New Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins MP made her first ministerial visit to Gloucester on the 16th November 2017 at MP Richard Graham’s invitation. The Minister met with charities and statutory bodies to look at how Gloucester supports vulnerable residents as well as the Police to hear what is being done to deal with domestic abuse and reduce serious knife crime.
In attendance were:- Nick Gazzard (Chairman Hollie Gazzard Trust), John Trolan (CEO Nelson Trust), Constituency Caseworker Aisha Pandor, ex Police Inspector Richard Boyles now Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Member Children & Young People, Anne Brinkhoff Corporate Director Gloucester City Council, Police Inspector Tim Wood (Community Harm Reduction) and Gloucestershire’s Safeguarding representative DCI Chris Hanson.
Richard said, “I plan for the Minister to see some of the good work being done to support vulnerable women and homeless people, both by individual groups and increasingly in wider partnerships. But I would also like her to hear from the county council how it intends to turn around the Ofsted report’s criticism of its safeguarding responsibilities, and how the police are tackling domestic abuse and serious knife crime. These are all issues important to our city being seen as a safe and compassionate city.”
Nick Gazzard said: ”It was a great opportunity when I met Victoria Atkins to outline the work that the Hollie Gazzard Trust does in the area of violence against women and girls along with Knife crime – which are the areas of the ministers responsibilities. Having lived in our area when Hollie was murdered, she was well aware of what happened to Hollie and was especially interested in Hollie Guard, our personal safety App. She was very complimentary about our work and I am sure that we will have her full support going forward.”
Victoria Atkins was appointed Minister on the 9th November, having previously been a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Leader of the House of Lords. She was elected as MP for Louth and Horncastle in May 2015. Before becoming an MP Victoria Atkins was a barrister and lived for some time in Gloucestershire.
Her ministerial responsibilities include: victims of terrorism, the Disclosure and Barring Service, drugs, alcohol, countering extremism, crime prevention, anti-social behaviour, gangs, youth crime and youth violence, knife crime, wildlife crime, child sexual exploitation and abuse (including Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse), online child sexual exploitation, mental health, modern slavery, honour-based violence (including forced marriage and honour killings), female genital mutilation (FGM), violence against women and girls, missing people and children, sexual violence, prostitution and lap dancing, domestic violence, WEProtect and internet safety.