Newsletter November 2017

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Domestic abuse - there's no excus

A campaign aimed at tackling domestic abuse was launched in October. The campaign's focus is highlighting a lesser-known type of domestic abuse, the offence of coercive and controlling behaviour. Coercive and controlling behaviour became an offence in December 2015 and gives powers to the authorities to bring prosecutions for psychological abuse, closing the gap in the law around patterns of such behaviour. The offence carries a maximum 5 year prison sentence and a fine. Controlling acts may include, but not be exclusive to, manipulation, intimidation, sexual coercion and psychological abuse. The behaviour is intended to make a person become submissive, or to isolate them from sources of support, such as their friends and family. Our message is simple, if you are being abused or you suspect someone is being abused, report it immediately. There are a range of services and partners ready to support any victims and tackle offending.

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Response to HMICFRS's report on modern slavery

Human trafficking and modern day slavery is a significant threat regionally, nationally and internationally. This report highlights just how important it is to ensure joined up practice and leadership around tackling this abhorrent and vile crime that destroys lives and robs people of their freedom. It has identified how some forces are more proactive but that more needs to be done nationally, which is something I would agree with. In 2014 I made £3.5 million available to the police to increase their capacity to respond to CSE, Cyber and Human Trafficking with the creation of a dedicated police team solely investigating human trafficking. I have also lead the way nationally with the creation of the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network which is a vital platform for PCCs to share best practice, encourage a victim focused approach, and hold their forces to account more effectively in their response to modern slavery crime.

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Hate hurts campaign continues to raise awareness

To Mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week in October, West Yorkshire's Police and I relaunched our hate crime awareness campaign. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of what hate crime and hate incidents are and to encourage communities to report these issues when they take place. No-one should be subjected to, or fear, abuse because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone with information about a hate crime or incidents is asked to report it to the police or an independent Hate Incident Reporting Centre.

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Campaign launched to stop attacks on firefighters

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has launched a campaign against attacks on firefighters after seeing a spike in violent incidents towards crews in the last year. The campaign, called 'More than a Uniform', is delivering a zero tolerance message in the run up to the bonfire period - which is historically a peak time of year when attacks occur. I can't condemn attacks on our firefighters, and all emergency workers, strongly enough as they are there to selflessly help our communities. I fully support the zero tolerance message to ensure those thinking of committing these despicable attacks know the consequences and consider the recklessness of their actions and that they will rightly face strong action and prosecution.

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Road safety initiative, Operation Hawmill, returns in Calderdale

Police in Calderdale have confirmed their proactive roads policing operation, Operation Hawmill, is returning to combat issues on the districts roads with a new partnership focus to deliver an even better service to local communities. Operation Hawmill commenced in September 2016 to focus on tackling Fatal Four offences - the four factors most likely to contribute to a fatal road traffic collision. These are being over the prescribed limit through drink or drug use, speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt. Road safety is a significant issue for people and frequently raised as a concern by the public, so any operations designed to make the roads safer for users can only be a good thing. You can find out more about Operation Hawmill by following the local police on Twitter @WYP_Halifax and @WYP_CldrValleys using the hashtag #OpHawmill

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Unique safeguarding partnership workshop held

I held the first ever workshop of its kind bringing together local partnerships who work to keep the people and communities of West Yorkshire safe. The aim of the event was to explore how these partnerships can better work together across the county to further protect vulnerable people. Representatives from the Local Safeguarding Children's Boards (LSCB's), Safeguarding Adults Boards (SAB's) and the Community Safety Partnerships (CSP's) attended the event which was held in Leeds in October. We are stronger together and part of my role is to encourage partnership working which I really do see as key in tackling all policing and community safety issues. I'd like to thank everyone for attending the workshop and I look forward to continuing to work closely together to protect those most at risk

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Safer Communities Fund helps Bradford charity tackle hate and 'mate' crime

'Mate' crime is where someone befriends a potentially vulnerable person with the intention of exploiting the person, this could include financial, physical or sexual abuse. My Safer Communities Fund granted £4960 to an organisation called Why Don't We, for a project to help raise awareness of, and prevent, disability hate and 'mate' crime. Why Don't We is a Bradford based charity, which supports adults with learning disabilities to address issues which affect their lives, raise awareness of forms of prejudice and abuse against those with learning disabilities, enable them to speak for themselves and enable their voices to be heard by the wider community. The funded project involved working with adults with learning disabilities around mate crime at workshops throughout 2017. They also worked with Health and Social Care students at Bradford College to help develop the resources and this allowed the students to advance their learning through the participant's life experiences.

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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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