November 2020: News from Avon & Somerset PCC

October 27 2020

Stopping the virus is our personal responsibility

IT has been over six months since coronavirus restrictions were introduced and I’m sure many of us are just as frustrated and concerned as we were back in March.
It is important that we do not let our guard down. We all need to continue to play our part and follow the Government’s three tier regulations to prevent the virus transmission increasing any further in our area. We have seen how certain parts of the country are now facing increased restrictions and we must do all we can to avoid this from happening across Avon and Somerset.
I know local people are concerned what will happen if a national lockdown is enforced, and how this will impact our lives, local businesses, workplaces and schools. Let’s hope it does not reach this stage and, if it does, it is not for as long as the lockdown in the spring.
Please continue to follow the rules and guidance to keep you and your family safe as well as protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.
As I’ve said many times over the last six months, please take personal responsibility; you might not feel you are vulnerable to the virus but other people’s loved ones will be. We know that the transmission of this virus can be rapid, so we have to work as a collective to stop coronavirus and put an end to its disruptive nature.
Last month, we marked National Hate Crime Awareness Week and it was an ideal opportunity to talk about the impact this crime has on many people’s lives. This year, the global conversation has shone a light on the grave injustices experienced by black people, people of colour, disabled people and many other communities as a result of coronavirus, the national lockdown and the criminal justice system.
A brave victim of hate crime wrote about their experience, which was published on the PCC website.
Despite living and working in the UK for 15 years, they were told they “didn’t belong here” as “this is England for English people” and was called a “foreigner”.
The victim explained how the experience affected their well-being and why they believe others should report similar hate crime incidents to the police or services. Being targeted because of your age, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other reason is unacceptable.
We must stand together united against hate crime. We need to reach out to victims of this awful crime and remind them they are not alone: there are organisations, services and individuals who are out there who can offer support, including SWAN (www.swanadvocacy.org.uk) and SARI (www.sariweb.org.uk).
I want to reassure victims that if you report hate incidents to the police, you will be taken seriously. I know many survivors feel like they will be wasting police time if they report but this is not the case: you will be listened to and supported.