24 August 2019
On the whole, we are fortunate in Wiltshire to have a low crime rate, by comparison with other parts of the country.
Nevertheless, as the recent tragic death of a PC just up the road in Berkshire reminds us, the police take significant risks to keep us safe.
I welcome both the extra funding already being delivered through Police and Crime Commissioners and the promise of further major investment in policing.
Nevertheless, as with so many things, spending money is not the whole solution and I am particularly concerned about the distribution of police resources across rural areas, where some farmers and isolated communities feel constantly vulnerable.
Policing methods have had to change rapidly to keep pace with the profile of crime. Intelligence and technology play an ever more critical role in detecting and finding criminals and this brings both challenges and opportunities in crime fighting.
It will be a great pleasure this week to spend a day shadowing local officers and getting an insight into what they deal with on duty. I will be following in the footsteps of my great grandfather, who policed the streets of Salisbury either side of the Second World War.
There has been enormous speculation around the likelihood of a no deal Brexit.
My first preference – and that of the Prime Minister and many of the people who voted to leave – has always been for a negotiated deal and an orderly departure.
It is ironic that some of those now most vociferously concerned about the perception of a higher risk of no deal are those who most intractably opposed the deal in the first place.
I have been working in Westminster for part of the week on contingency plans for no deal to ensure we are prepared for all eventualities.
While leaks of documents that do not reflect current levels of preparedness do little to aid public understanding, one thing is for certain – this country cannot continue to leave this matter unresolved.
In the meantime, efforts to secure a deal have not been abandoned. On the contrary – considerable efforts in that regard are ongoing.
However, it is difficult to negotiate effectively when the other side do not believe you are prepared to follow through.