Newsletter March 2017

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Community cohesion workshop

This month I held a workshop for partners from across West Yorkshire to come together to look at how we could strengthen community cohesion across the region. This is a new priority in the recently released Police and Crime Plan as 40% of the 5500 people that responded to the consultation to set the priorities in the Plan said a greater sense of community would make them feel safer. Key note speakers at the workshop included Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams and Robin Tuddenham of the Community Cohesion Board. The main body of the event was a partnership feedback session where representatives from the police, local authorities, the third sector and charities looked at where key improvements could be made to strengthen community cohesion. Working together we looked at current risks and barriers, what best practise looks like and what resources we need to better support community cohesion across West Yorkshire. .

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Doubling of penalty for drivers caught using a mobile phone at the wheel

I welcome the change in the law which sees the penalty for drivers caught using a mobile phone at the wheel doubled. Intentionally distracting yourself while driving is incredibly dangerous and needlessly puts the lives of the driver and everyone around them at risk. Recent cases have also highlighted the devastation that can result. Road safety is a key priority and I recently held a conference to see what more we could do in partnership. It was agreed that we need better communication between partners and the police, increasing communication with local communities on road safety initiatives taking place, the development of further reporting facilities and continuing to work together across West Yorkshire to tackle the 'fatal four' offences - drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and driving whilst using a mobile phone. I will continue to work in partnership to help tackle dangerous driving and keep West Yorkshire's roads as safe as possible.

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Weapons surrender

A huge haul of guns and knives have been handed into West Yorkshire Police as part of its latest weapons surrender. Nearly 300 knives, guns and ammunition were handed in at the county's police stations during the campaign launched earlier this month at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Among items handed in were 110 guns, 158 knives and other bladed weapons and 29 lots of ammunition, equating to around 300 rounds. This year's campaign was supported by Leeds father-of-three Christopher Wright. He was left fighting for his life after being gunned down on the doorstep of his Leeds home in April 2010. The weapons surrender was very positive and demonstrates just how valuable giving people the opportunity to hand in weapons is. These weapons will now be disposed of safely, taking away any chance of them ever being used to commit a crime or ruin anyone's life in the future. I would like to reiterate my appreciation and thanks to Christopher Wright for supporting this campaign which definitely contributed to its success .

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Welcoming Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's (HMIC) PEEL Effectiveness Report

HMIC have rated West Yorkshire Police as "Good" in their Effectiveness inspection for 2016. This is very positive and it is pleasing to see that HMIC have recognised the comprehensive on-going work to safeguard vulnerable people and provide full support to victims of crime, both of which are Outcomes in the Police and Crime Plan. HMIC have now graded West Yorkshire Police as GOOD across all three strands of the PEEL assessment for 2016 (Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy) which should give confidence to the public of West Yorkshire in their police service. I would like to put on record my thanks and recognition for West Yorkshire Police in achieving this independent assessment rating in helping to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

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Visit to Proceeds of Crime Act funded project and Neighbourhood Policing Team in Brighouse

I had a busy afternoon in Brighouse visiting Field Lane All Residents Association (FLARA), who had a project funded by the Safer Communities Fund to reduce anti-social behaviour in their area. FLARA received £5250 in Grant Round 4 of the Fund and used it to turn a neglected piece of land into a young people's space. The space now provides an innovative area for young people to use and feel invested in. It was great to visit the project to see the difference they've made in their community. They are obviously a very motivated and caring group. I then met with Valley North East Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and joined them on a roads policing operation targeting speeding drivers on Bradford Road in Brighouse. .

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West Yorkshire Police embarks on early intervention partnership

West Yorkshire Police has joined Forces with the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) to help benefit future generations. As an independent charity, EIF offers evidence and advice on how to tackle the root causes of social problems for children and young people. EIF is one of the government-backed 'What Work's centres, charged with assessing the evidence that works best to improve outcomes for children and young people. EIF has an ongoing programme of work exploring how to deliver early intervention in policing, in collaboration with the College of Policing. This partnership will not only benefit the young people engaged in it, but also the wider community. Preventing and intervening earlier is key to delivering the Police and Crime Plan, keeping West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.

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Human trafficking sentencing

West Yorkshire Police has disrupted an international organised crime group trading in slavery after a Polish man was given a ten year Slavery Trafficking Prevention Order and sentenced to four years in prison. Dawid Zielinkski, 24, of Dendridge Close, Enfield, was found guilty of two charges of arranging or facilitating the travel of another for exploitation and one charge of conspiracy to require another to perform forced or compulsory labour. The Slavery Trafficking Prevention Order imposes a number of conditions the defendant must adhere to, including not being able to employ anyone or facilitating accommodation or transport for others. This sentencing sends a clear message to people like Dawid Zielinksi who think they can make an easy living off other people's suffering. West Yorkshire Police and our partners have done a fantastic job of investigating these allegations and providing the victims with comprehensive support.

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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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