Newsletter May 2017

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Latest round of the Safer Communities Fund launched

I have launched the latest round of the Safer Communities Fund with £200,000 available for good causes across the county. This round of the fund is themed around 4 key priorities and projects are invited to apply that are looking to address one or more of the following areas, road safety, community cohesion, missing people and radicalisation. This theme follows the recent launch of the new Police and Crime Plan which was created following an extensive consultation with communities in West Yorkshire. 5500 people responded to the consultation and these four priorities came out as key areas concerning our communities. The Safer Communities Fund is financed with money recovered from criminals by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Voluntary, community groups, charities and partners are able to apply for grants of up to £5,000. This grant round closes for applications at 12pm on 26 May 2017, to find out more, including how to apply visit my website or call 01924 294000.

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Wakefield police launch district's first modern slavery operation

Businesses across Wakefield have been visited by police investigating human trafficking in the first operation of its kind in the District. Wakefield District Police are encouraging potential human trafficking victims to come forwards and seek help following a day of action with partners including the charity Hope for Justice and Wakefield Council. Detectives and colleagues including immigration officials and the Environment Agency visited a number of businesses employing manual labour across the district last week to speak to employees. No-one came forward during the operation to say they had been trafficked or exploited but a number of pieces of intelligence were received. The operation was the first part of a wave of planned activity across Wakefield District over the coming months to investigate trafficking and modern slavery. Those who benefit from trafficking others need to know that justice will catch up with them, and victims should know that in West Yorkshire the resources and support are in place to protect them. If you have any information on potential human trafficking or modern day slavery call police on 101. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.

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Safe Pass scheme launched in Leeds

Plain clothed officers from across Yorkshire's largest force will be on proactive pedal patrol on the city's busiest roads identifying motorists who pass too close for comfort, fail to give way at junctions or are distracted from having a proper view whilst driving. Offenders who pass too close to the cyclist will be offered an on-the-spot educational input on safe overtaking using a specially designed floor mat. Anyone who declines to take part in the tutorial, or who is deemed to have committed a particularly hazardous overtaking manoeuvre could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. Rules of the road stipulate motorists should give cyclists and other vulnerable road users such those on horseback at least the same space as vehicles when overtaking. Keeping our roads safe for everyone is a key priority for me and our partners so I am very pleased to see this scheme coming to West Yorkshire.

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Bradford Neighbourhood Policing Team visit

I spent a busy afternoon in Bradford with the Bradford West Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) last month. I joined a multiagency traffic operation on Midland Road which resulted in a number of tickets being issued for speeding, driving without insurance and driving while using a mobile phone. Several vehicles were seized due to the driver having no insurance. I then went to the launch of a school neighbourhood watch scheme at Copthrone Primary School. The new scheme sees a point of contact in schools across Bradford West reaching out to parents to help further facilitate communication of key policing, crime prevention and crime reporting information. The afternoon concluded with a visit to Grantham Road to see and hear about the improvements in the area thanks to residents, the council, the police and other partners coming together to tackle issues of anti-social behaviour and drug use. This just goes to show the absolutely crucial role local neighbourhood policing teams play in keeping our communities safe.

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Proceeds of Crime Fund providing activities for young people

I visited Disability Sport Yorkshire (DYS) to see how their Safer Communities Fund project to provide diversionary activities and opportunities for young people was going. DYS received £4197 from my fund with the money being used to fund sport and recreational activities, healthier eating groups and team building sessions for local young people who are experiencing difficulties. The aim of which is to improve general behaviour at home and in school with further benefits to learning and wellbeing. The project is also looking to give young people a sense of achievement and a safe environment to be in away from the streets. It was fantastic to see first-hand the dedication of DYS who are doing some brilliant work in the community and it's heart-warming to see money which was so rightly taken away from criminals funding such worthwhile initiatives.

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HMIC's 2016 PEEL Assessment of West Yorkshire Police welcomed

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have rated West Yorkshire Police as "Good" across all the strands which include effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. This is a very positive report and it is pleasing to see that HMIC have recognised the comprehensive on-going work to safeguard vulnerable people and provide support to victims of crime which meets important outcomes in the Police and Crime Plan. HMIC also found that West Yorkshire Police are good at tackling serious and organised crime, specifically that they are improving their response to newer threats such as human trafficking, cyber crime and child sexual exploitation and I have thanked the Chief Constable for the work of West Yorkshire Police in keeping West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.

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New Assistant Chief Constables for West Yorkshire Police

West Yorkshire Police is welcoming two new Assistant Chief Constables to its Chief Officer Team. Angela Williams (pictured first right), currently Temporary ACC in West Yorkshire, takes up post with immediate effect and Catherine Hankinson (pictured second right), currently Temporary ACC with Greater Manchester Police, is due to join West Yorkshire Police when a vacancy arises in May. I welcome these appointments and look forward to working with Angela and Catherine and the wider Chief Officer Team to deliver on the outcomes and priorities in the Police and Crime Plan.

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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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