After 6 weeks roaming around the force area of Avon and Somerset Police area the votes have been cast and congratualtions to Sue Mountstevens who won.
I learnt a lot during these elections –
First – I was reminded what a fantastic area we live in
Second – there is very little public support for the role – outside Bristol which had local elections the turnout was about 20% – if the Government wants these positions to be important to the public it must support them more than this time when there was no freepost for the candidates.
Third – It is really clear to me that transferring the FireAuthority to them is an absolute NO.
On Police issues
– people do not want their local police stations closed and the office transferred to out of the way , remote and invisible locations. This is bad for the community and bad for police morale. For some inexplicable reason people seemed to think this was a Council fault rather than a Police Commissioner failing. I will work to make sure that people know exactly who is closing their local stations.
– people want fair and responsive police – there is a real issue in certain communities that this is not the case at present. Getting this corrected must be a priority for the Commissioner and the Chief Constable.
– people want more focus on traffic offences
– people want a more visible police presence and do not want them behind office desks
Overall I was proud to witness the hard work and dedication of our police men and women and was pleased to meet so many members of the public and talk abot police and crime issues.
In conclusion I would recommend to Governement that the position is scrapped and we revert to the Board system we had before and certainly responsibility for Fire should not be transferred to them.