Newsletter August 2016


Thousands of people respond to the Police and Crime Plan consultation

I received thousands of responses to my consultation to inform the development of the new Police and Crime Plan 2016-21. The 'Your Priorities, Your Plan' consultation involved an online and paper survey on policing and community safety priorities, and also saw me spending time in each of the districts in West Yorkshire consulting with local people, partners and the police. Over 4000 people individually completed the survey with many more giving their priorities in person and through social media. Consultation with partners such as Councils, Voluntary Sector and many other organisations is still on-going representing thousands more, including West Yorkshire Police. The online and paper survey element of the consultation closed for responses on Friday 22 July. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that contributed to the consultation which has been one of the biggest I've ever carried out. The new Plan will be launched in autumn and will set the direction for policing and community safety over the next five years. 

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Reassurance that hate crime and hate incidents will be taken seriously

West Yorkshire Police and I held a meeting in Leeds to support the LGBT community following recent local, national and international events. The aim of the meeting was to reassure the community that there is no place in West Yorkshire for hatred and intolerance. The event was arranged in partnership by West Yorkshire Police, myself, and Leeds LGB&T* Hub. The meeting gave the opportunity for the LGBT community to talk about what matters to them; Key issues included communication and listening, consistency in response from the police and other services and trust and confidence. I know that events both locally and around the world have impacted on people feeling safe and it's extremely important that we move quickly, in partnership, to reassure our communities, but this is not just about what the police can do, I want to see all partners working together to support LGBT communities. I understand some people may be hesitant but I encourage anyone affected by hate crime or hate incidents to come forward and report it and know that if they do, every report will be taken seriously, putting appropriate support in place for any victims.

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Environmental Agency1
Calderdale flood visit following £40,000 donation

I visited areas in Calderdale affected by the Boxing Day floods with Temporary Chief Constable (T/CC), Dee Collins. The floods which devastated parts of Calderdale, Leeds and Bradford on Boxing Day left an untold amount of damage across the areas which affected thousands of local people. The visit followed a donation of £40,000 (from the Property Act Fund) to West Yorkshire flood victims from myself and the T/CC with the money being used to support the most vulnerable victims in all three areas. The people and organisations of these affected areas have shown extraordinary resilience and courage in tackling the clean-up operation. I was delighted that we are able to provide some money to help support the most vulnerable people impacted by the floods, the effects of which are very much still being felt and I hope this visit reminds people of that. I have thanked West Yorkshire Police for leading the initial co-ordination of the response to the flooding in West Yorkshire through the local resilience multi-agency forum. The response was a credit to them and the other emergency services involved and particularly to our communities who rallied round tremendously to help.

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Celebrating the work of Education Ossett Community Trust (EOCT)

I celebrated the work of EOCT at an end of year event last month. The Trust is a registered charity with ten member schools in the town of Ossett. They work with students aged 3 - 19 to provide high quality additional educational opportunities as well as offering staff networking and development in order to improve teaching and learning in the town. EOCT held a celebration event with over 200 students for families and guests to come together to hear and watch some of the learning that has taken place over the last year. EOCT received £2690 from my Safer Communities Fund which is supporting a musical project aimed at strengthening multicultural links and changing attitudes. The ten EOCT schools will work with schools in Dewsbury and Wakefield in order to learn about similarities and differences, to build relationships between schools and communities and to share learning with the community. The Safer Communities Fund grant will cover the costs of workshops and the production of a music video which will act as a launch for another music project. .

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Dedicated Section 136 place of safety for children in Leeds

A new facility for vulnerable children who need urgent mental health care has opened in Leeds. The children's Section 136 suite or 'Place of Safety' at The Becklin Centre is for children and young people under 18-years-old who are detained by the police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. Young people would come to the new suite to receive acute care and assessment in a clinical environment, rather than be detained in police custody. In the past, children detained under Section 136 had been assessed alongside adults in one unit. I welcome this important step forward in ensuring there is a more appropriate response to the needs of under 18s. Our shared aspiration is that none of those who experience a mental health crisis in this age group should be detained in police custody. I will continue to work with partners through the Criminal Justice and Mental Health Forum I set up last year, to ensure consistency across the whole of West Yorkshire.

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Further funding for health and social care professionals in the Bradford Police Control Room

Mental health nurses and social workers will continue working in West Yorkshire Police's Bradford control room to support vulnerable people after I agreed £90k of funding for the project, 50% of the total. The remainder will come from the NHS and Council. The project is between Bradford District NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Police. The cash means the project will continue for a second year after the success of a pilot that involved mental health staff supporting the police hub taking calls from police officers dealing with vulnerable people. Health and social care staff can provide immediate advice to police, access clinical records, support and allocate Appropriate Adults and provide training to officers around mental health issues, ensuring those most vulnerable are signposted into support services. I previously agreed funding to extend a similar pilot in Leeds; and over the next 12 months I will be working with NHS and local authority partners to make sure these innovative approaches are applied consistently across West Yorkshire.

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Safer Communities Fund grant sees young people given choices

Pontefract Education Trust received £5000 from the Safer Communities Fund and have used it to help fund their CHOICE, Children Have Options Imagination Challenge & Experience, project. The main focus of the project is to equip children with the sound knowledge of how important positive behaviour is and have a clear understanding of "Actions and Consequences". Led by a multi-agency team of staff, children are equipped with education which helps and supports positive achievement. This is a fantastic project and I was pleased to be able to provide some funding through my Safer Communities Fund. .

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Hate crime reporting

Did you know you can now report hate crime and hate incidents online? You can find the online form and more options here:

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Stop Hate UK have also launched a free hate crime reporting app. Find out more about it here:


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