July flew by and we’ve had unprecedented weather and a great World Cup run, however both of these things added up to create an extremely busy time for West Yorkshire Police with calls for service to both the emergency 999 and the non-emergency 101 numbers being at record levels.
I would like to start off my monthly round up by quickly highlighting some the innovative online contact methods you may find useful, and also help to reduce demand on the telephone service, such as the live chat facility for quick queries and online reporting forms which can be accessed through https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/contact-us.
I would also like to thank the staff at the contact centres who have been under extreme pressure but despite all of that not a single 999 call has been abandoned in the last 12 months.
I was recently joined by the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Helen Newlove, in Wakefield to see the vital work being done to ensure victims and witnesses are supported across the county.
We attended a Victims’ Hub and met Victim Support staff and volunteers before helping to launch new victims’ services which cater for those aged under 18.
I awarded £3.6million to Victim Support to continue to provide core support to victims and witnesses for the next three years.
Many people affected by crime often feel unable to get the help they need, whether or not they wish to report it to the police, so these new services and contracts will ensure that wider support and make more options are available.
Victim Support is open to victims of all crime types, and they also have a web chat facility as well as the victims’ hubs, including a new hub in Halifax, meaning that there will soon be one in every district of West Yorkshire.
Victims’ Hubs, which are drop in and outreach facilities for anyone affected by crime, are already in Bradford, Shipley, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield with one opening in Halifax in the coming months.
For more information on Victim Support call 0300 303 1971, or visit www.victimsupport.org.uk and then connect to West Yorkshire.
I gave 11 community safety projects a cash injection of nearly £1million to tackle various crime and community safety issues.
£879,665 was recently approved for the projects through my Partnership Executive Group, which is made up of key partners from the emergency services, local authorities, and third sector.
Projects funded include helping to steer youngsters away from a life of crime, supporting victims of domestic violence, community engagement training of West Yorkshire Police, collaboration work with emergency services, safeguarding projects and investigating the use of social media in preventing youth violence.
One of the projects has been awarded money to offer legal advice to all victims and survivors of domestic abuse who are not eligible for legal aid. Staying Put will deliver the service to ensure the most disadvantaged victims of domestic abuse are able to access legal advice and representation at a fraction of the cost.
I am really pleased to be able to continue supporting such crucial partnership working in meeting the priorities and outcomes set out within my Police and Crime Plan.
All the successful projects are doing essential work to ensure we are supporting some of our most vulnerable, investing in projects that look at early intervention and diversionary programmes to prevent offending and reoffending.
I have also launched a joint cyber crime competition with West Yorkshire Police.
The competition is now in its second year and challenges young people aged between 11 and 14 years old from across West Yorkshire to help us shut down cyber crime.
The competition is aimed at school pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 and challenges them to form a team and design a resource to help keep people safe online. The resource can take any form such as a website, leaflet, phone app or even a rap!
Corpus Christi Catholic College from Leeds won the competition last year with their entry, a rap/dance/drama medley, on what to do if you’re being cyber bullied. You can watch their performance here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snol09TYJbc
Teams have until 17 December to design, test and launch their resources. Entries will be shortlisted and six groups will go through to the grand final at West Yorkshire Police’s training centre in Carr Gate Wakefield on 14 February 2019.
All finalists will be awarded certificates recognising their contribution to making communities safer. The overall winner of the competition will take home a prestigious trophy as well as a tour of West Yorkshire Police’s specialist operations site which includes the Mounted Section, Dog Section and Helicopter.
We want to encourage as many young people as possible to get involved in this competition. We’ve worked really hard in the year since the last contest to make the process even easier for schools to enter so there are no barriers to not jump in and help make cyber space a safer place for everyone.