Today I had a very productive meeting with the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary, Rod Hansen, and Assistant Chief Constable, Rhiannon Kirk, along with other Gloucestershire MPs.
As the Member of Parliament for the Forest of Dean, I regularly meet with the senior leadership team at Gloucestershire Constabulary in order to discuss matters that have been raised with me by constituents and to be kept updated on current policing issues within the county.
Following a spate of recent media attention, I recently raised the issue of dog theft and wildlife crime with the police. Gloucestershire Constabulary take a broad approach to wildlife crime given the varied nature of this type of issue. They have allocated a specific Inspector to deal with these types of crimes. The Inspector’s role is to build up relationships with local landowners and liaise with partners outside of Gloucestershire to protect dog owners and rural communities.
As an owner of two rescue Labradors myself, I am very aware of the devastating impact dog theft can have on families. I was pleased to hear of the public awareness campaigns being run by the police giving practical tips on what you can do to keep your animals safe as well as the work being done to catch and arrest those that commit this dreadful crime.
Another serious issue we discussed was violence against women and girls. I am proud of the importance we place, as a country, on the values of inclusivity, tolerance and mutual respect. Violence against someone based on their gender goes directly against these values and is completely unacceptable. I am pleased that reports of violence against women and girls are being taken extremely seriously by Gloucestershire Constabulary and they continue to work to ensure they take a proactive approach to this serious issue.