Newsletter September 2015

September Newsletter

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Safer Communities Fund Grant Round 5 Awards

I awarded 38 projects from across West Yorkshire a share of £150,000 from grant round 5 of the Safer Communities Fund (SCF). Successful applicants gathered at Brighouse High School to receive their cheques of up to £5000. The SCF grants come from money seized from criminals by West Yorkshire Police under the Proceeds of Crime Act. I started the fund one and a half years ago and have given out over £850,000 to good causes so far. The next grant round opens on 1st  September 2015 with £140,000 available, if you're interested in applying then please visit my website to check that you meet the required criteria and for information on how to apply.

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Young people warned of the dangers of sharing sexual images

West Yorkshire Police, partners and my office are advising under 16's of the negative impact either requesting or sharing sexual images can have on their lives and their futures. The new 'think before you send' campaign features advice for victims and messages warning those who request 'sexual images' that they are potentially committing criminal offences. It is very important that young people recognise the risks of 'sexting' and the dangers associated with it. That is why I have used money taken from criminals and invested it into this campaign to make sure it reaches the right people and has the maximum impact. The police cannot and must not work in isolation to deal with 'sexting' and a number of key partners from across West Yorkshire have come together to launch this campaign which I whole-heartedly support.

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Event to tackle Female Genital Mutilation a success

The event was the first time that statutory and community partners from across the county had come together with me to discuss work to prevent and raise awareness of FGM, including how best to support victims. During the event there were presentations from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Black Health Initiative (BHI) and the Crown Prosecution Service as well as a moving spoken word performance from Leeds Young Authors, who were brought to the event by BHI. The excellent and emotive performance by Leeds Young Authors, which can be viewed on my website, really helped to concentrate people's minds on what victims go through. I would also like to thank everyone else who played their part during the day and helped to make sure the event was a great success. It has helped to not only raise awareness of the issue but also saw various different organisations coming together and sharing their knowledge and expertise. Only by working together can we make a real difference.  FGM is a terrible crime and tackling it is a priority within my Police and Crime Plan.

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Youth Advisory Group visits Carr Gate Training Facility

Members of my Youth Advisory Group (YAG) as well as members from the Junior Neighbourhood Watch, Warwick Watches, have seen first-hand how police officers gain the skills to keep our communities safe. The group visited Carr Gate to see the public order training arena, the firearms ranges and the National Police Air Service facility. They also got to see the warehouse-style arena set up to recreate challenges officers would face maintaining public order, including a pub, shops, a town square and a football stand. The groups had asked for the visit to help them in their understanding of operational policing.

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Cyber crime grant

The fight against cyber-crime in West Yorkshire has been given a boost following the approval of a £643,290 grant from the Police Knowledge Fund. This funding will be used to produce an evidence-based approach to fighting cyber-crime from the frontline and will therefore improve the effectiveness and efficiency of investigating cyber enabled crime. The Police are dealing with ever more complex crimes including a growing amount of cyber-crime and the project will analyse how cyber-crime is currently investigated from the experience of the member of public reporting the crime, to the call taker, the attending officer, investigator and the Crown Prosecution Service - it will identify any gaps and needs in the policing of cyber-crime.

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Leeds Teaching Hospitals Crime Prevention Roadshow

I opened a Crime Prevention Roadshow at St James's University Hospital with Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals. It was a fantastic event and it was good to meet lots of the people and see some of the initiatives and equipment that is helping to keep staff and members of the public safe. The Trust, West Yorkshire Police, Safer Leeds and other partners have done a great job of preventing and reducing crime and this Crime Prevention Roadshow is testament to their committed working relationships.

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Office spend per size of population is one of the lowest in the country

A national report from the TaxPayers' Alliance that shows that my office spend per size of population is one of the lowest in the country. The report shows that, out of 41 Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales, West Yorkshire is the 3rd* cheapest in terms of spend per 1000 members of the electorate and much cheaper than the previous Police Authority.

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*Update - The report actually showed that there were 3 offices run at a lower cost which puts West Yorkshire at 4th cheapest. 

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