Now that we have eased lockdown considerably - it made sense to get back into the fray. Although full campaigning and canvassing isn't permitted and I am abiding by the guidance, I can restart making individual contacts. This means I can carry on ensuring that I understand more about the needs of the people of Dorset and what they want from a Police and Crime Commissioner - this job is about the people.
In no particular order:-
1. I met virtually with Conor Burns, various residents of Bournemouth and Poole and the Home Secretary Pritti Patel. We discussed leadership in policing. Specifically, following the unauthorised encampments that have occurred, I raised the variability of the use of Section 61 between different police forces. Dorset appears to never use this as an option whereas other forces use it more frequently. If elected I will be asking Dorset Police to review this issue as there is no point having legislated powers if they are not used. There has been a significant consultation on this issue and further legislation is expected in the Autumn.
2. In February/ March I conducted a Police and Crime Survey - this has to be curtailed because of Covid-19 - it gathered over 650 responses from across Dorset. See the results summary or press release in articles. What is clear is that this utterly validates my position that ASB has been neglected for the last eight years and we need a change of direction. My plan will focus cutting crime and ASB and that is what I intend to deliver.
3. Spent a morning with the Governor at The Verne Prison on Portland. The Verne has just been inspected and did extremely well. The main purpose of any prison is to keep society safe and also to providing punishment to provide rehabilitation. Very few offenders will be released locally but it was how to reduce any future re-offending that we needed to discuss. Some good ideas and thoughts for the future.
4. Visited Andy and Lisa at The Veteran's Hub in Weymouth. So moved by their stories and their passionate commitment to making Veteran's lives and their families better. Over 8500 hot meals delivered during our recent lockdown. Just as importantly their intent to build a safe haven for those who need to talk with a new hut having been donated. I recommend having the Dorset Apple Cake in the cafe.
5. Met with residents from Sandbanks in Poole who wished to discuss the recent Mad Max beach days as they call them. Pleased to have been able to lay out a new vision for the future whilst gaining a better understanding of their issues.
6. Had a campaign team planning meeting with representatives from different parts of Dorset.
7. Met with Graham Carr-Jones - Councillor for Stalbridge and Marnhull and Chairman of the Community Safety Partnership for Dorset. Very interesting discussion about rural crime and ASB in Weymouth and elsewhere. Absolutely agree with his passion to improve our ability to address Domestic abuse and share the desire to truly make a difference in this area.
8. Attended a virtual meeting for SW Young Conservatives with Alison Hernandez PCC for Devon and Cornwall and other candidates for the SW. Insightful questions on ASB, Drug Offences, Colston statue and Covid lockdown policing. Great meeting and good teamworking among the candidates that bodes well for the future.
9. Attended Tobias Ellwood's conurbation meeting and asked Graham Farrant - Chief Executive of BCP about ASB in the Town Centre and what actions had been taken by the new council to address this. On this website can be found articles discussing the high level of ASB and the worry for retailers. GF and myself will be meeting in the future to discuss this further.