Assistant Commissioner sets out her aims to tackle crime on the Isle of Wight (podcast)

OnTheWight interviews the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Hayes and the new Isle of Wight Assistant Commissioner, Laura Franklin.

Laura Franklin and Simon Hayes:

OnTheWight had the opportunity to meet and interview the new Assistant Police Commissioner, Laura Franklin today along with Simon Hayes, the Police and Crime Commissioner.

We thought it would be useful to readers for Simon and Laura to briefly explain how they see their roles and the relationship they have with the Island.

The role of Police Commissioner
Simon explained that after being elected to the role last year, he now has budget responsibility for the entire Hampshire and Isle of Wight police service.

As well as challenging and monitoring the work of the police Constabulary, he’s also responsible for setting the strategic targets for the roles the police have (although it’s worth noting that he has no operational responsibility).

Full details of his vision for the police service can be found in the Police and Crime Plan which was published in March 2013.

The role of Assistant Commissioner
Laura tells OnTheWight she sees her role as two-fold. Firstly engaging with the public, carrying out consultation and canvassing opinion by inviting individuals and groups to attend meetings, as well as herself attending community events.

The second part of Laura’s role will be to liaise with the Commissioner, Simon Hayes, developing ideas and initiatives that will help improve policing on the Island.

Laura believes that by being involved as she has been (see her background) – and will be in the new role – that she can help make a tangible difference. A view backed up by Simon Hayes who said she was “uniquely qualified” to represent him on the Island.

Why an Island representative?
As pledged during the election for PCC, Simon Hayes said he would be looking for a representative on the Island because of its uniqueness and challenges that other parts of the Constabulary don’t have.

Laura has served as a Special Constable on the Island and lived here for 25 years, so is well placed to take on the role.

Simon made it clear that having Laura here as his assistant does not mean he’ll be making less visits to the Island, but simply increasing his reach.

Your questions answered
We put out a Tweet and call on Facebook this morning, asking readers whether they had any burning questions they’d like answered by the PCC.

Expensive vehicle fleet
Thomas Cowley raised the issue of the cost of police vehicles, specifically BMW X5s being used as opposed to more cost effective 4X4 models.

We put the question to Simon Hayes, who confirmed that they are currently looking at the type and cost of vehicles, adding that the police service benefits from reduced pricing due to bulk buying so they do not pay the same price as members of the public.

Tackling domestic violence
Another subject we’d been asked to highlight is the hidden crime of domestic violence. Kim Brown was keen to know their thoughts on domestic abuse and how it’s addressed on the Island.

Simon Hayes acknowledged that the figures for the Island are quite high and action needed to be taken, confirming the issue of domestic violence is included in his Policing Plan.

He told OnTheWight that he’s keen to not only prevent re-offending, but also offending in the first place.

Rather shockingly he gave the example that a woman (which it is most often) may be attacked 15-18 times before going to the police.

He hoped that police would be able to bring perpetrators to justice, as well as looking at ways to educate and rehabilitate to prevent re-offending.

Rural crime
Laura explained that one area she’d be looking for specific feedback on is rural crime and how it affects Island residents.

She is keen to speak to groups to find out more about how fox hunting; fuel thefts; harm of animals etc impacts Islanders’ lives.

Tackling offenders
With Laura’s indepth knowledge of Criminology, we asked her to share her view on how to tackle offending and re-offending.

Acknowledging that it is difficult to generalise, Laura said she felt that prison wasn’t the best answer for low level offences.

Tackling low aspirations
She feels that it’s important to raise aspirations of young people on the Island and letting them know that they can achieve them, citing the 2012 Children’s Society study. The study found that at the age of five, children on the Island had the same aspirations as five year olds in other parts of the country, but by the time they reached 14-15 years old, they start to believe that they can’t achieve those aspirations.

Listen to the discussion by clicking on the play button below

Tuesday, 18th June, 2013 3:13pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Law & Order, podcast, Police, Top story, Youth

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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44 Comments on "Assistant Commissioner sets out her aims to tackle crime on the Isle of Wight (podcast)"

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Island Monkey

How do you get that job then? In other words, why her, rather than anyone else.

Can anyone apply?

Ironic really that Laura’s role will include engaging with the public of the Island, although she wasn’t elected by them, yet Simon wont be doing so although he was elected. Simon is correct in stating that the Island is unique and and has challenges that other parts of the Constabulary don’t have. For example it’s the poor relation with an elected Commissioner too busy to serve with… Read more »

How would the Island feel if Andrew Turner MP hired Pugh to represent Newport because he had taken on more than he could handle?

Don Smith

[comment removed by moderator]

Was the post advertised?

Mr Einsteins Ghost

If ‘she’ was a ‘he’ and good-looking, would you have made the same comment Don?

Agree with you on this one, Mr EG. Women get their looks commented upon by strangers so much of the time, regardless of relevance. Whether a ‘compliment’ or not, it presumes that over-familiarity is the right of the man. Not to mention that this undermines a woman’s right to be listened to on her own terms, and can be used to ‘take her down a peg or… Read more »

Now now Tryme, I don’t know why you think that commenting on a lady’s looks is a problem. Now don’t you go worrying your pretty little head about it and have a nice cup of tea to calm you down.


That came suspiciously easily to you, didn’t it Brian!

Don Smith
I just thought she was a good-looker – Fair comment mi thinks! Had it been a man I would not have made the same comment, because he would not have met my criteria as a good looking woman; therefore it is irrelevant. I never wanted to imply that this lady got the job because of her looks. Why my original comment was [comment removed by moderator]? well!… Read more »

I don’t think flattery is an insult, at least it never used to be


Because you ‘just thought’ something about someone’s looks, doesn’t mean that it’s fair to say it out loud…


Its a paradox that he world is obsessed with good looks 24/7 yet to mention them is taboo

Yet another tier of unnecessary bureaucracy at some cost to the taxpayer. The idea of making the police accountable to those they serve is excellent but commissioners and deputy commissioners is not the answer. Years ago we had police watch conmmittees made up from councillors who sat with the chief constable and told him which crimes in the vicinity required attention. Why these were abolished I don’t… Read more »
Diogenes' Barrel

Does anyone know this woman’s remuneration package or is it a voluntary position?
We should be told before we jump to conclusions about her capabilities.

I am quite certain she would have the same capability to do the job whether she is paid or not. This person seems quite well qualified, yet people are questioning this appointment because she wasnt elected, and in one case apparently because she is a good looking lady (good job thats been removed). I couldnt care less what route she took into this position (I suspect the… Read more »
kevin Barclay-Jay

I beleive the wage is some £10k for one day a week

The job was advertised and this person is very qualified for the job, being a qualified criminologist and having walked the streets as a PCSO


Special Constable, not PCSO.

Diogenes' Barrel

Previous experience of relevant voluntary work.

This woman planned her CV.

More than just a pretty face!

It makes such a funny joke to be patronising to a woman about her looks, in a public forum, doesn’t it. Woe betide that, or another, woman when she is judged not good-looking, of course, because the right to make irrelevant personal comments about her looks is claimed on both counts. That this is regarded as appropriate, normal comment, and then ‘only a joke’, just shows even… Read more »

It would be correct if her wage came out of the commissioners wage as she is doing part of his work.

As most of you are probably aware I am a taxi driver in Ryde! I very much doubt you will see either of the people in that picture at the bus station on a Fri/Sat night when it usually kicks off!! We, the taxi drivers take them home and quite often take a lot of abuse! However we are removing the drunk abusive people off the streets.… Read more »
Don Smith
Taxi drivers on the IoW do a great job. More expensive than on the mainland, but so is everything else. Obvious that less people attended the festival and less people were leaving the site. It was certainly cheaper to share a taxi at the IoW festival – That £6.00 charge was a rip-off; is it any wonder less people visited Newport to do a bit of shopping?… Read more »

Thank you for your comments regarding taxi drivers Don :) I would like to point out that out of 364 council table of fares in the UK, the Isle of Wight rank 144 (1 being the highest and 364 the cheapest).
Information supplied by Private hire & taxi monthly (available on the net).


What a frightening system!

Robert Jones
This really is just absurd – if the commissioner and his unelected assistant want to know about the impact of rural crime on the island, they could try asking the police officers who have to deal with it. What’s the POINT of this job? Will the commissioner and Ms Franklin reply to Retired Hack’s question on another thread and tell us what they think of the police… Read more »
Don Smith

Time all the threads on this topic were opened for marking (Arrows) Green or Red!


Crikey, not just me, is it – our names have gone ‘bold’? Looks good!

Mr Einsteins Ghost

Everyone’s comments disappeared a while ago and when they re-appeared, hey-presto, bold! but arrows gone?


I don’t mind if they stay away, they cause a bit of a bally-hoo from time to time!

Mr Einsteins Ghost

True, and not sure they much purpose anyway..If someone agrees/disagrees just post a reply.



It must have been a bit weird to find there were no comments here, earlier on. All our precious thoughts – gone!

Simon Perry

We did some changes to the servers last night and a side ‘benefit’ of that was a few settings unset themselves. I think we’re back to where we were before now, settings-wise.


The arrows gave the website structure and livened it up. You could scan down a page and spot the lively areas at a glance, be that 20 green arrows or a cluster of reds, they added another dimension and kept it snappy. I will miss them and I put a lot of work in building up those reds :-)


You sure did and they were well deserved.


That’s an illusion though, Bystander. There could be 50 up arrows and 50 down, (I’d call that “lively”), and all we would see on here would be – no arrows!


I think the child who made such a melodramatic exit from OTW recently is still brooding under the surface and red arrowing every comment as a little protest thats the arrows are staying – Oh such power – He wont be able to bight his tongue for much longer though and is bound be back as a ‘newcomer’ soon

kevin Barclay-Jay

pot kettle black


I wont be responding to your digs in future Kevin. As I have already stated you were more than willing to join in a group bullying of myself recently and you regularly demonstrate your struggle to control your temper. You felt this qualified you to stand as a Labour councilor. The electorate disagreed, and as a result you have become even more bitter.


I won’t get taken in again in a hurry next time Bystander. Every new recruit is now on 3 months’ probation as far as I’m concerned… :-/

I don’t see there is much more to say, a great deal of public money has been spent on elected commissioners, the poor turnout demonstrated that is was not important to the public. We have now discovered that the commissioner elected for our area is too busy to do the job so has appointed an unelected side kick and we have no say in that. Surely if… Read more »