Newsletter December 2017

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Support from MPs in bid to secure more Government funding

I met with MPs in November to urge them to join me in calling for more sustained funding from the Government. Since 2010/11 funding for West Yorkshire has reduced by over 36% in real terms and we have seen significant increases in complex demands during this time, including domestic abuse, missing people, serious sexual offences and cyber crime. All MPs who attended the meeting at Portcullis House in Westminster offered their support generally for more funding for West Yorkshire. The only way that we will meet the challenges that we face is for more central investment in local police forces and I remain committed to doing everything I can with partners to support West Yorkshire Police who work so hard day in day out to keep people safe.

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Operation Steerside visit as part of National Road Safety Week

I visited road safety operation, Operation Steerside, in November to see first-hand the difference it's making and to meet some the team involved. Operation Steerside was launched in February 2016 with the aim of improving road safety across the Bradford district. Specifically the operation targets offences known as the fatal 4 - speeding, driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving whilst using a mobile phone and driving whilst not wearing a seat belt. The operation has been very successful with over 11,000 driving offences being dealt with and over 1000 vehicles seized. It was great to visit the operation to thank officers personally for the significant impact their work is making in the area in cutting down the number of serious incidents on our roads. I will continue to invest wherever possible and work with West Yorkshire Police, charities such as Brake and our partners to continue to do all we can to keep our roads safe for everyone.

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Anyone can report domestic abuse and help change lives

November 25 marked the beginning of the international 16 days of action around domestic abuse. We are supporting the days of action with a campaign, focussing on encouraging everyone to report domestic abuse to police and other support agencies. Often, by the time domestic abuse is reported to the police or another agency, there are a number of close friends and family who probably realised something wasn't right. The campaign's focus is to encourage these people to report these often hidden offences. Reports can be made to the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. You can also report to the police by calling 101 and asking to speak to your local Safeguarding Unit. If a crime is ongoing, and there is a threat to life always call 999.

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Drink Driving #NotTheUsualSuspects

West Yorkshire Police are highlighting that not all drink-drivers this Christmas will be young men, as they challenge people's perceptions about who will be drink driving. The campaign illustrates deliberately stereo-type characters to challenge the public perception about those who they think may be drink driving and reminding people to not drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs. I hope that this campaign will help to remind people of what's important at this time of year and it certainly isn't risking your health, freedom, life or the lives of innocent people around you. We want to ensure everyone has a great time over this festive period and no-one is affected by a drink or drug driver.

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Annual conference continues to champion the crucial role of the voluntary and Third Sector

I continued to champion the crucial role of the voluntary and community sector at my annual third sector conference last month. The event was held in Halifax and attended by 130 people from over 95 organisations from across West Yorkshire. The Third Sector is a collective term covering voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations. The aim of the conference was to build on existing relationships so that the police and the third sector work more closely together to deliver the outcomes in the Police and Crime Plan. There are a huge number of organisations in our communities working really hard in challenging circumstances and with some of the most vulnerable, not for financial gain, but to make a real difference. This annual event gives me a real chance to connect and see what more I can do to support these groups.

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Hundreds of weapons surrendered in West Yorkshire

More than 200 firearms, knives and swords including a large number of shotguns have been taken out of circulation after a weapons surrender. The surrender, which ran from 13 to 26 November was in support of the national firearms surrender to rid the streets of guns. We've had a good response to this weapons surrender and our communities are definitely safer because of it. These weapons will now be destroyed, ensuring that they will never be used to commit a crime or ruin anyone's life in the future. The weapons surrender may have finished for the time being but we will always be looking for reports of the storage or use of illegal weapons and ammunition. Please get in touch with West Yorkshire Police or Crimestoppers if you know of any instances or have any suspicions of where illegal weapons may be located.

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26 schools from across West Yorkshire compete to keep people safe online

A cyber contest was launched in September and challenges pupils from years 7,8 and 9 from across the county to design a resource to help keep people safe online. The registered schools are made up of over 29,000 students with roughly 14,000 of those being in years 7,8 and 9. In addition to the resources they produce, it is hoped that through talking about the competition with their friends and families they will help to spread cyber crime prevention messages to thousands more people. The majority of cyber crime is preventable and there are some simple steps that you can take to vastly reduce your chances of being targeted. The problem comes with raising awareness of these steps which aren't always the most interesting things to read. However, who better to help than young people themselves who are often at the forefront of technology and much more digitally aware than most adults.

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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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