Newsletter September 2019

Newsletteraug 18

Millions Injected into the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit

In August a funding boost of almost £3.4m was confirmed by the Home Office that will see the creation of a dedicated Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) in West Yorkshire. The Unit will be led and co-ordinated through my office. The VRU will take a multi-agency approach, bringing together key partners to tackle violent crime and its underlying causes. The confirmation of this money which allows us collectively to further address issues of violent crime, is clearly a step in the right direction, albeit somewhat delayed and only for this financial year up until March 2020. It is important that there is a long term plan attached to this, which will ensure the sustainability of the programme, hopefully with continued resourcing beyond 2020, which will be crucial in having the desired impact for the future. This is something I will be taking up directly with Government Ministers

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Ninety firearms including shotguns and a rifle surrendered to police

Ninety firearms were surrendered alongside large quantities of ammunition including 1500 shotgun cartridges as part of West Yorkshire Police's recent firearms surrender. The surrender, which was held nationally and supported by West Yorkshire Police, gave people the opportunity to hand in firearms without the fear of prosecution for possessing them. This surrender has seen a good amount of firearms and ammunition removed from the streets of West Yorkshire which undoubtedly means we are all safer.

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Reducing re-offending the target of a Safer Communities Fund (SCF) grant

West Yorkshire Community Chaplaincy Project (WYCCP) have received a £5000 grant from my SCF to help reduce reoffending. Located at HMP Leeds, WYCCP is a resettlement organisation, working with offenders pre and post release. Resettlement workers from WYCCP visit prisoners for assessment and to build a rapport prior to their release. Meeting men at the gate, staff and volunteers offer support in the community. Support needs are identified by the ex-prisoners as significant in maintaining a crime-free life; to access accommodation and appropriate benefits and give support with managing debts, budgeting as well as health issues. I was happy to provide this funding as reducing reoffending is central to achieving the outcomes in my Police and Crime Plan, specifically the overall vision of keeping West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.

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Proposed site for new Police Station in Keighley

We have reached an agreement with Bradford Council to sell the site of the former Keighley College building to West Yorkshire Police, who subject to planning permission, will build a new Police Station. This is another really positive step in the right direction in getting a new police station in the heart of Keighley having worked closely with the Council and John Grogan MP. I have always said that the preferred option would be to ensure a permanent presence in the centre of Keighley that is fit for purpose, provides value for money and delivers more visible policing for our communities. And with the demolition work, this is now becoming closer to a reality following complex legal and contractual hurdles that have been cleared within our estates teams.

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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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© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019