Priorities and Plans
Putting Victims First
- This is all about making a louder voice for victims and making sure they are at the heart of the criminal justice system. Having listened to victims about their experiences we have set up a victim and witness support service for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour called Lighthouse. For those who are vulnerable, persistently targeted or intimidated, there is a bespoke service that helps victims cope with the aftermath and offers you a single voice that is with you throughout the process. This enhanced service has helped over 25,000 such victims in its first year
- We have set up additional services for victims of crime and antisocial behaviour: Advocacy services for adults, children and young people and emotional support, Independent Sexual Violence Advisors plus a support service for tackling modern slavery
- We need to do more. We need to improve access to the Criminal Justice System, to make the processes faster, simpler and less stressful. We need to make it a Criminal Justice Service not just a system. We need to work closer with the Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts, National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Services and local Prisons to reduce delays and ensure that justice is served
- Victims of crime and ASB need our support every day
- In 2012/13 this was a topic of conversation that was constantly raised at all our meetings. It gets to the heart of the community. There has been an enormous amount of work that the police have done in trying to reduce this. The police now focus not just on moving the problem but resolving the problem. This has been achieved by working in closer partnerships with our local authorities, housing associations and voluntary sector. Stronger neighbourhood policing has been a real focus on tackling ASB. The police cannot tackle this alone and much came from the Housing Association Events which we hosted in 2015 and 2016. Sharing information is key with Community Safety Partnerships and Housing.
- You tell me that over half of ASB cases are fully resolved. Restorative Justice has a part to play which results in much higher victim satisfaction rates than court processes. There is still much to be done but it is now being measured (which it wasn't before) and 76% of you are satisfied with police action.
- I want to make our neighbourhood policing teams stronger by working far more with our partners on the ground. The One Team Approach has delivered results and I want to support police in rolling this out particularly in crime and Anti-Social behaviour hotspots. This will result in increased public confidence and more robust communities
Tackling domestic and sexual abuse
I have consistently encouraged victims and survivors to come forward so that police can help. Victims are more confident in reporting these horrendous crimes and there is much better crime recording. Reporting has increased by 50% since 2012. Victims will be treated with understanding, empathy and their crimewill be recorded. We have increased funding for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors who help men and women through the criminal justice process. Last year ISVA's supported survivors through 74 criminal justice trials which resulted in combined sentences of over 170 years.
91% of survivors felt safer and protected as a result of the services provided.
With a panel of experts including professionals, academics and survivors, we have scrutinised the police's Action Plan ensuring it makes the right choices in priorities. Local people also submitted questions and the panel made recommendations in improving the police response.
Domestic Abuse have increased by 33% and Serious Sexual Abuse by 38%.
You tell me that this is still the tip of the iceberg. I will continue to support this focus for the police on crimes that have been hidden for too long. It is never the victims fault. Through collaboration with partners, we need to look at much more early intervention so that help and support is provided before lives are wrecked.
Preventing and reducing burglary
Being burgled makes us vulnerable and affects our perception of crime
- Burglaries have steadily reduced over the last few years and in 2014 hit an all-time low. There are 2500 fewer burglaries now than 4 years ago. But there is beginning to see an increase in this appalling crime. You tell me that this is an invasion into where you want to feel safe - your home.
- Over 87% of you tell me that you are satisfied with the police response even though the detection rate is low. But I am disappointed with the performance and will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account on your behalf.
- The police are improving investigations by the use of technology, community intelligence and analytical processes.
- Not only do I want you to be safe, I want you to feel safe. And being safe in your home is where this needs to start.
This is one of your greatest concerns. It can mean speeding through your towns and villages, drivers using mobile phones, parking dangerously, cyclists without lights and breaking the Highway Code. You specifically wanted this to be a priority for the PCC and it is now part of the Police and Crime Plan.
- There has been additional investment in the Speed Enforcement Unit so Avon & Somerset Constabulary now have 9 vans and 6 motorbikes. The emphasis on education backed up by enforcement. Digital speed cameras are now being switched on.
- We held a Road Safety Summit last year which helped steer the action plan for the police.
- We have a high number of Community Speed Watches and further support needs to be given to the volunteers who coordinate this vital work.
- And yet, we were the third highest area in England and Wales where more motorists were caught driving more than 100 mph in the last 12 months.
- With this emphasis on education reinforced by engagement, there is now beginning to be a drop of those killed or seriously injured. From 497 to 484, still far too many.
- Road Safety continues to be of concern to you - at public forums, at one to one meetings and emails. Money raised by those attending the Speed Awareness Courses will continue to be used to support road safety, road policing and community grants.