Newsletter December 2015

Newsletter Dec

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One million pounds given out through the Safer Communities Fund

I awarded nearly £153,000 in the latest round of the Safer Communities Fund grants - taking the grand total of awards given since the fund began to over £1milllion! I originally launched the Safer Communities Fund to bring together money seized from criminals across West Yorkshire into a single pot to benefit local communities. I am delighted that we have now reached the £1 million milestone - that means that £1million of criminals' money has been used to help the people of West Yorkshire prevent crime. I also want to say a huge thank you to West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors for all their hard work recovering this money, without their tireless efforts the fund would not exist. The next grant round is now open and applicants can apply for up to £5000 with a total pot of £200,000 to be awarded. If you're interested in applying or want to find out more about the fund please visit my website, closing date for applications is 29 December. 

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Comprehensive Spending Review

I cautiously welcomed the announcement in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), when the Chancellor said "policing budgets will not be cut any further". I have campaigned tirelessly for the Government to sit up and take notice about what cuts of between 25% and 40%, which were threatened, would have meant for community safety and neighbourhood policing. I of course welcome the budget announcement but it will take time to assess the full devil of the detail of the CSR. What I do know is that West Yorkshire Police has already had to face significant cuts - and the organisation has reduced from one with over 10,000 officers and staff in 2010 to one with fewer than 8,000 officers and staff now. We must still find at least £5.8 million of savings by 2017 and deliver the substantial savings already identified. It is also important to remember that keeping our communities safer and feeling safer is done in partnership with other organisations. Many of those have seen their budgets cut too and will see them reduce further after the CSR…tough decision will still have to be made.

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Extraordinary Hate Crime Grant

I have launched a one off £100,000 extraordinary grant for organisations to tackle hate crime. The grant round is being funded from the Victim Support Services Fund (Ministry of Justice), which I hold, and is for organisations or individuals to support victims of hate crime. There are no upper or lower limits on grant amounts that individuals or organisations can bid for but successful applicants will be able to demonstrate the outcome in the Police and Crime Plan that all victims and witnesses are supported across West Yorkshire. A 'hate crime' is a criminal offence that is believed to have been motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person, based on disability, gender identity, race, religion or faith, or sexual orientation. Being targeted because of who you are is a horrible experience that no-one should have to suffer through. I will continue to do everything I can to support all victims of hate crime and I am pleased to be able to offer this money to organisations and individuals who will make a real difference at the local and county wide level. Applications for the grant need to be completed and returned to the Hate Crime Fund Coordinator by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 16 December.

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£10,000 donation to The Police Treatment Centres

I made a joint donation, with Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins, of £10,000 to The Police Treatment Centres using monies from the Police Property Act Fund. The Police Treatment Centres is a registered charity primarily supported by voluntary donations from serving police officers. Officers can currently make a donation of £1.30 per week from their salaries. The charity provides two Treatment Centres where serving and retired police officers can receive recuperation and treatment following an illness or injury with the aim of assisting their return to better health. The Centres are St Andrews, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and Castlebrae in Auchterarder, Perthshire. People are our greatest resource and ensuring they remain both mentally and physically well is crucial. The Police Treatment Centres do a brilliant job and I was pleased to be able to make a donation to such a worthy cause.

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Dedication of White Rose Centre Police Officer

I visited the White Rose Shopping Centre to recognise the dedication to duty of Police Officer Stan Julien who has been based at the centre for 10 years. Officers like PC Julien help to keep our communities safer and feeling safer and I was more than happy to go and recognise his work and commitment. I would like to thank PC Julien for all that he does and other officers who day in day out go out of their way to keep people safe. The staff at the White Rose were also very welcoming and I thanked them personally for their support.

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Serious sexual offences campaign launched

I am supporting West Yorkshire Police's campaign to highlight the nature of rape and other sexual offences in a bid to reduce the number of crimes being committed. Work has been undertaken to understand the sexual offences involving people aged 16 and over reported over a 12 month period to West Yorkshire Police. A series of posters have been developed to be displayed in shops, bars and clubs across West Yorkshire highlighting that activities such as walking someone home or sharing a kiss aren't a crime, but rape is. Rape and other sexual offences are heinous crimes which have a long lasting impact on the victims. It's vital that we do everything we can to stop these crimes and help people understand that if someone doesn't say yes that means they haven't consented. Rape is a crime and perpetrators will be punished.

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Dob in a Drink / Drug Driver this Christmas

West Yorkshire Police are supporting this year's national Christmas drink driving campaign by encouraging the public to 'dob in a drink or drug driver'. 'It's not worth the risk' is the message behind the festive crackdown and sees West Yorkshire Police asking the public to contact them about people they see, or know to either drink or take drugs, before getting behind the wheel. Information can be given to police call handlers via the 101 non emergency number, or by using the new online reporting form.  In an emergency, where there is a crime in progress or threat to life, always call 999. West Yorkshire Police will also be publishing details on Twitter of charges made against those suspected of drink or drug driving throughout December. The consequences of drink/drug driving are all too clear and devastating to victims and families.

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Help for Victims website

The Help for Victims website was created and launched with the sole purpose of supporting victims and witnesses of crime. Anyone who feels they are a victim or witness to a crime and don't know where to go for help please visit

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