The month's seem to be flying past at the moment and there's been an especially chilly feel to the air in recent weeks - I hope you're all managing to keep warm as the evenings are drawing in.
Every year November sees remembrance day - it is always a moving occasion, but this year, marking a century since the end of the First World War, was especially poignant.
Devon and Cornwall Police has done an incredible job of marking this anniversary in an engaging and appropriate way.
At headquarters in Exeter we held a service for family members of the 34 officers who gave their life during the First World War. There was a fascinating display from the help of the South West Police Heritage Trust which tells the story of police officers who served both here and abroad during the war years.
I'm sure many of you will have seen the 'poppy cars' doing the rounds across Devon and Cornwall over the past few weeks - I've loved seeing all your pictures on social media.
This month we also celebrated Road Safety Week. It's an important time for us all to think about how we drive - the roads are becoming wetter, the days are shorter and the number of collisions are increasing.
You can read below what my team have been up to educating drivers alongside police officers during this time.
All that's left for me to say is to stay safe out there!
Tragic loss of life on Devon and Cornwall Roads highlighted during BRAKE Road Safety Week
The tragic toll dangerous driving takes in Devon and Cornwall will be highlighted this week as a new road safety strategy for the region is launched.
There were 63 deaths in the Devon and Cornwall Police force area in 2017 – of which 15 were motorcyclists. There were 12 more than in 2016 when 51 people were killed. In 2015 there were 36 road deaths.
The public will have the chance to find out more about the strategy at an event in Princesshay, Exeter on Monday, November 19, the start of BRAKE Road Safety Week, where OPCC staff will invite them to make a road safety pledge.
This year the OPCC has helped set up a ‘No Excuse’ roads policing team, funded tri-service officers for Cornwall, established community responders for Devon and bucked a national decline in police officer numbers by recruiting more constables.
But Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez - the national road safety lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners – said all of this work was in vain without public support for improvement and is asking politicians, campaigners and the emergency services to unite in their call for drivers to take extra care so fewer lives are lost and serious injuries caused in the region.
“Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are wonderful places to live and work but our safety casualty statistics make for grim reading,” she said.
“We’ve doubled the number of police officers in the roads team and I’m really encouraged by the results for the No Excuse team’s first month. In October they issued 274 tickets, made six arrests, breath tested 136 drivers, seized 52 vehicles and gave words of advice to 91 people.
“But with 12,500 miles of road across the two counties there’s simply no way that police alone can enforce our way out of this problem – it’s up to us, the driving public, to change our behaviour.
More information is available on our website.
Towns and villages in Cornwall will see a new face on their streets soon
Tri-service safety officers (TSSOs) will soon to be fully deployed in areas across the county following a successful pilot proved its value to communities.
The TSSOs will be located in areas where the police, the fire and ambulance services have a limited presence and where it is difficult to deploy a resource from a single agency basis given current financial restraints.
The posts have been joint funded by the three emergency services.
The Force has used independent analytical research into areas of most need to decide where TSSOs will be based. Once training is completed, the existing TSSOs in Bude, Liskeard and Hayle will be joined by colleagues in: St Just, St Ives, Perranporth, Fowey/Polruan, Looe, Lostwithiel, St Dennis.
TSSOs will pick up their workload from police neighbourhood teams but when they attend will give advice to cover all aspects of community safety and prevention such as advice on ASB, installation of a smoke alarm, or any medical referral/advice.
Find out more >
Connecting communities in Bodmin
Police in Bodmin are riding around town on electric bikes thanks to funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Earlier this year the Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez made funding available for police officers and staff to improve their ability to engage and connect with communities.
Safe, resilient and connected communities are at the heart of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. Small grants have been made available to help kick-start innovative ideas to better connect police and communities across Devon and Cornwall.
As part of the scheme the Bodmin neighbourhood team submitted two bids for better IT and electric bikes for more visible patrol.
Read more >
Police and Crime Commissioner’s team wins funding to help vulnerable women
An innovative scheme to provide outreach workers for vulnerable women in Devon and Cornwall is to get £234,238 of Government funding after a successful bid by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Ministry of Justice funding will pay for a 17-month pilot project to an alliance which was formed by the OPCC. It includes Resilient Women, CoLab (Exeter), Sunflower Women’s Centre (Plymouth) and Women’s Centre Cornwall.
The cash will pay for Outreach Support Workers who can provide support to women who are unable to access local services to help them to lead a crime-free life. Vitally the support workers will follow the women through the system to provide a continuity of care that was previously lacking.
Full story >
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