Newsletter November 2016

Banner Newsletter Nov 16

New Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police

I have appointed Dee Collins as the new Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. I was delighted to make this appointment and its great news for West Yorkshire Police and for our communities. Dee comes to this role with a great deal of experience and understanding having served West Yorkshire first as Deputy and then more recently as Temporary Chief Constable. Having worked closely with Dee over the last couple of years I know how passionate she is about this job, about the wellbeing of police officers and staff and about keeping our communities safe and feeling safe. I will soon be launching the new Police and Crime Plan for the next 5 years that contains the priorities that people across West Yorkshire have raised with me. I look forward to working closely with Dee to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, prevent crime and re-offending, support victims, and prevent people from harm. This appointment is subject to a Police and Crime Panel confirmation hearing on Friday 11 November. .

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Raising awareness of hate crime

West Yorkshire Police and I launched our latest hate crime awareness campaign - Hate Hurts. The campaign will run for the next year and will focus on raising awareness of hate crime and how to report. It will also help people understand the difference between a hate crime and hate incident and how the Police and partners can help. We are doing our utmost, in partnership, to eradicate hate in West Yorkshire. There's absolutely no place in our communities for this vile behaviour and it will not be tolerated. If you feel you have been the victim of a hate crime or a hate incident I would urge you to report it through whichever means you feel most comfortable. There are a whole variety of ways to report, from free smart phone apps such as Stop Hate UK's, online reporting forms, over the phone, or in person at a police station or third party reporting centres. You can find information on the ways to report on West Yorkshire Police's website. Reports will be dealt with sensitively and support will be offered as required by the victim.

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Tackling hare coursing

New signs will be popping up across rural West Yorkshire warning of the consequences of hare coursing and encouraging people to report it. The signs will be in place from October and have been created by West Yorkshire Police, in partnership with the Country Land and Business Association. Hare coursing is a so called "blood sport" where dogs are set to chase and kill hares. The activity often also involves gambling with the perpetrators betting large sums of money on which dog will catch and kill the hare. Hare coursing was banned in 2005, anyone convicted of the offence can be fined up to £5000 and also face the seizure of any vehicles, equipment and dogs used as well as facing disqualification from driving if they are using their vehicles for crime. The results of illegal hare coursing can go further than animal cruelty, either by causing damage to property, or by leading to the intimidation of land owners, walkers and other people trying to enjoy the countryside. The killing of these animals for sport is a cruel and barbaric act and is rightly banned. I would encourage anyone who witness's hare coursing, or sees any suspicious behaviour, not to approach the perpetrators but to contact the police and action will be taken.

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Burglary prevention campaign launched

A burglary prevention campaign was launched in October. Using a twist on a popular game West Yorkshire Police are using sticky notes stuck to people's heads as a reminder of the simple measures you can take to prevent burglary. Primary school children are also helping get the message across. Short video clips feature the children acting as mini Police Officers writing a simple message on a note, sticking it to their heads and telling those watching what they should be doing to help prevent burglaries. I don't want a single person across West Yorkshire to come home and find that they've been burgled. It's an absolutely horrible experience and one that we are doing everything we can to help prevent. This is an eye catching campaign and there is a serious message behind it. There are some simple measures you can take to drastically reduce your chances of being targeted by callous thieves. If you are the victim of a burglary or you would like some crime prevention advice, contact West Yorkshire Police or visit their website for further information and advice.

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Neighbourhood Watch Awards

Dedicated Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) volunteers were thanked for their efforts in helping to keep our communities safe at an awards event last month. I was joined by and Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, John Robins (pictured with NHW co-ordinator Mr Robinson) to show our appreciation to the volunteers for their time spent preventing and reducing the opportunity for crime. Neighbourhood Watch is the largest voluntary crime prevention group in the country. It is based on the idea of communities coming together to reduce crime and increase community cohesion and safety. The initiative first came to West Yorkshire 31 years ago and there are now over 3000 schemes operating throughout the county. Communities with an active Neighbourhood Watch can reduce crime in their area by 26%. I can't thank NHW members enough for the work they do making a real difference locally as well as throughout West Yorkshire. Without their support the police wouldn't be able to do their job to the best of their ability.

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Safeguarding Week

To mark Safeguarding Week, a campaign between myself, West Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police was launched to help protect vulnerable young people from child sexual exploitation. The main focus of the campaign is to raise awareness of the signs associated with a young person being exploited and to encourage reporting. Bus and rail networks are often used by young people who may be vulnerable to this type of crime. Officers worked together to patrol transport networks across the county, speaking to young people about the dangers of child sexual exploitation and explaining what they should do if they have concerns for themselves or a friend. Safeguarding vulnerable people is an absolute priority and will feature prominently in the new Police and Crime Plan. This latest campaign represents joined up partnership working which is exactly what is needed to keep our communities safe. I urge everyone to have a look at the campaign and bear the signs in mind when you see something that you feel just isn't quite right. We would rather get reports that turn out to be nothing than miss a chance to help someone.

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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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