Newsletter May 2019

Newsletteraug 18

Scheme ensures detainee welfare

I helped to check on the welfare of detainees when I joined two of my Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) at Elland Road custody suite last month. IVCs are volunteer members of the community who visit custody suites across West Yorkshire and speak to detained people to check on the conditions and their welfare. The outcome of the visit is reported back to my office who support and maintain the scheme which is required to operate by Law. Reported issues are dealt with anonymously by my office who take them up directly with West Yorkshire Police. ICVs conduct their visits unannounced and can attend custody suites at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. ICVs carry out a very valuable and rewarding role. It was clear to see just how appreciated the independent check was by the detained people we spoke to, and in fairness the police custody officers and staff. If you would like to become an ICV, or to find out more visit my website.

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PCC With ICV - Visit Elland Custody Suite (1)
Neesie For Web

Safer Communities Fund project tackling violent crime

A project, majority funded by money recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), has been helping to tackling violent crime in Bradford. Neesie were awarded £4915.14 from my Safer Communities Fund for their 'Life not Knife' project which focused on working with young people to develop educational zero tolerance campaigns on gun and knife crime in Bradford. Neesie worked with students at Carlton Bolling and Appleton Academy and focused on the dangers of knife crime, tackling issues of gang crime, anti-social behaviour and up skilling individuals on practical ways of discouraging them away from violent crime. Once developed, the students then spoke to members of the public about their campaigns to gain support. Local projects such as Neesie play such a valuable role in working with young people, specifically focusing on providing crucial early intervention and prevention measures. The Safer Communities Fund is currently open for applications until 24th May (12:00 noon). Grants of up to £6,000 are available from a total funding pot of £200,000.

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High tech solution to 'tag' burglars and bar brawlers

A high-tech traceable liquid is to be used to provide full spectrum crime protection for shops, pubs and revellers in Wakefield city centre. Wakefield Police and Wakefield BID are to supply the clear, colourless SmartWater solution to selected Night Marshals operating in city centre pubs and bars which they can use to 'tag' persons they witness involved in serious incidents, such as violent offences, in the evening economy. SmartWater packs are also to being given to businesses in the Wakefield BID area, while a number of mobile SmartWater spray systems will also be deployed to premises affected by burglary. Only through working in partnership and exploiting the latest advancements in crime fighting can we effectively tackle these issues on the ground and I am pledging my full support to this collaborative approach with Wakefield BID who I applaud for their involvement and support with this initiative.

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

My work as Chair of the APCC was again dominated by efforts to tackle violent crime. The start of April saw me attend the Serious Youth Violence Summit at Downing Street where I raised issues directly with the Prime Minister. I specifically spoke about the need to rebuild Neighbourhood Policing Teams, the effect of social media which potentially drives some of the activity and how I have commissioned some research into this. I also had a regular meeting of the Serious Violence Taskforce where we further explored the causes and intervention for serious violence. Towards the end of the month I gave evidence at the Home Affairs Select Committee meeting looking into serious violence. I again raised the need for a sustainably funded 'whole system' approach including schools, youth and health services, as it is ultimately through early intervention and prevention work that we can most effectively tackle knife crime and serious violence. I also attended a Ministerial Roundtable on the Effectiveness of Criminal Justice System with regards to reducing re-offending.

Mark Downing Street

Pioneering research launched to examine language barriers in the criminal justice system

A new partnership has launched a pioneering study examining the barriers faced by those who have limited English skills when accessing the criminal justice system. This is the first large scale research of its kind in the UK. National charity Victim Support, The Institute for Criminal Policy Research at Birkbeck, University of London, and research and development charity The Centre for Justice Innovation, have joined forces to examine national policy and data as well as looking at the individual experiences of victims, suspects and offenders in Leeds and London. Supporting victims and witnesses is key focus, their needs should always be at the heart of the criminal justice system and they are at the forefront of my efforts to keep communities safe, working alongside Victim Support West Yorkshire. I welcome this innovative new research and will be keeping a close eye on the results. .

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Community Alert System launched by West Yorkshire Police

A new community alert system has been launched in West Yorkshire to keep residents informed of crime in their area and positive work being carried out by police. West Yorkshire Community Alert launched on 1 May and allows residents to keep up to date with local police updates. Registration is free and people can choose to receive news and appeals, local crime information and crime prevention advice via email or text message. Working with communities is at the heart of what we do and I welcome the implementation of this new system which will help to increase engagement and awareness. This additional communication tool will also further empower people to link in with West Yorkshire Police, and partner organisations. I often receive feedback from members of the public who would welcome further contact.

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Comm Alert

Focus on the Third Sector

Myself, West Yorkshire Police and partners rely hugely on the third sector to help keep communities safe. However their work, often delivered at a very local level does not always get the awareness or recognition it deserves and many third sector groups feel they are left plugging gaps when statutory services are cut or withdrawn. The PCCs Third Sector Advisory Group is a dynamic group of people who represent the sector, they sit on internal groups to offer advice and insight to the PCC on issues such as reducing reoffending and mental health, they also sit on the Community Safety Partnerships in each district and support the PCC at a strategic level on the Partnership Executive Group. The group meets 4 times per year and hosts an annual conference. .

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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 or call 0300 303 1971.

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