From bullying to attacks on dogs

I’m delighted to say that my first ever Commissioners Commendation has been awarded to the staff and children of Eastlands Primary School in Rugby for their brilliant You Tube video clip on cyber bullying.

Eastlands bully videoThis was presented at last week’s public scrutiny meeting, held in Rugby, and where I can hold the Chief Constable to account on policing in Warwickshire.

The focus of the meeting was on business crime and rural crime, but the start with the Commendation to the Rugby pupils was well worth it, and I’d encourage anyone to watch it.

It’s a ten minute, wonderfully acted piece filmed in the old courthouse in Warwick and deals with bullying by text. They followed up with some very interesting questions to the Chief Constable and myself.

The Year 5 children from the Lansdowne Place school worked with film company Cine-Sthesia to produce the short film, entitled The Anti-Social Network.

The film even premiered at Rugby’s Cineworld! See below to watch the film in full.

The film aims to raise children’s awareness of ‘e-safety’, and to help educate parents and has already won the Coventry Telegraph’s school award for Healthy Living.

Meanwhile, in other work we managed to get the bulk of the interviewing completed for my Community Safety Ambassadors. I’m been really impressed by the quality of the people who have put themselves forward for this initiative.

To my knowledge I’m the only commissioner developing this scheme, although several others have shown an interest. Given that I have in excess of half a million residents to engage with I see this as an exciting and practical way for me to keep a close eye on how things are across the whole county.

I was asked to go to Parliament on Thursday to give evidence to the committee scrutinising the latest antisocial behaviour bill. There were three commissioners-myself, Tony Lloyd from Manchester, and Tim Passmore from Suffolk.

Having familiarised myself with the bill dealing with such diverse matters as dangerous dogs, the abolition of ASBOs, forced marriage, illegal firearms and the College of Policing (to name but a few aspects) our ONE HOUR was shared with three representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers to make representations. I was able to welcome the provisions of the bill dealing with attacks on assistance dogs and able to refer to my experience being guided around Warwick by one of them.

When enacted the bill will make an attack on a guide dog equivalent to an attack on a person. I wholeheartedly support that.

I had a meeting with senior probation representatives for Warwickshire to discuss the huge changes being implemented over the next couple of years. The existing system-which is entirely in the public sector-is going to be split into two. High risk offenders will still be handled by a national publicly funded service, but medium and low risk offenders will now be looked after by a payment-by-results scheme privately funded. Warwickshire’s probation service is known to be one of the best in the country. We are all going to work together to try to ensure that it remains so under the new arrangements.

I know street pastors are effective from the many reports I get singing their praises, so I thought I’d better go to see them in action. I’ll update next week on just whether I had the stamina to survive until 3am in the morning, particularly as I was due in the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio studios at 7am the next morning for an interview on the ‘Stop Rape Now’ campaign underway.

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