Newsletter October 2015


Guide Dogs Service Level Agreement

I was joined by West Yorkshire Police and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in signing an agreement to better support victims of attacks on assistance dogs. The agreement details how police will respond to an attack on an assistance dog - such as a guide dog. It is important to make sure that attacks on these specially trained dogs are not treated in the same way as dog on dog attacks. If a guide dog is attacked, it's not just the dog that suffers but the person who that dog is providing support to. We shouldn't underestimate what an impact such an attack can have and how much the people involved can be affected. By signing this agreement we ensure we assist victims of these attacks and ensure they receive the best possible support.

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Annual Report released

This report charts the progress I have made in meeting my commitments to people across the county and the wider activities and achievements of my office. It also looks at the performance of West Yorkshire Police and partners as we continue to work together during these challenging times to deliver on the priorities and shared outcomes as set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2013-18.  In these times of unprecedented government cuts to public services I have made it a personal priority to do everything I can, as far as possible, to protect our frontline police officers and staff who work so hard to keep people safe. I am proud that victims and witnesses in West Yorkshire now have access to information and advice, and those who need more support are signposted to specialist organisations, all through the Help for Victims website My Safer Communities Fund goes from strength to strength, funding partners, community groups and charities working to help make their communities safer and feel safer. This year 153 projects have been funded with over 40 supporting victims and witnesses, most of whom are women, children and young people. These are just some of the achievements highlighted in the Annual Report which you can read on my website.

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West Yorkshire Criminal Justice and Mental Health Forum

Partners from health and criminal justice have come together to launch the West Yorkshire Criminal Justice and Mental Health Forum. This Forum is unprecedented and includes my office, West Yorkshire Police, NHS, Public Health England, the Ambulance and Fire Services and Mental Health Trusts. The Forum has come together to better meet the health and criminal justice needs of people with mental health issues within West Yorkshire communities. It is vital that the different organisations involved in dealing with mental health issues are working together in a much more integrated way to ensure the best service possible for our communities.

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Community Outcome Meetings

I meet regularly with the Chief Constable at meetings known as Community Outcome Meetings (COM). The meetings focus on important policing and community safety issues which are of a high public interest with recent items including child sexual exploitation and cyber crime. The aim of the meetings is to offer greater transparency to communities on how I hold the Chief Constable to account on these important issues. COM also provides an excellent opportunity for me to raise issues with the Chief Constable on behalf of members of the community. A Full non verbatim note is taken and I am also piloting the filming of these conversations so that communities can see the process for themselves. You can view the agendas, minutes and videos from the meetings on my website

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Leeds Special Constables Scoop National Award

Many congratulations to three Special Constables from Leeds who won first prize at a National Awards Ceremony in London. Senior Section Officer Stephen Richardson, Senior Section Officer Thomas Mortimer and Special Constable Thomas Haworth attended the Lord Ferrers' awards for their work in instigating a partnership scheme with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, creating a new police and ambulance co-responder scheme. Special Constables are recruiting now, for more information and a link to the application form visit my website.

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Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel

A Scrutiny Panel has been created to look at the appropriate use of the out of court disposals (OOCD). An OOCD is a method of resolving an investigation without going through court. An OOCD can only be used in limited circumstances and it should reduce re-offending by enabling restorative and reparative justice. The panel particularly focuses on the delivery of appropriate and proportionate justice, ensuring redress for victims of crime as well as addressing the root causes of offending behaviour. The panel meets quarterly and has met twice so far, in April and July 2015. More information and the findings of the panel can be found on my website.

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Leeds Inner East Neighbourhood Policing Team visit

I saw the excellent on-going work by the Leeds Inner East Neighbourhood Policing Team on a visit last month. I very much value visits like this as they allow me to show my support for Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and support staff and to thank them for the great work that they do day in day out in the heart of the community. During this visit I also had the pleasure of meeting people from the Bangladeshi Centre and representatives from the CATCH project (Community Action To Change Harehills) who volunteer their time to help improve Harehills and Gipton for everyone.

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Breathalysers issued to bars in Huddersfield

Door staff at a number of late night venues in Huddersfield are being given breathalysers as part of a drive to reduce alcohol-related issues in the town centre. Trained staff will be able to use the hand-held breathalysers on those looking to come in to the venue where there are concerns about the level of alcohol the person has already consumed. Anti-social behaviour, especially when excessive amounts of alcohol are involved can have a very negative impact on our communities. I welcome efforts that help reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents and help to ensure people enjoying the nightlife Huddersfield has to offer can have a great time.

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West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network Workshop

The workshop compromised of running through a hypothetical case of large scale human trafficking in the region with the aim of developing a reliable multi-agency response in West Yorkshire should such a situation occur. The exercise covered all aspects of safeguarding, including identifying potential victims, removing them from danger and referring them into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The event was organised by the West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network and brought together a number of key partners from across West Yorkshire including the police, Border Force, Crown Prosecution Service, Adult and Child Safeguarding, Housing and Health. Partnership working is key and I hope that partners left with a clearer understanding of the process of identifying victims and referring them into the NRM.

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Hate crime reporting

Did you know you can now report hate crime and hate incidents online? You can find the online form and more options here:

A new hate crime campaign is also launching on 10th October.



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