From Grass roots policing to London conference

I’m often asked what my role involves, who I meet, and what I do with my time as Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, so thought it might help to start providing a brief round-up on my weekly activities.

Ron Ball 2Things started with a positive at my regular weekly meeting with Warwickshire’s Chief Constable Andy Parker, highlighting the performance of the force, including some excellent statistics where we have seen a drop in burglaries of business premises.

Work with young people in reaching them early and preventing them entering a life of crime was the subject of a fascinating meeting with Warwickshire County Council’s Head of Early Intervention, Hugh Disley. It was particularly good to see how different agencies including the police and many statutory and voluntary groups are working with young people to help keep them engaged and out of trouble.

The West Midlands Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, Pauline Hadley, gave me a very interesting insight into the direction Crimestoppers is going. Moving away from its association with the police in an attempt to access information from people who might not want to be seen, or like to, have contact with the police.

It was very much back to grass roots policing mid-week when I joined PCSOs in Shipston-on-Stour and the local Neighbourhood Watch team. I once again found myself explaining the role and what I am in office to achieve, a message I clearly need to work on getting out there. It’s at these meetings where your eyes are opened to what some might consider to be minor offences, but are incredible important to a local community, even a problem such as dog fouling.

Yesterday I was at a Criminal Justice Conference in London with most of the other Police and Crime Commissioners from around the country, and there were some interesting discussions about the development and future role of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. I chaired a meeting of the independent commissioners and the feeling generally is that the association is important and will continue into the future.

The afternoon focussed more on the criminal justice agenda, and it was good to hear the views of Lord Leveson on the judicial process.

Today I’m meeting with an ex-member of the Police Authority Dorrette McAuslan, who used to pioneer work of diversity and equality. It will be particularly valuable to talk to her ahead of attending the LGBT History Month event tomorrow at Leek Wootton.

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