This week as we celebrate the contributions volunteers make I am reminded of all those volunteers who give their time to support my office, Wiltshire Police and the communities we serve.
One collection of volunteers who are not often in the spotlight but play an important role in both the OPCC and the Force are those independent volunteers who give us their opinion, their feedback and their advice.
Policing should be community based, and not just done to us. We police by consent, but to be able to continue to do this we need a continuous open conversation with our communities.
They may not volunteer on a regular basis, some people may only give a few hours every month or every quarter, but we should never underestimate the impact that any voluntary role can have.
Having individuals and groups that reflect the communities we serve, who are willing to meet, discuss and challenge the police service is vital. These individuals give their time to check and test our services, help us understand the community's perception, ensure we are continuing to treat people with dignity and respect, and influence decision making when policing is changing.
There are several groups and individuals who work with the OPCC and the Force, these include the Independent Advisory Group, Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel, Multi Agency Hate Crime Group, BME Advisory Group or Independent Custody Visitors.
When appropriate I attend these groups to listen and understand the group and communities view, how policing is impacting others, and how we need to change and improve.
In my role these independent voices are so important and I would like to thank all those you give their time to these groups and roles.
Your independent voice has a real impact on how we police our county and how we shape services for the future.