Newsletter October 2018

Newsletteraug 18

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£210,000 to tackle violent crime across West Yorkshire

I gave out £211,509.34 to tackle violent crime and support victims across the region.I granted a share of the money to 49 community groups from across West Yorkshire as part of the latest round of my Safer Communities Fund. The successful projects will tackle serious violent crime from all angles including prevention, early intervention, diversion, protection and education. Unfortunately we have seen a rise in violent crime recently, not just in West Yorkshire but across the country. It has not gone unanswered, the police will always do everything they can to stop and prevent these offences, however community groups and organisations also have a really important part to play in preventing such crimes from happening in the first place. The next round of the Safer Communities Fund opens for applications on 29 October 2018. £150,000 will be available for organisations to bid in for a grant of up to £5000. More details will be made available on my website soon, www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk. .

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New law helping to protect emergency workers welcomed

I was very pleased that the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, also known as the Protect the Protectors Bill, was finally signed into law last month. The new legislation means tougher sentences for those who assault emergency services staff. I gave my full backing to the 'Protect the Protectors' campaign, as I know the absolute importance in helping to safeguard police officers and other front line emergency workers. I also urged other PCCs to support the campaign with their local MPs and wrote to the Home Secretary during the passage of the Bill through parliament. Working very closely with Halifax MP Holly Lynch, who first introduced the Bill in 2016, and the West Yorkshire Police Federation particularly, we have increased parliamentary awareness, which has resulted in this positive outcome. Whilst it signifies a turn in the tide against perpetrators, I think it also illustrates just how much we all value our emergency services and the difficult jobs they all do, and they need to know they have our support.

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Supporting victims of sexual abuse charity

Money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) has been used by a West Yorkshire charity to support victims of sexual abuse. Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (KCRASACC) received £3,928 from my Safer Communities Fund to increase access to their helpline and online services. KCRASACC is a registered charity, formed in 1989, which supports people in the local communities who have been raped, sexually assaulted or experienced sexual and domestic violence. I pledged to put victims first so I was very pleased to be able to support KCRASACC who are doing some fantastic work. It was an honour to also meet some of the team and hear more about how they used the money from the Safer Communities Fund to promote their services. Ensuring our communities know that help is available is a crucial part of stopping the cycle of abuse and increasing the confidence of victims to come forward and report offences. To find out more about KCRASACC visit https://www.krasacc.co.uk/

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Pictured with staff from KCRASACC

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Week of Action against knife crime

A dedicated week of action to tackle knife crime was launched by West Yorkshire Police in September. The week included educational activities, targeted enforcement work and enforcing strong anti-knife messages. Officers spoke during school assemblies at both primary and secondary schools, and joined pupils on school buses and on the school run to educate young people on the dangers of carrying a knife. Tackling serious violence is a key priority in my refreshed Police and Crime Plan and this week of action had my full support. During my visits to local groups and engagement with communities, I have heard, often first-hand, the truly horrendous impact they can have on people's lives and those around them. We need do everything we can to stop this and I would encourage everyone to get involved in the fight against knife crime where they can, whether that is by reporting any suspicions or speaking to family and friends about the dangers. Reports can be made to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Volunteers sought to help stop scam mail

I am looking for volunteers to become Scam Marshal's and help put a stop to unsolicited mail. Any resident in the UK who receives scam mail can sign up to the scheme run by the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team. It means you would be responsible for collecting scam mail and sending it to NTS for investigation, as well as raising awareness in your community. You receive a certificate, a monthly newsletter, including on-going work to tackle scams and monthly freepost mailbags to send in scam mail to NTS. Scam mail is at best irritating and at worst can cost victims their life savings and affect their mental health and well-being. The National Trading Standards Scams Team have developed this fantastic initiative to encourage our communities to take a stand against scam mail and I am throwing my full backing behind it in the fight against seeing more victims being targeted in this way.

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Asda supports online safety competition for young people

As schools return for the beginning of a new year, pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are being challenged to develop a resource to help keep each other safe online. Across England and Wales 1.5 million cyber offences were recorded last year and it is thought that many more were unreported. I have joined forces with West Yorkshire Police and Leeds-based Asda, to run a cyber crime competition for the second year, following a successful pilot last year. Young people taking part are challenged to form a team and design a resource to help keep people safe online. It can take any form such as a website, leaflet, phone app or even a rap. Teams have until 7 December to design, test and launch their resources. To find out more about the competition, including how to take part visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/cyber-contest

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