Road safety will become an additional priority for Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens as part of a refreshed Police and Crime Plan for Avon and Somerset which is lanched today.
Four priorities were set by Sue Mountstevens in 2012, soon after being elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The plan has been reviewed and the introduction of road safety as a priority recognises the importance of the issue to local communities.
Speaking about her decision, Sue said:
“Road safety is something which is regularly raised with me when I go out and meet with people and in the mail I receive. It’s an issue which means different things to different people; for some it is drivers speeding near their homes and schools, for others it is people using mobile phones and sometimes it can be the potential for conflict between different road users. What is clear to me is that people want to feel safe on and near our roads and I believe it’s right that we should be clearly saying that this is a priority for us.
“Whilst a greater focus on road safety will bring further benefits to our communities, we should acknowledge the work that is already taking place to help keep our roads safe. The police are well supported by local residents with Community SpeedWatch schemes, a free Road Smart education course for drivers was launched last year and has had an excellent start and static speed cameras are now back on and supporting mobile speed vans and motorbikes. We need to build on this momentum so that all road users are safe and feel safe.”
In including road safety as a priority reflects the results of a regular crime survey carried out in Avon and Somerset and which ask people what the priorities for Avon and Somerset Police should be. Around four in ten people provided a response which falls under road safety.
To deliver the priority, Sue Mountstevens will hold the Chief Constable to account on the delivery of four key objectives; supporting practical and evidence-led partnership approaches to road safety initiatives, supporting the development of Community SpeedWatch and road safety volunteers, ensuring high-quality road safety investigations and improving visible policing on our roads.
The Police and Crime Plan sets out Sue Mountstevens’ aims, objectives and priorities in support of her role securing an efficient, effective, and accountable police service and one which is responsive to local needs.
PCC Sue Mountstevens’ five priorities are:
- Reducing the impact of anti-social behaviour
- Tackling domestic and sexual abuse
- Preventing and reducing burglary
- Improving road safety for all road users
- Putting victims first
Good progress continues to be made in delivering the priorities including:
- Confidence in Avon and Somerset Police increasing from 71% in 2012/13 to 79% in 2014/15 – one of the top-10 best performing forces in this area.
- The number of cases of anti-social behaviour which are fully resolved rising from 38% in 2012/13 to 57% in 2014/15.
- 92% of burglary victims satisfied with the service provided by Avon and Somerset Police – one of the top-10 best performing forces in this area.
- Savings required by 2018/19 reduced from £62m in 2012/13 to £23m in 2014/15 and an Outstanding rating for delivering efficiency by Her Majesties’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Talking about the plan, Sue Mountstevens said:
“The Police and Crime Plan sets out my approach and priorities as the Police and Crime Commissioner and how I will work with the Chief Constable to make sure they are delivered. Importantly, I’ve set performance indicators so that progress can be measured with clear objectives so that it’s clear where we are doing well – and if there are any areas that need additional scrutiny.
“I’m pleased with the progress made so far and that increasingly people have confidence in their police service. The plan runs until 2017 and there is still much I want to achieve for the people of Avon and Somerset. Neither I nor the Constabulary will become complacent and we’ll continue working hard to deliver the plan and ensure that policing in our communities is the best it can be.”
Cyber-crime – including online theft, harassment and sexual offending – is also recognised in the new Police and Crime Plan as an area which is increasing and which presents new challenges for the police in protecting vulnerable people and tackling and reducing offending.
The updated Police and Crime Plan is now available to view online and subsequently in hard copy from libraries and other public buildings or by contacting the PCC’s office directly.
To find out more about how you can join or start a Community SpeedWatch team in your neighbourhood click here.