I visited the NSPCC’s Service Centre in Gillingham last week to see one of the projects I had funded from the money I receive as the commissioner of victims’ services from the Ministry of Justice.
Letting The Future In is a programme that helps children come to terms with the trauma they have faced after being a victim of sexual assault. It is absolutely vital that the intense support they offer is available, even more so with the number of children now being referred to social services and the Police. I keep an activity map regularly updated on Google which shows all of the places that I have visited in the county. It is available here.
Last week saw World Mental Health Day take place with the theme of Workplace Wellbeing. I was pleased to drop by and show my support to Kent Police staff running their promotional event at Force HQ and add to their wall what mental health meant to me. This was a very informative initiative and one that was very welcome.
This week, I become the National Lead among PCCs for mental health, in addition to being the Lead for Police Performance. I wrote on World Mental Health Day about the work that PCCs are doing in order to help reduce demand on policing as a result of cases involving mental health. In my article, I suggested that once the changes around the use of police cells are implemented later this year, that the worst performing NHS Trusts should reimburse policing if they continue to experience long handover times. It is a debate that we need to have.
During Hate Crime Awareness Week, we will all be working together to make sure that people who suffer from hate crime come forward and that they know about the support that is available to them. I commission Citizens Advice Medway to run a Kent-wide project called Individuality, which provides one such way of ensuring people get the support they need in the aftermath. I have been pleased to see the work that Kent Police has been doing to stand up to hate.
The Communities Together Fund which I have been running has been temporarily closed following the demand that I have received. However, the Safer in Kent Fund, which supports projects that reduce re-offending, crime and antisocial behaviour remains open for bids.
The Chief Constable and I were pleased to welcome Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon MP and Medway Council Leader Alan Jarrett to the Kent Police College on Friday for the latest Passing Out Parade for 52 new officers. I wish all those who go on to the next phase of their development well in their careers.