How the scheme works
The scheme works by improving the consistency and frequency of communication, and offers advocates:
- A direct point of contact within the Commissioner’s office
- Face to face and online seminars around policing, crime and victim service matters
- Regular email updates to include media releases
- Access to frequently asked information in terms of policing issues
Councillor advocates are invited to volunteer for the scheme from each council in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Advocates are welcome from unitary, district, and parish councils. At a town and parish level advocates are identified ‘single points of contact’ on behalf of their council. District and unitary councils may have more than one advocate. Councillors who have a desire to act as a positive and proactive communication conduit between the police, the Commissioner and the public are invited to volunteer for the scheme. Advocates are not intended to be treated as political appointments.
Every quarter the councillor advocates for each policing area will meet with a representative from Devon and Cornwall Police. A representative from the relevant Community Safety Partnership (CSP) will also be invited to attend along with any police engagement volunteers in the area.
This discussion will enable each councillor advocate to raise issues on behalf of their council’s communities, and allow the police the opportunity to update all councillor advocates on relevant information and/or request support with a specific issue. After the meeting the police representative will send a brief written summary of the meeting, along with any other key documents and actions to the councillor advocates and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC). The councillor advocates will then cascade the information discussed to all elected members from their own council.
This form of contact is not designed for discussing individual cases or problem solving on specific issues. Those discussions should take place within existing processes (e.g. crime reporting) and forums (e.g. community safety partnership).
Each quarter advocates will be invited to attend a ‘councillor advocate seminar’ which will focus on one key priority area of:
- Antisocial behaviour
- Tackling drugs
- Tackling serious violence
- Improving road safety
Attendance at seminars will be exclusively for councillor advocates by prior confirmation and will provide opportunities to receive information and updates from professionals, and enable councillors to ask questions, raise queries and feedback on the views of their communities to the police and the Police and Crime Commissioner.