DECEMBER 2021: News from the A&SPCC Mark Shelford

November 22 2021

Remarkable effort and sacrifice by those who keep us safe

AS we approach the end of another year, I want to reflect on the last seven months of being your PCC. It’s been a whirlwind and there are numerous achievements since being appointed that the team and I are proud of.
I’m lucky enough to have met with officers, staff, local people, community groups and organisations across Avon and Somerset, and have gained an understanding of their concerns and views around policing and crime in their area. I will continue to meet with communities, MPs and councillors every Friday to ensure we are working in collaboration for our communities.
I’m also proud to be the PCC lead for economic and cyber crime, including fraud: one in ten people fall victim to fraud and it is because of such statistics I was inspired to take on this role.
I will continue to work at a local, regional and national level to raise the profile of this life-destroying crime, and get a grip of it to protect vulnerable people from harm.
Following a rigorous selection process, I’m also delighted to announce my preferred chief constable candidate – Sarah Crew. At the time of writing this column, I am waiting for the Police and Crime Panel hearing to take place on November 25, where I will seek confirmation of appointment of my preferred candidate.
At the start of this process, I said I was looking for a robust and innovative chief constable, who is able to inspire their workforce, and Sarah has a proven track record of strong and effective leadership. The police officers and staff in Avon and Somerset are dedicated and hard-working, and I believe that Sarah can enhance their considerable efforts and skills.
Moving on, I want to take a moment to reflect on the start of the year, which was a difficult time for all of us as we entered another lockdown. During this time – and still to this day – I was blown away by the remarkable efforts of local people and the sacrifices you made.
Unfortunately, as we enter the winter, coronavirus cases continue to increase and it is a stark reminder that the virus is still out there. Although the vast majority of the population are vaccinated and many are receiving their booster jab, please continue to exercise caution over the coming months.
Finally, I want to thank the police, NHS and other emergency and volunteer services who will be working over the festive season to ensure local people and communities are safe. It’s always a busy time of year for those who work in the emergency services, and their work does not go unrecognised.
I wish you all the best with your celebrations and may you have a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.