Newsletter April 2015



More money to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation

I have pledged nearly half a million pounds extra to pay for continued joint working to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The £440,000 is in addition to the £3.5m available to the police for increased capacity to deal with CSE, human trafficking and cyber-crime. Tackling CSE has always been one of my top priorities, which is why I have brought partners together to focus and co-ordinate work on CSE across West Yorkshire and have made extra money available to the police for increased capacity to deal with it. I want victims and witnesses, in particular those who are most vulnerable, to always come first and any young person who has been a victim or a witness of this sexual exploitation should have the confidence to come forward, trust that their voice will be heard and be justified in believing that the responsible authorities will make sure they and others are supported and kept safe. The launch of the Help for Victims website at last October is also a key part of putting victims first.   

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Anti-Slavery Commissioner visit

The UK's first Anti-Slavery Commissioner has been in West Yorkshire to see how police are leading the way in tackling human trafficking and modern slavery. Kevin Hyland met with me and Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins to hear all about the creation of the West Yorkshire Anti Trafficking Network (WYATN) and a dedicated human trafficking unit set up by West Yorkshire Police, only the second in England other than the Met. West Yorkshire Police and partners are leading the way in tackling human trafficking and bringing the vile perpetrators of this crime to justice and it was great to be able to show and discuss with Mr Hyland the work and progress we have been making here.          

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Say No to Revenge Porn

I have backed a national campaign last month to raise awareness that revenge porn is now a criminal offence. Under new legislation sharing private sexually related materials with intent to cause distress, will soon be easier to prosecute. Those found guilty can be sentenced for up to two years in prison and fined. The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way. The effects of this crime on both the victim and the perpetrator can be massively wide reaching and by raising awareness, I hope that I can make potential offenders stop and think twice about the consequences of their actions. The campaign also highlights support for victims, which is especially important with this kind of crime that tends to make people feel isolated, embarrassed and helpless. The support service is free and can be initiated anonymously. 

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Bradford police show off football skills

I joined police officers from Bradford last month to celebrate the success of a football scheme for deaf people in the city. Futsal is a version of five-a-side football which is played with a smaller, brighter and softer ball than the traditional game. Funding for the eight-week project was obtained from lottery-funded scheme West Yorkshire Sportivate and was launched by PC Jo Armstrong from the Bradford City Area Neighbourhood Team, who teamed up with Sam Allen from the deaf community to improve engagement between themselves and the police. It was a great event.

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Response to George Osborne's Budget Statement

The budget by Chancellor George Osborne shows that he is still planning extreme spending cuts after the election that go far beyond balancing the books and will hit West Yorkshire amongst the hardest.  I will continue to do absolutely everything I can to protect jobs, but there are only so many efficiencies that the police service can make in the face of these relentless real cuts to day-to-day spending on vital public services, cuts that are increasingly difficult for all of us to achieve and takes no account of the demands around CSE, Cyber Crime, Human Trafficking and maintaining a neighbourhood policing presence.

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'Standing Together' against hate crime

I supported the national 'We Stand Together' campaign along with West Yorkshire Police which was launched to respond to concerns within communities across the UK as a result of recent global events. The 'We Stand Together' campaign is a national movement to celebrate diversity and difference, encourage community cohesion and build upon positive work already taking place. People can get involved with the campaign by uploading a photograph of themself standing with at least one other person and tweet a message with #WeStandTogether and their stated cause. We all have a responsibility to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred, whether individually or collectively.

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Cyber Crime Week of Action

West Yorkshire Police highlighted the online threat posed by criminals as part of a national week of action to raise awareness over the dangers of cyber-crime last month. We must never underestimate the impact this crime can have on anyone, but especially those who are young and vulnerable. There is a potential step-change required within policing and law enforcement generally to fully understand the scale and impact of technology enabled crime and I am working with the police to address this. Cyber safety begins firmly at home by taking simple and quick steps to ensure you and your computer are safe.

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Special Constables recruitment

Special Constables are being recruited now, for more information including videos, myth busting and the online application form, visit


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