Newsletter November 2015

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Hate hurts: hate crime campaign re-launched

The campaign aims to raise awareness of hate crime and how to report it which is a key priority in the Police and Crime Plan. I want victims and witnesses of hate crime to feel able to come forward and report it to individuals and organisations they trust, because it is not acceptable in any form. Hate crimes are categorised under disability, faith, race, sexual orientation and transphobic. A number of sub-categories for the recording of faith and disability hate crimes were also introduced last year to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims. I am also working closely with West Yorkshire Police to improve how we monitor hate crime on a regular basis to help people who suffer these crimes to ensure they have the confidence to come forward and say what has happened to them.

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A specialist new team has come 'on line' this autumn to take the fight to cyber criminals in West Yorkshire

Specialist cyber skilled staff have been recruited to provide West Yorkshire Police with cutting edge skills in combating cyber crime, and in using the latest techniques to help enhance traditional investigations. It will help plug any specialist knowledge gaps in the police service, assist in and progress some complex cyber investigations, and also help officers investigate more traditional crime types using the latest techniques and technology. Cyber crime is an issue I take very seriously, recent figures estimated there were over 7 million cases of fraud and computer misuse incidents in England and Wales last year, and that's why I have invested £250,000 to create this team. I would urge anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of cyber crime to come forward and report it to the police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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We all have our part to play in reducing burglary

As the evenings get darker earlier and autumn takes hold, West Yorkshire Police is reminding people of the simple steps we can all take to deter burglars from targeting our homes. The invasion of someone's personal space and the theft of all too often irreplaceable belongings is an experience that no-one should go through and one that makes people feel extremely anxious and vulnerable. I wholeheartedly support the campaign to encourage people to take simple steps to reduce their chances of being a victim.

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"It's My Right" transgender youth campaign

I supported a campaign to raise awareness that young people have a right to be themselves. The "It's My Right" campaign aims to ensure that young transgender people are able to challenge misconceptions and are aware of their rights. It will also serve as an information resource for people who work with and around young transgender people. The campaign was created by Safe T (Strength Awareness Freedom and Empowerment for Transgender people), an organisation which works for and with transgender people to raise awareness of the issues faced by transgender people with the ultimate goal of reducing the suicide rate among the transgender community to zero.

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Scientific breakthrough brings a violent sex attacker to justice after 31 years

In August 1984, a man broke into a flat in Wakefield, violently attacked a woman and attempted to rape her. The Major Incident Review Team began reviewing this case last year. It led to a new scientific tool called 'LiRa' being used in this case for the very first time in West Yorkshire and identified 56-year-old David Leslie Tait as the attacker. Tait from the Featherstone area is now serving a 13 year prison sentence. The Major Incident Review Team has recently been boosted by 35 new investigators to help crack historic unsolved murders and serious sexual assaults. In June this year I announced that over £1.5m worth of funding would be made available to review cold cases. This extra funding is already having a direct impact on the communities of West Yorkshire, building on incredible advances in forensic techniques and bringing about real results for loved ones desperately seeking closure and victims who have survived their ordeal but never seen anyone brought to justice.

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Opposing plans to close courts in Calderdale and Wakefield

I have written to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to oppose plans to close courts in Calderdale and Wakefield as part of the MOJ's consultation. It would see local court services concentrated in Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield, restricting access to West Yorkshire residents. Victims and witnesses come first in my Police and Crime Plan but by reducing the number of courts available you reduce their access to local justice. Going to court can be a difficult experience for victims and witnesses and by denying local access in this way the Government would make it even more difficult for many people. I know we can and must do more with new technology to make the court process more efficient and efficient for the benefit of victims and witnesses. Closing these court buildings does not help local access to justice for our communities and I really hope the MOJ reconsider viable alternatives to their current proposals.

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Online 'one stop crime reporting shop' launches on police website

Residents are now able to report non-emergency crime at the touch of a button following the launch of a new online 'one stop crime reporting shop'. West Yorkshire Police have now launched a new Click Before You Call portal on their website which allows viewers to both report and gain information on a huge range of non-emergency crimes and issues- all from one page. It is intended to make it easier for the public to contact West Yorkshire Police and to report non-emergency issues online, rather than having to make a 101 phone call when lines may be busy during peak times. One of the most popular sections, which other UK police forces are interested in adopting, is a Live Chat which is available at certain times enabling the public to have a "live text" conversion with a police operator.

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Report into West Yorkshire Police's preparedness for more budget cuts

The HMIC (her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary) PEEL report into efficiency in West Yorkshire gave the service two 'good' judgements: 'how does the force use its resources to meet demands' and 'how sustainable is the force's financial position for the short and long term' as well as an outstanding judgement in 'how sustainable and affordable is the workforce model'. On the face of it this is a very positive report for West Yorkshire Police and it is certainly better to have two 'good' judgements and an 'outstanding' one than have negative grades. A lot of hard work has gone into obtaining these judgements from the HMIC and I congratulate and recognise West Yorkshire Police for all the hard yards that have been put in to gain these judgements. But this report must not be allowed to hide the massive gamble the Government is taking with public safety by drastically cutting policing budgets.

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Special Constable recruitment

Special Constables are being recruited now, for more information including videos, myth busting and the online application form, visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/bespecial 

Specials

 

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