'It's a privilege to be first crime commissioner'
AT TIMES it has been controversial. At others, there have barely been enough hours in the day.
But Sue Mountstevens' first 100 days as Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner have certainly been eventful. Reflecting, she said the job had been "even better than expected".
"I knew the role would be interesting and varied, but it is a privilege to be Avon and Somerset's first Police and Crime Commissioner," she said. "It carries great responsibilities, but I promise I will do the job to the best of my ability."
Ms Mountstevens, above, never thought she would be taken to the High Court within her first few months as commissioner. But that is what happened when aggrieved former Chief Constable Colin Port asked for a judicial review into how his eight years' in charge ended.
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A judge found Ms Mountstevens had done everything by the book when she told Mr Port that she wanted an open recruitment process to find his successor and that his contract would not be automatically renewed. Following that dispute, she made her "most important decision" by appointing the new Chief Constable, Nick Gargan, who starts properly today.
Due to the timing of the election, Ms Mountstevens and her small team of officers had only a couple of months to ensure the transition from the old police authority ran smoothly and that the constabulary's budget was balanced for the year ahead.
Meanwhile, she has received thousands of messages, questions and requests from people all over the force area. But, as she previously told The Post, she wouldn't have it any other way.
Ms Mountstevens believes her pre-election pledges to tackle anti-social behaviour, burglary, violence against women and children and putting victims first are in motion. She added: "We're now in the final stages of consultation on the Police and Crime Plans which are based on my four priorities and the issues residents have raised with me. I will be going through the thousands of consultation responses from people to make sure that the plans reflect local needs. We all want to live in a community that is strong and safe."
Ms Mountstevens is hosting a webchat tonight at 6pm, on www.avonandsomerset.police.uk.