Invited to meetings in Sutton Coldfield with Probus and Towns Women Guild. Both very accommodating and asked some searching questions about me and the PCC role. Unsurprisingly, because of the lack of information only a few had heard of the role and election process. If you are a member of a group any where in the West Midlands and you would like to hear me talk for 5 minutes and the rest of the time ask me questions then INVITE ME TO YOU!

LGBT CHAT - Began the week in the company of Andy Morland and Dave Samra (Secretary) members of Pink Shield, a voluntary forum which exists to promote a better understanding between the lesbian, gay. bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) and West Midlands Police.

The primary issues we discussed included;
• Concerns about the reducing levels of trust in the police which is limiting the contact between the LGBT community and police.
• Police staff at all levels but primarily those who provide the initial response to members of the LGBT community lack sensitivity and knowledge about the community.
This lack of sensitivity and knowledge reduces the confidence of LGBT in their contact with the police.
• Reduced reporting of crimes or incidents produces an inaccurate representation of activity within the LGBT community so police and associated resources cannot be deployed appropriately.
• Unreported incidents of hostility and prejudice focused at elderly gay people and transgender individuals.
• Increased levels of unreported same sex domestic violence and lack of police understanding and response to reported incidents

Some of these issues translate across all communities and the described reduction in trust and confidence in the police means that work needs to be done to improve knowledge and awareness.

BIRMINGHAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - Had a meeting with 2 inspiring ladies Katie Teasdale and Henrietta Brealey who were very knowledgeable about the business community and shared details of a recent members’ survey. It was a really informative and productive meeting.

On Tues 25 September 2012 all the candidates are attending a PCC Hustings: The Big Business Debate where we will be quizzed about our pledges and plans for the business community.
@brumchamber.   Come along and test us out, the process will help you decide who you want as your first PCC.

RECRUITING AMBASSADORS - Waiting to see if two potential Ambassadors have decided to join the Campaign Team. I have written to the local education establishments offering volunteer placements with a reference at the end of the process. Are you interested?

Let me know, looking for general support in sharing information about the campaign, IT skills, media knowledge, election experience, innovation and creativity. DON'T BE SHY GET IN TOUCH, via website

Interviewed by Mark Rowe Editor of Professional Security Magazine regarding policing and business security. Discussed all sorts of issues but it is key that effective law and order is maintained so businesses/industries and other employment opportunities will be available to assist communities and people to flourish. How do you want the police to help support businesses in your area? Let me know #V4C

Met members of Victim Support in Birmingham and talked about how the police deal with victims and areas for improvement and innovation. Victim Support is seeking pledges from PCC  candidates to:
• Be open and accountable to victims and witnesses, seeking out and acting on their views.
• Ensure that victims and witnesses get the high quality help and support they need, when they need it.
• Make the police more victim-focused and more effective at meeting their needs.
• Help victims and witnesses to have a louder voice in the wider criminal justice system, and the community.
• Constantly improve the experience of victims.

I agree with these pledges and I see them as an expanded version of the commitment I have already made to improve the management and support for victims and witnesses. #V4C

Visited the offices of BRAP - described as a think fair tank, inspiring and leading change to make public, private and voluntary sector organisations fit for the needs of a more diverse society.

I had a great discussion with three individuals who tested me on my views of stop and search, stop and account and Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, associated to powers to stop, search, detain at ports and airports. The decision to use these powers can be at the discretion of police officers and is subject to arbitrary use.

I am very confident that direct and honest debates with the communities that feel most aggrieved by these processes will resolve these issues. In my experience the issue regarding stop and search of ethnic minority groups has existed since the 1980's and before. These concerns roll on year after year without any resolution, well now is the time to change that and address these issues in a manner that provides a safe, secure and fair outcome for all.

DEVOLVED PUBLIC SERVICE - Joined 'cafe conversation' organised by Common Purpose at the Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, Very welcoming and hard working staff made sure the guests were
looked after very well. Thank you all.

Invited guests from business, 3rd sector, public services gathered together to network and discuss topics for the evening. I facilitated a discussion on 'Can the public sector ever be held accountable?'

I provided the police as an example (and why wouldn't I). The public sector MUST be held accountable was the answer however the way to make that happen was more complicated. Guests provided examples of privatisation / devolvement scenarios where the accountability was unclear and then no one was accountable for anything. This must not happen with any devolved policing activity.

Many thanks to Fiona Lockyer, Manager at the Ramada for her staff and Tina McIntyre, Common Purpose for hosting the evening.

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Police and Crime Commissioner, PCC, putting people first, West Midlands, Cath Hannon, Cath, Hannon, female, woman