JULY 2021: News from Avon & Somerset PCC Mark Shelford

June 28 2021

New funding will help to support survivors

IT'S been a busy first few weeks in office and, as I’ve toured the patch, I feel honoured to have met some incredibly dedicated, diligent and caring officers, staff and teams doing some great work within our communities to keep people safe.
A key role of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to be the voice of local people, and I want to understand your concerns, listen to your ideas and learn how best I can support. My initial focus has been to meet with police officers and staff, to understand the issues faced by our policing family and the communities they serve. As this continues, my engagement will expand to meet with residents, partners and MPs on a weekly basis, from July onwards.
I am proud to be working on your behalf and am committed to delivering the pledges I set out in my election manifesto. Your needs are central to my work, and hearing from you is very important. As a result, this summer I will be launching a consultation survey focusing on what you’d like from your police service, which will then inform our Police and Crime Plan. More information about this survey will be on our website in the coming weeks.
My team and I have gathered much momentum and have set our early priority work areas that include the Police and Crime Plan, recruiting a new Chief Constable and other important roles, reviewing governance and scrutiny structures to improve openness and transparency in our police force and reviewing the effectiveness of police stations and buildings across the area. I will continue to update you as this work continues and progresses.
I’m also delighted to share with you that we’ve secured one of our largest funding achievements for victim services, with £1 million in funding to support survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. This will fund 23 independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA) roles and eight independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA) specialist roles who will work alongside victim services, partners and local authorities.
 A number of these new IDVAs and ISVAs will be specialist roles to ensure everyone who is a victim of domestic abuse or violence receives the support they need. Such specialisms include working with black and minority ethnic victims, elderly victims, children and young people, victims in rural communities, victims of economic abuse, victims with complex needs, male victims, LGBT+ victims and victims with mental health issues and illnesses.
This is one of our largest funding achievements for victim services and I look forward to supporting the work of the new ISVAs and IDVAs.