John’s manifesto for keeping Avon and Somerset residents safe

To read more about John’s policy priorities and the issues facing Avon and Somerset, download his full manifesto.

This includes:

  • My priorities to keep local people safe
  • Policing during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Police welfare
  • Avon and Somerset Police funding
  • Local leadership
  • Other issues such as police accountability, sustainability, policing protest, and supporting young people

Avon and Somerset Police has faced significant challenges in recent years. Central Government funding cuts of almost one third between 2010 and 2018 led to over 700 fewer police officers across the area – a 22% cut overall. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also presented new challenges for policing throughout 2020 and into 2021.

In light of these challenges, the Government’s announcement in 2019 of funding for an extra 20,000 officers nationally by March 2023 is welcome. However, recruiting and training a fully qualified police officer takes 3 years and Avon and Somerset are starting from a significantly lower number of officers than 10 years ago. This means that by 2026 Avon and Somerset Police will only have returned to the same fully trained officer numbers they had in operation in 2010, meaning challenges for our police remain.

Last year Avon and Somerset Police was assessed as one of the top 5 performing police forces in England and Wales by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. This is testament to the hard work and leadership shown by the Chief Constable and his officers and staff over the last 10 years.

Though challenges remain, this performance combined with extra Government funding presents a great opportunity to rebuild Avon and Somerset Police back stronger than ever. Returning officer numbers to the levels they were 10 years ago combined with newer practices and a focus on what local people really want can help to significantly reduce crime and target offenders over the next 4 years, and that is what I pledge to focus on. My experience and independence make me the best candidate to oversee this investment and ensure it delivers real benefits to local people.

If elected, my priorities for Avon and Somerset will be:

  • Supporting the police to enforce the COVID regulations appropriately so we can get back to living normally as soon as possible
  • Tackling knife and drug crime, including “County Lines’
  • Catching burglars and reducing burglaries
  • Protecting the most vulnerable from harm
  • Combating anti-social behaviour
  • Championing Avon and Somerset to become the most inclusive police force in the country
  • Improving road safety
  • Preventing fraud and cyber-crime
  • Addressing rural crime and supporting rural communities
  • Working in partnership to address business crime

For more information on each of these priorities, please visit the My Priorities page.

To read more about John’s policy priorities and the issues facing Avon and Somerset, download his full manifesto.