Latest news and articles

John Smith vows to increase police support for rural communities

John Smith vows to increase police support for rural communities

With rural policing in Avon and Somerset facing significant challenges following recent government funding cuts and a reduction in officer numbers, independent candidate in the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, John Smith, has pledged to make additional investment in rural communities if elected on Thursday May 6.

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John Smith pledges strategy to tackle violence against women and girls

John Smith pledges strategy to tackle violence against women and girls

With almost 20,000 domestic abuse-related crimes and more than 3,500 hate crimes in Avon and Somerset recorded in 2020, independent candidate in the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, John Smith, pledges to protect the most vulnerable from harm if elected, including launching a Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.

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John Smith statement on Chief Constable plans to stand down

John Smith statement on Chief Constable plans to stand down

I would like to pay tribute to Chief Constable Andy Marsh – he has been an outstanding Chief and leader, always putting his officers, staff and communities first. The first job for the new PCC will now be appointing a new Chief Constable, which is also probably the most important responsibility they have.

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Why Road Safety Matters So Much to Local People

Why Road Safety Matters So Much to Local People

In this article, John Smith gives a more detailed analysis of his road safety plans. If elected, John’s policy on improving road safety will be to continue, as well as build upon, the positive work achieved to date by the current independent PCC, Sue Mountstevens.

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John responds to Bristol Kill the Bill protests

John responds to Bristol Kill the Bill protests

I understand people’s serious concerns about the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – I share some of them myself. I also understand people’s desire to express that concern through protest. However, all protest must be lawful and peaceful.

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John announces plans for safer roads for all users in Avon and Somerset

John announces plans for safer roads for all users in Avon and Somerset

To ensure that Avon and Somerset remain a top force area for road safety, John Smith has announced a key priority for him is to improve road safety and reduce road traffic collisions. If elected, John’s policy on improving road safety will be to continue, as well as build upon, the positive work achieved to date by the current independent PCC, Sue Mountstevens.

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John launches his policy on policing the COVID-19 pandemic

John launches his policy on policing the COVID-19 pandemic

On the one-year anniversary of the first national COVID-19 lockdown, independent candidate John Smith is calling for greater devolution of decision-making on COVID restrictions. John, former Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and independent candidate for Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, has announced his policies to support the police to enforce the COVID regulations appropriately so residents can get back to living normally as soon as possible.

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Comment on GPS monitoring trial for offenders

Comment on GPS monitoring trial for offenders

Reoffending rates in England are too high and I support the use of electronic monitoring for the small number of prolific offenders in the final part of their sentence. However, it is crucial that this monitoring and enforcement is combined with support to give people a chance of going straight.

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Comment on policing of vigil for Sarah Everard

Comment on policing of vigil for Sarah Everard

I support the measured and sensible policing by Avon and Somerset Police, liaising with the organisers of the vigil, supporting their decision to cancel the event, and then sensitively policing the people who did attend with the aim of keeping them safe. The focus now should be on work to transform the criminal justice system and its treatment of violence against women and girls – there is much to do.

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Comment on HMICFRS’s reporting into policing of protests

Comment on HMICFRS’s reporting into policing of protests

HMICFRS’s report is a welcome addition to the ongoing important debate around the policing of protest, and I agree a balance must be struck between the rights of protestors and local communities. However, I view the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol last year, and the resulting regrettable damage to the Edward Colston statue, as an example of the balanced approach that Avon & Somerset Police took to policing the event, which thankfully ended without injury to any protestors or police officers.

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What do police and crime commissioners do?

What do police and crime commissioners do?

A lot of people have asked me what PCCs do and how they can vote so I have produced this short guide which is my overview of the role based on my 9 years’ experience leading a PCC’s office and being a Deputy PCC

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