Newsletter July 2017


The Great Get Together

June marked a year since Jo Cox was so senselessly taken from us as she went about her normal business attending one of her public surgeries in Birstall. I have very happy memories of Jo and will always remember her as vibrant, warm and someone who made a difference to the lives of so many. She was a great MP who I felt privileged to know and work with. Those who knew Jo and were touched by her incredible energy, dynamism and drive to do the right thing and help those less fortunate and had the opportunity to pay tribute to her at truly inspiring Great Get Together events and I attended the event at Queens Mill in my home town of Castleford. These events brought people together and were a fitting tribute to Jo's words "we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us". The brave and heroic actions of Bernard Kenny who came to Jo's aid and PC Craig Nicholls and PC Jonathan Wright who arrested her killer have also been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

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Partnership strategy launched to tackle domestic and sexual abuse in West Yorkshire

I launched a plan with partners to continue helping victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. On average West Yorkshire Police deal with 6 incidents of domestic abuse every hour. The West Yorkshire Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy focuses on five key areas - partnership working, preventing violence and abuse, provision of services, support for victims/survivors and pursuing perpetrators. Partners from emergency services, health care, social work, criminal justice, community safety and the third sector attended the launch event in May to introduce the plan to wider partners. Domestic abuse and sexual abuse are truly harrowing and appalling crimes and I will do everything in my power to stop them from happening. The launch of this strategy is about ensuring we have a truly joined up and systematic approach to dealing with these crimes.

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Multiagency task force making a difference

In a previous issue of the newsletter I spoke about how I had provided some funding to help create a West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team. The team is made up of co-located specialists from West Yorkshire Police, adult social care and Trading Standards and will enhance collaborative working across a range of partners. The team had some recent success in securing a conviction against a rogue trader. Andrew Pollard who traded as "A&J Roofing Solutions Ltd" pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to ten offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. How someone can feel comfortable blatantly taking advantage of other people in cases such as this we'll never fully understand, but what we can do is ensure they face robust action if they do.

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Keighley community café aims to reduce anti-social behaviour

A café providing nutrition to those in need has received a cash injection of £3,600 from cash seized from criminals which is then used to benefit communities. The Welcome Place Café, based at Keighley Shared Church, received the money from my Safer Communities Fund. The cash will go towards ensuring the café can provide those in need including those facing financial difficulties, drug or alcohol dependency, homeless people and those with mental health issues with hot nutritious food. Projects such as these are essential to ensure individuals know where they can go to access not only meals, but practical advice and support. I have heard how since the café opened anti-social behaviour has reduced as the café offers a place for people to go for not only food, but companionship and advice. I am pleased that my Safer Communities Fund is being used on projects that encourage feelings of belonging, safety and wellbeing and reducing the fear of crime.

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New ways of fighting cyber crime developed

Leeds Beckett University in collaboration with West Yorkshire Police have developed new ways of fighting cyber crime and supporting digital investigations. Supported by the Home Office, the College of Policing, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England's Police Knowledge Fund, the project aims to help transform the way digital crime is policed across the country. Specific outputs of the project include prototype automated grooming detection for recovered chat logs, a prototype mobile app to support frontline officers in capturing evidence and enhanced cyber training. Partnership working and effectively using our resources are crucial in fighting online crime. Leeds Beckett University, along with West Yorkshire Police and other partners, have done some fantastic work here and I am looking forward to seeing where we can now take these outputs. This project is a further step forward in stopping those people that think they can commit crime with impunity from behind a computer.

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Vulnerable young people receiving vital support

The Shipley Youth Advice Advocacy Project has received £5,000 from my Safer Communities Fund. The money has gone towards the continued running of the 16-2-25 advice service, run by the project to empower individuals to take action around the issues of poor housing and homelessness. The project offers free independent advice to any young person aged between 16 to 25 and helps them access advice and support if needed. Victims of sexual exploitation, honour based abuse and human trafficking are among the most vulnerable accessing the project to get specialist housing, benefit and debt advice. The Shipley Youth Advice Advocacy Project does crucial work in supporting our most vulnerable young people and I was very pleased that my Safer Communities Fund was able to support its work. I recently visited the project to see the difference it's making first hand and it was a pleasure to meet and thank the dedicated people behind it.

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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:

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