Stanka Adamcova has been selected by the Labour Party to stand as the Police and Crime Commissioner in the next election.  You can follow her campaign on her Facebook page.

Stanka’s manifesto is as follows:

“A police service that is visible, accessible and trusted by our communities”.

My name is Stanka Adamcova. I serve our communities as the Labour and Cooperative Party Councillor on Swindon Borough Council. I am also the Chair of the Build a Better Swindon Committee and Vice-Chair of the Police and Crime Panel.

With a range of skills gained through my experience of working for the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, in combination with my commitment to public service, I have been selected to represent the Labour and Cooperative Party as their candidate in the up-coming Police and Crime Commissioner election.

I take personal pride in my leadership which is driven by hard work, humility and honesty. I learnt these values from my parents. I grew up in a rural area, a small village, where my father has a farm. I saw how crime impacted my father’s livelihood and how long it took him to see justice. I also remember when I witnessed shop lifting while working at the local grocery shop.  Some of my colleagues were victims of robbery, the perpetrator used a knife to make them fear for their lives. These acts all had a lasting impact on people’s wellbeing, both directly and indirectly.

The key role of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to represent residents and their views on policing and crime locally. I want to become Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner so I can use my skills and experience to support our communities. I want to make sure that we all feel safe when at home, when shopping or walking the streets. When I speak to residents, I often hear the question: “What is the point of calling the police?” This is a clear sign that we need to rebuild trust and confidence in our police service’s ability to protect the communities they serve.  I strongly believe that policing must have the confidence of all our communities. Without confidence, we lose the trust needed for the British model of policing which is policing by consent.

In June 2022 Wiltshire Police was put into special measures through the ENGAGE process.  Her Majesty’s Inspectorate concluded that Wiltshire Police was inadequate when it comes to responding to the public. Inadequate when it comes to protecting vulnerable people. Inadequate when it comes to good use of resources.

Since taking up the post in February 2023, the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police has overseen performance improvements in a number of areas. I will use my skills and experience to work with the Chief Constable in rebuilding and continuing to improve the service provided by Wiltshire Police.

 My priorities include:

Effective Neighbourhood Policing:

“Officers must be visible in our communities”.

Why is this important?

Neighbourhood policing is the building block of creating a culture of trust between the public and the police. Policing is most effective when it is rooted in communities.

  • Effective neighbourhood policing is fundamental to the relationship between police and the public, and towards preventing crime
  • Effective neighbourhood policing ensures the presence and visibility of officers in our communities
  • Effective neighbourhood policing provides communities with opportunities to raise their concerns
  • Effective neighbourhood policing enables officers to find and deal with the long-term problems that create repeat demand
  • Effective neighbourhood policing results in problem-solving and early intervention

My promise to you

Nationally, Labour have set out their Community Policing Guarantee, to put police back in town centres and neighbourhoods to make our streets safe again, with increased patrols and 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs. Towards delivering the Wiltshire Police and Crime Plan, I will work with service providers across the county to identify the priority areas for extra policing. This local information will underpin my bid to the Home Office to ensure that Wiltshire and Swindon are allocated a fair share of the extra officers.

Locally, I will hold the Chief Constable to account on the following metrics:

  • Wiltshire Police’s understanding of the specific demand of its neighbourhood policing teams through the planned creation of Community Beat Profiles
  • Wiltshire Police’s engagement with its communities, including how to connect with harder to reach groups
  • Wiltshire Police’s understanding of what resources it needs to manage neighbourhood policing teams effectively
  • Wiltshire Police’s monitoring of its abstraction policy, and resilience in providing ongoing neighbourhood support in times of increased demand in other areas.

(‘Abstraction’ means diversion to duties that are not part of the officer’s core duties, not necessarily emergencies, for an extended period)

  • Implementation of Wiltshire Police Community Commitment ensuring that neighbourhood teams engage regularly with communities by holding face-to-face events.

I will work with the Chief Constable to:

  • Ensure that the neighbourhood policing teams are embedded within our communities by reducing the number of necessary staff changes to improve localised problem-solving based on trust.
  • Explore the possibility of increasing accessibility of Wiltshire Police by providing a safe space in every town for residents to drop in to speak to officers to share local intelligence and raise specific concerns.

Fighting the Epidemic of Knife Crime:

“The instances of knife crime must be reduced”.

Why is this important?

Knife crime and serious violence affect our communities and families.

In the year ending September 2022, there were over 46,000 recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales, with young men most likely to be both the perpetrators and victims of this crime.  Locally, the number of offences involving a knife, or a sharp object has more than doubled over the last decade.

The ‘Crime in England and Wales’ report, published in October 2023, showed that in the year ending June 2023, robbery, offences involving knives, and firearms all show an increase in Wiltshire. Recorded instances of knife crime in Wiltshire and Swindon showed an increase of 15%, with 326 recorded crimes against 278 the previous year. Nationally there was an increase of 3% in the same period. Knife crime and serious violence are becoming more prevalent in some of our communities, and this trend must stop.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is currently working to reduce serious violence by working with partners including: the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Commission to engage with young people and their families, as well as securing Safer Streets funding which is used for projects including more street lighting and extra CCTV.

The OPCC also plays a pivotal role in bringing together local partners and specified authorities to work together to reduce serious violence, under the Serious Violence Duty (SVD).

My promise to you

  • I will fulfil my responsibilities under the Serious Violence Duty to ensure that my office plays a key part in the coordination of the delivery of the Wiltshire and Swindon Serious Violence Strategy. This includes taking a preventative, partnership approach to reducing the risk of involvement in violence, gang culture, county lines and  fighting the epidemic of knife crime.
  • I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure that there are full-time neighbourhood officers responsible for the coordination of activities with the key aim of reducing serious violence and knife crime. These officers will be embedded within neighbourhood policing teams. This approach will ensure a dedicated focus on prevention and intervention, engaging with communities and enforcement tactics, and working closely with schools and community groups.
  • I will ensure that the Hot Spot Policing grant of £ 1 million is used effectively to enhance policing efforts in key areas across our communities.

Commitment to ‘Vision Zero’:

“We must aim to eliminate all road fatalities and serious injuries”.

Why is this important?

I have seen the detrimental impact of collisions on our communities.  I know that many communities have concerns over the number of speeding cars and the current lack of enforcement. Speaking to residents, I frequently hear comments about speeding drivers but no action being taken. I also hear that speeding is seen as the norm across Wiltshire and Swindon, and that visitors put their foot down while driving in the county because there are no fixed speed cameras.

In 2022 in Wiltshire, 269 people died or were seriously injured in a road accident. This represents an increase of 17% on the number of road casualties in 2021.

My promise to you

  • I will work with Wiltshire Police, Swindon and Wiltshire Councils, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to implement a “Vision Zero” strategic approach to reducing the number of killed and seriously injured on our roads [Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all.]
  • I will work with the Wiltshire Police to implement strategies to focus on key driver behaviours to address: speed, control errors, unsafe behaviour, driving under the influence, and distraction
  • I will work with the Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership to enhance the speed enforcement offer by exploring the use of free-standing state of the art AI road safety cameras
  • I will ensure that victims of road collisions are supported by a dedicated Independent Road Victim Advocate

Combating Violence against Women and Girls:

“Violence against women and girls is unacceptable”.

Why is this important

Every woman has a right to feel safe. This is not the case for far too many women and girls – both in and out of the home. The independent inspectorate has warned about the “epidemic of violence against women and girls”.  Nationally, victims of rape have a 2.4% chance of their perpetrators being caught and charged within a year. Locally, the rate of formal action taken is at 7.6% as of January 2024. Labour will not stand for this. We need radical change.

My promise to you

  • I will ensure that Wiltshire Police has specialist domestic abuse workers in the control room. These specialists will respond to 999 calls and support victims of abuse
  • I will ensure that Wiltshire Police has a specialist and rape and sexual offences team. The members of this team will be rigorously trained to solve complex crimes to ensure that victims have specialist support and confidence that these crimes will be investigated properly
  • I will set up an Independent Advisory Group for Violence against Women and Girls. This group will be made up of those who have lived experience of Violence against Women and Girls, and who work in organisations that support women and girls who have experienced this type of violence
  • I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure the 16 recommendations of the Angiolini Inquiry are acted upon as a priority

 Supporting Victims and Witnesses of Crime

“It is important to ensure that victims have the right information about available services”.

Why is this important?

Crime affects everyone differently. Only those who have suffered mental or physical harm or economic loss truly understand the importance of good quality victim services. Victims of crime must be offered appropriate support to help them cope and recover from any effects of crime. It is a fundamental right of all victims and witnesses to be provided with useful, informative, and timely communication regarding the progression of the crime investigation.

My promise to you

  • I will ensure that the most vulnerable victims, including victims of domestic abuse and sexual offences, receive support tailored to their needs
  • I will work to ensure that support is available from the first point of contact with the police
  • I will review the current offer of victim services and look to enhance the current offer to ensure that victims have the support services they need

Standing up for rural communities:

“Ensuring that the Police are taking Action”.

Why is this important?

Our communities must feel safe. To achieve this goal, we need to recognise that communities have different policing needs based on their geographical location and the distinct threats they face. I grew up in a small village where my father has a farm. I understand how devastating rural crime can be. It impacts families and their livelihoods, and can impact the whole community.

My promise to you

  • Rural crime – I will launch the Rural Crime Prevention and Support Hub to ensure appropriate support for rural communities. The hub will offer information on all rural crime issues, including actions which people can take to prevent being victims of rural crime. The hub will also direct users to specialised support services in the event they become victims of crime
  • I will set up an Independent Advisory Group comprising members from the farming community to provide them with an opportunity to share valuable insights and views on policing policies and practices and their impact on rural communities
  • I will work with our rural communities to increase their confidence in Wiltshire Police, and to demonstrate that preventing and detecting rural crime is a priority

Retail Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour:

“Stopping prolific local offenders”.

Why is this important?

I am deeply concerned about the rise in retail crime, the inevitable violence and abuse that accompanies such a rise and the harm this causes to shopworkers, shops and the communities both serve. Violence and abuse against retail workers have more than doubled since 2019. The Office for National Statistics reported that in the 12 months to June 2023, shoplifting offences recorded by police were up by 25% nationally. In Wiltshire that figure was an increase of 42%.

Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. A survey by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers suggested that 60% of incidents that involved violence, threats and abuse were triggered by shoplifting or armed robbery. Shop staff reported that they often faced hardened career criminals in the stores. The survey results showed that two-thirds of retail workers suffered abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence.

Labour are committed to clamping down on shoplifting and violence against shopworkers, making it easier to take action against repeat offenders and creating a new specific offence of assault against retail workers.

My promise to you

  • I will work with retailers, businesses and local authorities to develop a Retail Crime Strategy that will set out actions to tackle shoplifting, retail crime, violence towards shop workers, and anti-social behaviour that prevents local businesses from growing
  • I will work with Wiltshire Police to ensure the successful delivery of the Safer Streets Programme. This includes projects focused on tackling anti-social behaviour
  • I will ensure that there is a range of evidenced interventions available to reduce the levels of re-offending targeting the most prolific offenders

I am committed to working with partners across the county, and beyond, towards building a Wiltshire Police service that listens, understands, and meets the needs of its communities.

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