Kathryn Holloway is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire.
In any new high profile public role, the achievements of the first 100 days merit reflection. I am happy to comment on mine, given the particular importance to me of keeping my pre-election promises.
As a former journalist, I was always frustrated when politicians suffered from amnesia over promises immediately after they were elected. That is why it is important to me to show those who voted for me as Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, as well as those who did not, that I have kept my word from Day One in the job.
I’ve been doing everything possible to deliver on my election pledges, making decisions which actually produce a difference for victims and the wider public by putting money where my mouth is, and I have been building the partnerships which improvements in policing Bedfordshire will depend on in future.
That’s why I’ve decided to publish 100 of these changes to show that I’ve been delivering something every day, especially as I’m only the second Bedfordshire PCC in office and want people to see that I’m definitely not just here to keep a seat warm.
Of the list of 100 achievements, three changes are my own particular favourites:
- The siting of seven new Community Policing Hubs of extra police officers which I am launching at monthly meetings throughout the county to the end of the year, addressing local policing and crime concerns at the same time.
- Overseeing the breakthrough which has led to one of the most extensive programmes of collaboration between police and fire services, including the sharing of stations.
- The funding of a new video link service to save rape and child abuse victims the trauma of facing their attackers, and their associates, in court to allow them to give evidence remotely.
My number one priority, one I am likely to share with many other PCCs, is more visible community policing and I am outlining those plans at monthly meetings across the county to let people know in detail which new officers are coming their way.
I have had fantastic support from the senior teams both within the police and fire service in getting action underway to start delivering on joint-working and, in particular, to allow police to share fire stations where police stations no longer exist in future or where this makes sense.
But, above all, I am proudest of being able to fund the video link which will allow rape and child sex abuse victims to give evidence remotely, rather than going to court if they wish, to reduce the trauma for them and, hopefully, to mean they give their best evidence and get the justice they deserve as a result.
My Police and Crime Plan for Bedfordshire was the first such plan to be published, of those of the 43 police forces of England and Wales and their Commissioners, and can be viewed here.