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Police commissioner drafts in fire service and others to help reduce crime

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 14, 2013

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POLICING boss Martin Surl has drafted in voluntary organisations and the fire service to help reduce crime in Gloucestershire.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has charged five county chiefs with helping police to make our streets safer in his four-year plan to achieve "less crime, more peace and good order" in the county.

He wants the constabulary to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service, courts, probation and the prison service.

On Tuesday, Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Panel had the chance to look over the plan before it goes live on April 1.

David Drew, former Stroud Labour MP, asked whether the closure of Gloucester Prison would "blow the plan off course". Mr Surl said he was "disappointed" not to have been told it was shutting ahead of time and it had made the creation of his crime strategy harder.

But he told members the constabulary is doing a "good" job but officers need to pound the beat more and work harder to reach people.

Councillor Gerald Dee said: "I find it very frustrating when you ring police and get put through to a voicemail that says 'sorry we're not here, leave a message'.

"I know hundreds of worthy citizens who don't bother ringing because they never get a response."

Mr Surl said he has asked the constabulary's assistant chief constable to make the force more accessible, while Sally Pickering, from Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action, will help engage with older people. Gloucestershire County Council's youth support service will work on reaching young people.

Chief executive of Cheltenham Borough Council Andrew North will look at reducing crime from the night-time economy and making parks feel safer and Gloucestershire's fire chief Jon Hall will work on reducing driving offences.

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