Police commissioner visits residents’ group

A group set up to tackle low-level crime around Inns Court received a visit from Avon and Somerset Police Commissioner Sue Mountstevens today (13 November).

Inns Court Residents’ Group has been running since the summer and residents have been working with PC Ben Blackmore from the Filwood Neighbourhood team to look at incidents such as speeding, littering and anti-social behaviour.

Ms Mountstevens spoke to residents at the group and listened to their concerns. She said one of the police priorities would be protecting the most vulnerable – whether it was children being sexually exploited, people with dementia being targeted or the elderly.

She told the group: “…Where we have a community which looks after each other –  there is less crime… Strong communities are safer communities. It’s about encouraging communities to come forward to work with police, the council and other agencies…”

She said she was a keen supporter of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)  – with 100 currently across Bristol and was “absolutely committed” to protecting Neighbourhood Policing Teams as much as she could.

One of the questions which came up was the time taken for 101 calls – with Ms Mountstevens saying the average time to get through was four to five minutes – but if someone was in danger or was witnessing a drug deal happening they should always call 999.

Resident Dave Woods (67) said the involvement of the residents in the group and the support of the police was making a difference to the area.

He said of the commissioner’s visit: “… She did say a few useful things I certainly didn’t know about – like the Crimestoppers confidential phone line.”

Carol Casey who runs the group with PC Ben Blackmore said: “We had a good turnout and a lot of positive things came out of it. She likes what the groups are doing  getting the community involved and the fact this community is taking back charge of their community…”

At the end of the visit Ms Mountstevens joined with members of the group in a litter pick around Marshall Walk.

She said of the meeting: “This is the best part of my job listening to local people, listening to their concerns and it’s how I can be their voice.”