulary to be sure to pay its suppliers promptly – and in my role as vice chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, I am calling-on other PCCs to do the same.

.. that's the mantra from the Home Secretary and the Government now. And whilst I and others agree with the sentiment, its more nuanced than that.

Every crime matters, because every victim matters. That is the new mantra I have set for the police in our county.

Times have been tough, but now we have been told that austerity is over our police must turn their attention to the crimes that have not attracted sufficient attention for far too long. By this I mean burglary, theft, anti-social behaviour and other similar category offences that were allowed to slip down the order of priorities because dwindling resources meant other ‘more serious’ crimes were targeted.

My office has today issued a press release on something that might seem like a small announcement but I think its show my commitment to the "green agenda" through my priority of a "Green & Pleasant" county.  I don't believe in green wash, hopefully if you know me, you know If I say I will do something I will do it (or at least explain why I wasn't able to do it), something I don't think applies to all elected officials.
A lot has been made of the new investment in policing (acknowledging austerity went too far),  But its not just the police where investment is needed its needed in the rest of the criminal justice system too. Later this week, I will publish a report into Court provision in Gloucestershire.
My role is not really about direct power, it's about how I, and my office, can influence and set the agenda. The last decade has been tough on the police, as it has been for many areas of society.  However, I do believe there is light around the corner. It will take time but things WILL get better.

After a decade of cuts, its nice today to have my budget of hope given the green light by councillors from all the main parties and some independents as well.

My plan will see £1m put towards improving how the police and the public talk to each other and its great it won unanimous backing of Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Panel.

It’s not every day you arrest a Bishop’. Those were words as a young detective constable in Gloucester that I remember Detective Inspector Wayne Murdoch saying back in 1993. 

He was of course referring to the arrest of Bishop Peter Ball who was the subject of the BBC 2 documentary ‘Exposed, The Church’s Darkest Secret’ which was aired last week.

Gloucestershire Constabulary is on target to grow its frontline by more 300 officers and staff over the next three years as a result of government funding announced yesterday by the Home Office. Providing that the Government maintains Gloucestershire’s current allocation of funding, the Constabulary will hit...

Cross in the box I don’t want to be defined by where I put a cross in the 2016 referendum. I don’t want to have to second guess what you, my family and friends did either. Whilst there will be a myriad of views and maybe...

What did you make of the confessions of those hoping to become our next Prime Minister? Before anyone accuses me of going ‘all political’, I view their admissions purely in the context of almost 40 years in policing; and I have to say I was saddened that in...

“Lock them up and throw away the key” is the attitude of some when it comes to dealing with criminals. Whilst in my early days as a police officer I did sometimes think that was the right course of action for lots of cases ,...

Nick Hurd the Policing Minister has told me that he and the Home Secretary will not be making a decision on my case for a change in governance of GFRS until after next May’s PCC election. Disappointment Whilst I understand why the decision has been made, due to time...

The Government finally gets it .... today's announcement by the Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s that knife crime needs to be treated like a disease is something both my deputy @glosdeputypcc and I have been talking about for over 2 years.

Emphasising the need for a ‘public health’ approach to youth violence, Mr. Javid is calling for knife crime to be treated “like a disease”. Now it needs the financial backing and not just warm words.

There can be no doubt that firefighters hold a special place in our affections. Of all the emergency services, ‘heroic’ would be among the first words that spring to most people’s minds. Today, I should be speaking to a gathering of chief fire officers. Instead I...

Being a former journalist, call me cynical but you do get a little blasé when governments announce new laws or new money for projects. Sometimes, the cynicism is justified as quite often it might not be new money or new ideas it could be just...

Giving the public a voice on local policing issues was one, if not the most important reason that Police & Crime Commissioners were created in 2012, and it’s something I take exceedingly seriously. How that voice is heard and how it’s communicated to the chief constable and his officers is an important question, perhaps best illustrated by a spate of recent crimes involving animals.

One of the main roles of being a PCC, or a DPCC for that matter, is dealing with the public. Meeting them, talking with them, representing them and listening to them. We hear moans, complaints, concerns and also compliments, whether it be about the Police...

‘Empire building’ and an "ego thing". These are just a couple of the venomous accusations directed at me since I've challenged the current governance of Gloucestershire’s Fire & Rescue Service (GFRS). I will say it again, here, just to make it clear: When I was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner, I never had any intention of overseeing the fire service as well.

News of the new super long range enforcement camera being used by Gloucestershire Police has gone viral and features in most national and regional news coverage and many trade magazines. The A417 in Gloucestershire is notorious for all the wrong reason; a motorist being caught driving at a...

There is a reason Martin is not just the Police Commissioner but the Police and Crime Commissioner. As well as overseeing the Constabulary, setting the budget and general strategy, which we call the police and crime plan, his role encompasses everything to do with crime and the criminal...

****update**** Delighted that Finn's Law gained Royal Assent and has become law! By all accounts, we are a nation of animal lovers. And it’s true, to quote Cat Stevens, I love my dog. So why, in the eyes of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, are police dogs and horses classed as property capable of being ‘damaged and destroyed’?

I am pleased to see my suggestion for a new courthouse for Gloucestershire has prompted some debate. I first raised the issue in the local newspapers almost a year ago because conditions in our two remaining courts are barely tolerable. Victims, witnesses and the accused share the...

Neighbourhood Policing is very much a priority for the Constabulary. But because of unprecedented cuts it had been downgraded. I made it a manifesto pledge in 2016 that I would do what I could to make the police maintain and develop a new approach to neighbourhood policing because for me its the golden thread that runs through policing and without it the police will lose their effectiveness.

It is nice to think that Gloucestershire leads the way sometimes. And that certainly seems to be the case when you consider some of the issues that have dominated the news recently. Whilst national headline writers appear to have only recently woken up to the decline...

The cool kids in Cinderford thought it a joke when Forest Fighting Fit first opened over two years ago. But within minutes of stepping inside to grudgingly take a look in the way teenagers sometimes do, they were hooked. I could see why when I visited last month on a dark Monday evening to present a plaque to thank everyone involved in what they are doing. In 2015, Martin as PCC helped get it off the ground with a grant of £40,000 from the Commissioner’s Fund.
For far too long we took our eye of the ball when it came to community safety. With austerity it went down the pecking order of priorities. Statutory wise it is the job of the County Council, but it delegated the responsibilities to local districts. Thankfully due to a co-ordinated effort by leaders across Gloucestershire work was commissioned to look to what we could do to get back on track.

Exactly 23 years to the day before the new Forest of Dean Police Station was opened, ‘the Forester’ published an eight page pull-out on policing called ‘Forest Beat’. Look at it now and it’s not only the hair styles and fashions that have changed. The photographs and advertisements provide...

All of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan are aimed not only at making Gloucestershire a good place to live, work and visit but also about ensuring a society that is fair, just and compassionate. That compassion extends to animals and their ability...

All of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan are aimed not only at making Gloucestershire a good place to live, work and visit but also about ensuring a society that is fair, just and compassionate. The Older but not overlooked priority will continue...

Although we are privileged to live in a rural county, we must acknowledge the higher road safety risk that exists and that is why I will continue to make Safe & social driving a priority. 60% of all road fatalities occur on rural roads and...

I am committed to the upgrade and continued use of CCTV in the county and will continue to support local initiatives through the Commissioner’s Fund. CCTV is an essential part of policing and community safety in Gloucestershire. During my last term in office I invested in upgrading...

All of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan are aimed not only at making Gloucestershire a good place to live, work and visit but also about ensuring a society that is fair, just and compassionate. The Constabulary employs almost 1800 people, owns many...

I was the first Police and Crime Commissioner in the country to make fighting cybercrime a policing priority and this work will continue. Since launching the safer cyber priority in 2014 the Constabulary has made excellent progress, attracting praise form the Home Secretary, local business...

I do not propose anything I cannot achieve, unlike my opponents who make promises they are powerless to keep – like ‘creating a rural crime unit or putting more Bobbies on the beat’. Both sound very attractive and very desirable but they are operational matters...

I do not propose anything I cannot achieve, unlike my opponents who make promises they are powerless to keep – like ‘creating a rural crime unit’. It sound very attractive and very desirable but it is an operational matter and the final decision rests solely...

I do not propose anything I cannot achieve, unlike my opponents who make promises they are powerless to keep – like putting more ‘bobbies on the beat’. It sounds very attractive and equally desirable but it is an operational matter and therefore a decision solely...