I was pleased to meet Jay Singh-Sohal recently. Jay is the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for the West Midlands. We were at an event hosted by the Centre for Justice Innovation who work with charities and organisations that are helping forces across the UK with violence reduction, victim support, restorative justice, reducing re-offending and forming youth commissions amongst other valuable projects. Many of these exciting new services had been developed and/or funded by commissioners.
I was particularly impressed by a woman who had been involved in drug dealing. She had suffered abused and spent time in prison. She was determined to help others avoid the same experience by working with young people brought into London police stations. She highlighted how often young offenders are themselves victims of the serious criminals at the top of organised crime gangs and how it was important to identify those who could be helped to avoid a life of crime.
Our relationship with the West Midlands is an important one. We need a close working relationship to ensure there are no gaps between neighbouring forces for professional criminals to exploit and for effective monitoring of our shared motorways.
Andy Street has shown what a positive difference a Conservative Mayor can make to business and investment in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. I am sure Jay will do the same for police and crime if elected in May.
Catch up with Jay's campaign here. https://www.facebook.com/JSinghSohalUK