A local charity is helping local communities have their say on the Police and the new Police Crime Commissioners.

The Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action (GAVCA) has been making sure that communities whose voice is seldom heard get a chance to air their views on the role of the police and the soon-to-be-elected PCC.

Through its network of member organisations, people including refugees and asylum seekers, people with sensory or learning disabilities, ex-offenders, minority ethnic communities and young people took part in focus groups in which they shared some difficult experiences they had had with the Police, but also offered constructive solutions to tackle the problems they had faced.

Samantha Gibbs from the Gloucestershire Police Authority, said “The Police Authority was interested in getting the views of hard to hear groups within Gloucestershire on policing in their communities and was unsure how to go about reaching these groups. GAVCA's input in identifying groups within the community and getting those groups of people on board with this research was invaluable, and the excellent information provided will be used to inform the incoming Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire on the thoughts and feelings of some of the harder to reach groups within the County.”

As a result of these initial focus groups the Constabulary have also started to develop stronger working relationships with them to take forward some of the suggestions raised.

For more information go to www.gavca.org.uk