Lib Dem Robertson secures commitment to tackling digital exclusion from the Conservative Police Commissioner

October 23, 2020 11:32 PM
By Essex Lib Dems
Originally published by Essex Liberal Democrats

On Thursday 22, Callum Robertson attended the Police and Crime Panel to ask tough questions of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst.

The Police and Crime Panel, which is made up of representatives of each council within Essex is convened to scrutinise the work of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

At the start of every meeting, members of the public get a chance to scrutinise the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for 15 minutes. Callum Robertson was the only member of the public in attendance and used the entire 15-minute slot to ask a series of questions ranging from financial management, to malicious false fire alarms.

His first question focused on the financial management of the policing budget amid the COVID pandemic. The commissioner indicated that there would be further cuts to policing over the next three years.

The second question focused on the brilliant work of the Fire Cadet Units and their transition to online learning. The commissioner praised their work and committed to getting them back into their units as soon as possible.

After this, Robertson switched his focus to reducing cyber-crime and tackling digital exclusion. Describing the situation as:

[digital exclusion is] "a classic catch 22 scenario where the pandemic stopped in-person training provision whilst simultaneously the lack of IT literacy amongst affected groups means online training is inaccessible"

In his response the Commissioner promised to focus on finding solutions to the issues of cyber-crime and digital exclusion.

Concluding his questions, Robertson asked for an update on the concerning 2017 report into the culture of Essex Fire & Rescue Service.