Newsletter November 2018

Newsletteraug 18

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Conference on modern day slavery and homelessness

The links between Homelessness and Modern Day Slavery were the focus of a high profile partnership conference last month. The event followed a report by Homelessness Charity 'The Passage', supported by the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Office, which makes a series of recommendations. I led the event, which saw numerous organisations and agencies come together to hear from experts in their field and take part in workshops to raise awareness of the links, challenges, nature and scale of the issue. The event saw tangible steps forward in improving our combined understanding and safeguards for people vulnerable to being exploited. Outcomes included work to further enhance information sharing and preventative measures, training and awareness raising for frontline staff as well as service users including those who are homeless, rough sleeping or in temporary accommodation who may be at high risk of being exploited.

The conference followed the recent sentencing of a human trafficking gang to over 24 years in prison.

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West Yorkshire restorative justice service launched

I was very pleased to be able to launch the first ever West Yorkshire wide restorative justice programme last month. I commissioned the new service, investing £900,000 of funding over the next three years. The contract with Restorative Solutions CIC will build on existing work, which has supported victims and perpetrators to engage with each other with the aim of achieving positive steps in a victim's recovery and helping to prevent further offending. Over 100 representatives from enforcement agencies and other key partners came together for the landmark event, including victims of crime who spoke about their personal experiences of Restorative Justice. There is clear evidence of the difference this approach has made and I have worked extremely hard over recent years to reach this vision in conjunction with police and key partners. If you have been a victim of a crime in West Yorkshire you can learn more about the service by visiting www.rjwestyorkshire.org.uk or call 0800 783 1550.

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Vulnerable supported with money recovered from criminals

I visited Castleford recently to see how a local Neighbourhood Policing initiative is making a difference to vulnerable people's lives. Two thousand four hundred and thirty pounds in grant funding was received through my Safer Communities Fund, made up of Proceeds of Crime monies. The Team have been running a project called "Street Safe" which looks to give crime prevention packs and advice to support those in need, such as homeless people, vulnerable adults and the elderly. The packs are tailor made for the individual but can contain a variety of resources, including defender wrist alarms, space blankets, high visibility bags, secret pockets and thermal clothing. Neighbourhood Policing Teams exist to tackle crime and community safety issues at that really local level and it's telling that so much care and thought has gone in to this innovative project.

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PCC Visit NPT Castleford - PCSO Adam Jackson , PCC Mark Burns -Williamson And PCSO Matt Longdon

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Victim Support volunteers who helped Manchester Attack victims honoured

Volunteers from Victim Support West Yorkshire received an award for their role in helping victims of the Manchester Attack. The volunteers provided support to 117 victims from West Yorkshire who were caught up in the incident in 2017 and received the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Volunteer Award at the Lord Ferrers Awards held in London. I presented the award in London at the annual Lord Ferrers ceremony. The support these volunteers offer is a real lifeline to victims and witnesses and makes all the difference, the additional support they gave to many traumatised people in West Yorkshire after the Manchester Arena atrocity went well over and above what they would ordinarily provide to victims and was greatly appreciated by many. The Lord Ferrers Awards were launched in 1993 by former Home Office minister Lord Ferrers. The Awards recognise the commitment and dedication shown by special constables, police support volunteers, volunteer police cadets and volunteers.

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'Schools Tour' across Kirklees educates youngsters

Kirklees Youth Intervention Team have teamed up with inspirational speaker Paul Hannaford for a schools tour across the District last month reaching almost 4,500 children. The 'Schools Tour' was funded by my Safer Communities Fund, following a successful bid by Kirklees District Police. The aim of the project was to raise awareness and educate children and young people across Kirklees about the dangers of knife crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour which can lead to criminality. Intervening early on and helping to prevent people going down the wrong path is so important in reducing crime and criminality and to that end the workshops have reached thousands of students across Kirklees in an engaging way. My thanks to Paul Hannaford and the Kirklees Youth Intervention Team for delivering this project. It if helps prevent even just a few young people from getting involved in criminal activity it's well worth it.

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New Team to Tackle wildlife and rural crime in Leeds District

A new policing team has been launched in Leeds to tackle wildlife and rural crime. The Leeds District Wildlife and Rural Crime Team will work to address and raise awareness of issues including animal cruelty and poaching. It will also focus on crimes such as burglary and theft of farm machinery that affect rural and farming communities. The team will target organised offenders involved in rural crime, take the lead on investigations of wildlife crimes and provide crime prevention advice to prevent and deter offences. The officers will work closely in partnership with key agencies including the RSPCA and NFU and neighbouring police forces. This is a key outcome in my Police and Crime Plan under tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and no matter where someone lives or operates their business in West Yorkshire they should feel safe.

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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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