PFCC presents at EALC AGM and Conference
Creating safe, secure communities through prevention was the key theme when Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex presented at the Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) AGM and conference on Thursday 22nd September 2022.
Presenting alongside Roger were Chief Fire Officer Rick Hylton ECFRS, and Chief Constable BJ Harrington and Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan, Essex Police.
The event which took place at Hylands House in Chelmsford was attended by members of parish and town councils from across Essex. They heard from Roger and the chief officers on a number of important topics, including the strategic shift to prevention in both the Police Service and the Fire and Rescue Service.
Roger spoke about his pride in both Services for the work they have done over the pandemic and the recent field fires that took place over the summer. But he also acknowledged there was more to do to help make our communities safer.
Tackling Domestic Abuse is a top priority as it a terrible and prolific crime that accounts for 19% of all recorded crime in the county and a third of all recorded violent crime. Roger stated it was vital to not only support victims but also target perpetrator behaviour through initiatives like the Change Project www.thechange-project.org/.
Other areas of focus included violence against women and girls, drug driven violence and road safety. He noted that since lockdown had ended, driver behaviour had deteriorated which has led to an increase in those being killed and seriously injured on Essex roads. The prevention work being undertaken by the Fire and Rescue Service as well as targeted operations such as Street Weeks by Essex Police were integral to making roads safer, but he also noted how partners could help play a crucial role in tackling these issues.
Reiterating the importance of partnership working, Roger spoke about how vital the town and parish councils were as links between the police and fire and rescue service, and their local communities, and how they could feed into Community Safety Partnerships to promote prevention work. He also spoke about the importance of initiatives such as community speedwatch and neighbourhood watch in helping to deter speeding and crime.
At the end of the session delegates had the opportunity to put questions to a panel of the presenters and covered a range of issues from on call fire fighter cover, to better support for male victims of domestic violence.
The Essex Association of Local Councils is a member led, not-for-profit organisation that supports the Town & Parish Councils of Essex. You can learn more about their work at: https://ealc.gov.uk/