The Budget was announced in Parliament on 22 November by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Whilst it was a good Budget for a number of industries and groups, there was nothing specific in there on this occasion for Policing. We now look to the annual Police Grant announcement in late December for what our allocation from Central Government will be for next year.

Good news though when it comes to supporting victims of crime – the Ministry of Justice has announced that PCCs will receive the same amount of money this year as last. The news also comes through a few months earlier than normal, which has allowed me to consider what I do in the future. At present, I have Victim Support providing my commissioned service for around 75,000 victims each year, as well as money for specialist services for child sexual assault, ISVAs, restorative justice and others. You can read more about these services here.

I held a Conference at Kent Police Training College on 17 November, where I raised awareness of the number of male victims of domestic abuse and highlighted the services on offer to them in the county. We had presentations from Kent Police, DAVSS, Dads Unlimited, Oasis, Choices and Mankind Initiative, and a panel discussion. It is important we do all we can to support all victims of domestic abuse and violence, give them the confidence to come forward and tackle the stigma that sometimes discourages men from reporting.

My programme of community visits and presentations have continued in the last couple of weeks. I have visited Fort Pitt Grammar School, The Rotary Club of Strood, Maidstone District Neighbourhood Watch, Kent Wildlife Trust and hosted meetings with a number of Parish Councils to talk about my role and how I can support them.

I have announced that a number of projects have received funding from my Safer in Kent fund. This is designed to support projects that contribute towards the objectives set out in my Police and Crime Plan. Among the successful bids in this latest round is a project that will tackle sexual harassment towards students, support winter shelters, engage young people at risk of becoming involved with crime in alternative activities such as film making and mindfulness.

I have now been appointed to the Advisory Panel for the independent review of the Mental Health Act, which will be looking at how the law can be improved for the future. I am representing all PCCs and Chief Constable Mark Collins, who leads for the NPCC, is representing Policing. This is a real opportunity in my view to tackle some of the real problems within the legislation and get things right for people who need the right support from the right person.

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