Newsletter July 2019

Newsletteraug 18

Preferred candidate for Chief Constable for West Yorkshire Police

Following interviews in June I announced that John Robins QPM will be my nominated candidate for the position of Chief Constable for West Yorkshire. Mr Robins has been Temporary Chief Constable since December 2018 and has worked in West Yorkshire Police since 1990, first as a Police Constable, working his way up to Chief Superintendent before becoming an Assistant Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable. I am really pleased to be making this announcement which will be subject to a confirmation hearing with the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel in July where I will look forward to making this recommendation to the Panel members.

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West Yorkshire Policing Awards

Dedication to frontline policing, complex investigations and protecting vulnerable victims of crime were among some of the achievements that were honoured at the West Yorkshire Policing Awards. The annual ceremony was held at the Centenary Pavillion at Leeds United Football Club on 14 June and recognised the accolades of police officers, PCSO's, staff, volunteers and members of the Special Constabulary. Hearing the stories of all those nominated for these awards truly brings home the levels of dedication and personal commitment in keeping people safe and feeling safe. Certainly from my own experience and visits across our communities, I know that it does not go unnoticed and is making a genuine difference to people's lives, which is rightly recognised with these annual awards. For a list of all the evenings' winners visit my website.

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Summer drink/drug drive campaign starts

West Yorkshire Police is warning of the consequences of getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs this summer. Motorists should be aware that roads policing officers take action all year round to tackle this inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour. There is a breathalyser kit in every police vehicle in West Yorkshire and officers also now routinely use drug testing kits. Last summer 54 people failed a breath test at the roadside while 59 people were arrested for driving whilst under the influence of drugs. If you know of anyone driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs then please report them to West Yorkshire Police as soon as you can. In doing so you will be helping to keep our communities safe and possibly even saving lives as a result. Information about someone drink or drug driving, can be reported via the West Yorkshire Police website or 101. You should always call 999 if a crime is in progress.

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Bradford Community Champion

I joined the Bradford Community Champions initiative to help inspire young people across the Bradford District. Community Champions work with schools to inspire, encourage and motivate students. My first visit was to Carlton Bolling College where I discussed my own experiences and the challenges I personally faced and overcame. The talk aimed to broaden students' aspirations and provide them with positive examples in terms of their career pathways. I am delighted to have been asked to be part of Community Champions to help and encourage young people. It is crucial we take the responsibility collectively to invest in our young people and harness their ability and show them the importance of discipline and hard work for future success.

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West Yorkshire receives over £3m for Violence Reduction Unit (VRU)

We are receiving a further £3.37m allocation to help tackle violent crime. This is in addition to the £4.02m 'surge' monies already awarded since May this year as part of the £100m funding pot announced by the Home Office in March. Additional funding for these issues is of course to be welcomed. I have long since advocated a whole system public health approach to reducing violence in our communities and the new investment in establishing Violent Crime Reduction approaches is an important step forward. It also further builds on a host of projects we are already doing across the county with partners to intervene earlier and help address the causes of serious crime and violence before it escalates. However the funding from Government needs to be sustainable over a longer period if it is to have a real impact. It is essential that funding beyond this first year is found as part of a Government priority within the forthcoming spending review. I have been keen to see this funding arrive as soon as possible as we are already 3 months into this financial year and it's very frustrating that it has taken this long. I will continue to highlight the need for a long term whole system approach by Government, which needs to be put in place and properly supported at all levels.

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Neighbourhood Watch Week

I supported Neighbourhood Watch Week which ran from 17th to 23rd June and said a big thank you to everyone that's part of a scheme. They are a vital partner and an important resource in the prevention of crime. They assist our communities to take practical steps to help reduce the opportunity for crime and criminals to operate. They also keep an eye out for those who may be more vulnerable and have a key role in community spirit and cohesion. I will continue to work with Neighbourhood Watch to increase the number of groups as well as developing their support and interaction with the police. For more information about Schemes in your area and how to join visit West Yorkshire Police's website or call 101.

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Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)

As part of my work as the Chair of the APCC last month I met with Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service. I then went on a Serious Violence Working Group where I continued my work nationally to tackle violent crime. I also met with Revolving Doors Agency, a charity who are looking to reduce the amount of people trapped in the cycle of offending, to discuss the use of short custodial sentences. Finally I spoke at this year's Cumberland Lodge Annual Police Conference which had a specific focus on gang crime. My speech centred around the need for early intervention and prevention across a range of service to safeguarding vulnerable young people and divert them to positive pathways.

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If you've been affected by crime, Victim Support can give you the help you need to move forward. Their services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened. To find out more about their services visit www.victimsupport.org.uk or call 0300 303 1971.

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