Beds PCC, Festus Akinbusoye, appointed national ‘Prevention’ lead

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Conservative PCC candidate, Festus Akinbusoye
PCC Festus Akinbusoye

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, has been announced as the National Lead for the ‘Prevention’ portfolio by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).

In his new role, he will be responsible for ensuring that early intervention and prevention of crime is the primary strategy and focus for policing priorities across the country.

PCC Akinbusoye referenced a number of initiatives in Bedford, including the Safer Streets Fund, that are making a difference.

A statement said: “The purpose of the role demonstrates the commitment and drive of investing in these types of services in local communities.”

Commenting on his appointment, the PCC Akinbusoye said: “I’m very honoured to have been appointed as the National Portfolio Lead for Prevention. I’ll be working closely with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Chief Constables across the country to ensure we’re all working with local partners to protect vulnerable people at risk of becoming victims of crime in the first place.”

“From speaking with local support services in the county, I know how passionate they are in helping to prevent crime and offer early intervention methods.

“To further support the work of PCCs, I am delighted the Government has also made several funding announcements to support prevention initiatives”.

In Bedfordshire, some of these initiatives include:

  • The Safer Streets Fund, aimed at preventing crime in disproportionately affected areas. The project aims to reduce high crime rates and make local areas safer for residents.
  • The Summer of Fun programme, which was aimed at youngsters aged 4-16 during school holidays to give them the opportunity to take part in free Boxing and Martial Arts classes. The OPCC is already planning for next year’s Summer of Fun which is set to be even bigger with a wider range of activities available for young people.
  • The PCC’s Grant Fund, which gives all local services an annual opportunity to bid into.
    Recruitment and Retention of Police Officers and staff, which is one of the Commissioner’s priorities in his Police and Crime Plan, as he believes a fully engaged and supported workforce is the key enabler to deliver other priorities such as tackling the causes of crime.
  • Investing in an extra Cyber Triage Van for Bedfordshire Police’s Cyber Hub team, taking the total number up to four vans meaning the team can target suspect devices at the earliest opportunity, therefore, preventing further victimisation.

Mr Akinbusoye said: “All of these initiatives are aimed at cutting crime and reducing the number of victims. I look forward to reporting back on the outcomes.

“By taking a whole system approach which balances prevention with enforcement, together we can stop these crimes from happening in the first place.”

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