Newsletter August 2019

Newsletteraug 18

New Chief Constable for West Yorkshire Police

Following an application and robust interview process I announced that my recommended candidate was John Robins QPM who was then officially appointed at a confirmation hearing of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. John demonstrated during interview his extensive understanding of the issues facing West Yorkshire, both in terms of the issues facing different districts and the financial challenges we bear, while dealing with ever complex crimes and trends. John will come to this role with a huge amount of knowledge and experience of the diversity, opportunities and challenges facing West Yorkshire, a place he has always called home, and has come through the ranks to become Chief Constable.

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Mark And CC John Robins
MSS 123

"If I didn't work I got beaten up"

A survivor of modern slavery who spent 15 years trapped in forced labour has spoken to me and my office to help raise public awareness of the issues. Four videos of the survivor have been released highlighting the treatment he suffered at the hands of criminals and the local partnership support he has subsequently received. It is pleasing to know that the survivor is now safe and being support by a fantastic organisation, the Palm Cove Society. Our communities continue to have a key role to play in stopping this from happening. We need you to report any suspicions, no matter how small, to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or to the Police. General indicators of human trafficking or modern slavery can include signs of physical or psychological abuse, fear of authorities, irregular activity at homes or addresses, poor living conditions and working long hours for little or no pay.

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Tackling violent crime continues to be a priority

I held a regional conference in July with the Home Office to share knowledge across the county and look for long term solutions. Held in Leeds, it brought together partners from the NHS, fellow PCCs, police, probation, public health, education, local authorities, community safety partnerships, voluntary and community groups to help understand what the public health approach looks like in tackling serious violence. The other side of the coin to this kind of partnership working is robust law enforcement, which is also incredibly important and something which the public expect and I fully support as a twin-pronged approach. Operation Jemlock has been running since April and involves officers carrying out proactive, high visibility patrols in key crime areas. Teams have also carried out reactive work according to demand and intelligence information. Since the initiative launched, over 500 arrests have been made with over 40 weapons seized.

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Serious Violence Event 8th July (5)
Samaritans

Recovered proceeds of crime funding helps victims of violent crime

The Samaritans in Leeds received a £5000 boost from my Safer Communities Fund to help support victims of violent crime. The funding is helping to pay for the training of 5 cohorts of volunteers. The volunteers are trained to listen to people who can be victims of a number of violent crimes such as sexual assault, alcohol and drug related violence, domestic violence or hate crime. Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgemental support 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. The Leeds branch have a team of around 140 dedicated volunteers answering the phones. It's so important that we do not neglect the victims of these incidents who are often quite vulnerable. To find out more about Samaritans in Leeds visit www.samaritans.org/branches/leeds or call 0113 245 6789.

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Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)

This is my last update on being the Chair of the APCC as my term in the role has now come to an end. My time as the Chair was dominated by efforts to tackle violent crime with a particular highlight for me being attending the Serious Youth Violence Summit at Downing Street where I raised issues directly with the Prime Minister. My last month saw me looking at national road safety issues with a dedicated policy meeting, joining the launch of the Children's Commissioner's annual Vulnerability Report, attending a Downing Street reception to champion the positive activities for young people, meeting with the Ministerial Taskforce on Serious Violence and being very honoured to attend the National Police Bravery Awards. It's been a real pleasure representing the APCC in trying to positively influence and champion the role of Police and Crime Commissioner up and down the country. I would like to thank the APCC staff, my own office and all the PCCs for the support they have given me over the last year.

Safeguarding Workshop - Unity Hall Wakefield (2)1
"West Yorkshire is united in the fight against all forms of exploitation"

That was the message from a special safeguarding workshop I arranged last month in Wakefield. Representatives from each of the districts Safeguarding Adults, Safeguarding Children, Community Safety and Health and Well Being Boards and Partnerships were present and gave a collaborative presentation on their work to safeguard people. Following the presentations, a dedicated session explored what more can be done to keep vulnerable people safe across West Yorkshire. The effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), something which is widely believed to have an enormous impact on individuals, families and communities was also discussed at length. It's our joint aim to reduce harm and ultimately rid our communities of exploitation and abuses. This will remain our ambition and something we absolutely have to work together on.

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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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