Newsletter February 2018

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More resources for policing following police precept increase

The Police and Crime Panel supported my police precept proposal to increase the police element of council tax by 7.95%. This now means more policing resources to help keep us safe here in West Yorkshire, which otherwise wouldn't have been the case. 79% of people I surveyed before the proposal told me they'd be prepared to pay more for policing and the increase equates to £1 a month for residents in Band D properties. For most people in West Yorkshire the increase will be less than £10 a year or less than 20 pence per week. I certainly didn't want to put any extra unnecessary burden on local tax payers. However the Government has given me little choice with a further real terms cut to our budget which equates to over £9m this year alone. This precept increase will ensure more resources will be allocated to strengthen neighbourhood policing and to protect the numbers of Police and Community Support Officers but also to tackle the priorities in my West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan such as road safety, cyber crime and child sex exploitation to name a few.

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Community Fund helps drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity

Alpha House Calderdale received £5000 from my Safer Communities Fund for their project "Rapid Response" which looks to rehabilitate ex-offenders with drug and alcohol issues. Alpha House is a specialist supported housing scheme with a comprehensive drugs and alcohol treatment recovery programme for those with a history of offending due to mental health issues compounded by substance misuse. We cannot hope to reduce crime and reoffending without tackling the underlying problems such as substance abuse. Alpha House is making a real difference in Halifax and further afield and I am proud of the fact I was able to give them some funding towards their important work.

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Ground-breaking forensic techniques introduced

Forensic techniques that vastly reduce the time taken to help process crime scene investigations have been introduced across the Yorkshire and Humber Region. Massive improvements in the time taken to have key evidence such as fingerprints and footprints ready for examination are giving a massive boost to detect crimes and helping to greatly speed up investigations. The project has introduced the digital transmission of forensic evidence and means that results are available to detectives in almost 'real time' instead of days. I fully support this work which has the potential to be a real game changer for police investigations. The investment in our Scientific Support services in West Yorkshire has enabled us to put our region at the cutting edge of this work which is fantastic.

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Continuing the fight against scammers

In January I became a 'SCAMbassador' and joined the national Friends Against Scams campaign to prevent vulnerable people falling victim to scams. Scams damage lives and can affect people financially and emotionally so it is with great pride that I have joined the work of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and others who are working together to prevent people from being victims of scams. The awful consequences of targeting people for financial exploitation and crime is all too clear and it's particularly important that we protect and support those that are most vulnerable.

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Hate crime reporting app

Stop Hate UK have launched a free hate crime reporting app. The App is available on Android and IOS platforms by going to Google Play or the Apple App Store and searching for 'Stop Hate UK'. Find out more about it here:  http://www.stophateuk.org/report-hate-crime/west-yorkshire-hate-crime-reporting-app

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© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018