Friday, March 24, 2017
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Tags Posts tagged with "crime"

crime

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Hate crimes/hate incidents can take place anywhere – at home, in the streets, at work or at school. No-one should have to live with the fear, anxiety and consequences of hate crime. Reporting it when it happens will help the Police to deal with it and may prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.

What is a Hate Crime?

A Hate Crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Examples include:

  • Physical attacks, such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson;
  • Threat of attack, such as offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate, and unfounded malicious complaints;

What is a Hate Incident?

A Hate Incident is any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by prejudice or hate towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Examples include:

  • Verbal abuse, insults or harassment, such as taunting, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.

How do I report a Hate Crime / Incident?

A Hate Crime / Incident can be reported by:

  • call 999 in an emergency
  • call 101 for non-emergencies
  • for non-emergency hate incidents use our online reporting form
  • call in person at any police station (click here to find your local police station)
  • If you would rather not speak to a Police Officer, you can contact Stop Hate UK or True Vision or use one of the independent Hate Incident Reporting Centres provided by Local Authorities

If you have been the victim of behaviour you felt was inappropriate by a police officer or member of police staff you can report a police complaint.

What happens after you have reported a Hate Crime / Incident?

All hate crimes / incidents are investigated thoroughly. Not all cases will be put before the Court, but when a hate incident is received the views of the victim are always considered.

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Bradford – Police investigating a robbery in a Bradford park have released an e-fit image of a man they would like to speak to.  

hortonpkrobberefitThe incident occurred in Horton Park at about 11am on Tuesday, 24 February, when a 39-year-old woman was pushed to the ground.

The victim had what was believed to be alcohol poured over her head, before the suspect snatched her phone and ran off.

She later discovered a quantity of cash had been taken.

The suspect was believed to be about 5ft 7ins tall and of skinny build.

He was wearing a hooded black jacket with a motif on the left breast and dark blue tracksuit bottoms.

Anyone who recognises this man from the above description or who has information which may assist the investigation is asked to contact Bradford District CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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Cyber bullying, like bullying in schools or anywhere else, is something that can cause great upset to those who are targeted by it.

cyberbulliesResearch suggests that one in five teenagers have been a victim of this form of harassment, which is committed through mobile phones and computers. West Yorkshire Police has recently been raising awareness of cyber bullying during a national week dedicated to highlighting online crime. Texting, posting or emailing anything to deliberately cause offence is considered cyber bullying and police will investigate all reports they receive about this kind of behaviour, which, if deemed serious enough, could result in a prison sentence for the bully.

Some examples of cyber bullying:

  • Posting an embarrassing or humiliating video of someone on a video-hosting site such as YouTube.
  • Harassing someone by repeatedly sending texts or instant messages in a chat room.
  • Setting up profiles on social networking sites, such as Facebook, to make fun of someone.
  • ‘Happy slapping’ – using mobiles to film and share videos of physical attacks.
  • Posting or forwarding someone else’s personal or private information or images without their permission.
  • Sending viruses that can damage another person’s computer.
  • Making abusive comments about another user on a gaming site.

Victims are advised to take screen shots where possible and tell someone they trust. If it occurs on a social networking site or application, users are advised to report incidents to the site or application provider. Keep passwords private and, if you are unfortunate enough to become a victim of cyber bullying, use a blocking or delete function where possible to prevent further contact from this person. Even if you’re not the one who started it, you become part of it when you laugh at a message that could be hurtful or threatening to someone else, or forward it on. Don’t get dragged into cyberbullying. Think about what you say in text messages, chat rooms and emails. Could your words be used to hurt someone else, or could they be turned against you?

For more information about staying safe online, go to www.westyorkshire.police.uk/cse/onlineguides

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Kirklees – A night time enforcement exercise aimed at ensuring that vehicles were fit to be on the road took place took place on Friday 13 March, aimed at ensuring that vehicles were fit to be on the road.

Officers from Kirklees Council’s licensing department successfully teamed up with colleagues from W Y Police, Her Majestys Revenue & Customs (HRMC) and the Vehicle Operators Standard Agency (VOSA) to carry out on an enforcement exercise

During the crackdown, which took place in Ravensthorpe, the team stopped over 35 vehicles of which 26 were private hire vehicles.

Of the privately owned cars that were inspected, the police seized one vehicle for no insurance and unsafe parts.  Handed out traffic offence reports (endorsable tickets) to three vehicles, and issued five Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS) notices.

A VDRS notice means defects need to be fixed as soon as possible and suitable evidence provided within 14 days. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution, points and a fine.

One car driver was asked to produce evidence of insurance at a police station within 7 days.

The vast majority of offences were for lighting and tyre defects.

Another vehicle was towed away after VOSA stated that it was un-road worthy as the front nearside wheel was about to fail which may have caused serious injury to the owner/driver and other road users.

Twenty-six private hire vehicles were checked to make sure they were appropriately licensed and complied with necessary safety requirements.

Licensing officers and VOSA made two immediate license suspensions – one for exposed tyre cords and the other for the front grille being in dangerous condition with broken/sharp edges.

Twelve delayed license suspensions were handed out – 6 for not having a fire extinguisher, 3 for having tyres close to legal limit, 1 for not displaying a  door sign and 2 for  having defective lights.

Twelve of the private hire vehicles were found to have no defects or breaches of licensing conditions.

Inspector Tim Holland, Kirklees District Partnerships Inspector said:

“The results from the operation are encouraging and should reassure the public that taxis and private hires in Kirklees are generally fit for purpose and most importantly safe. We will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues from the Council, VOSA and HRMC to carry out similar activity in the future. This was also a great opportunity for Special Police Constables to participate in an important public safety exercise which is an integral role in local policing.

Catherine Walters, Kirklees Council Licensing Manager said:

“I’m pleased to see the checking of taxi and private hire vehicles has been a success. They are vitally important to make sure everyone stays safe and I look forward to more such operations happening again in other parts of the district.”

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Bradford – Drivers in the Bradford district face tough new penalties if they get behind a wheel after taking illegal drugs.
A new law will strengthen police powers to catch and convict drug drivers. Anyone attempting to drive with specific levels of certain drugs in their body faces a criminal record, losing their licence for at least a year and a fine of up to £5,000.
The legislation covers eight illegal drugs and eight prescription drugs. People using prescription drugs within recommended quantities will not be penalised.
drugDriving_2612056bNew screening equipment will enable police to test suspected drug drivers. It will be possible to test for Cannabis and cocaine at the roadside. Alternatively, they could test for these and other drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station, even if a person passes the roadside check. Devices which can test for a greater number of drugs at the roadside are in the pipeline for the future.
The law includes eight drugs often used as medication, but sometimes abused. These have been set at higher limits, based on evidence of road safety risk and because they are mostly used as medicine. They include morphine, diazepam. clonazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam and methadone. Amphetamine, which can be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease is also planned to be included within the offence, subject to parliamentary approval.
Coun Val Slater, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “This new legislation will make it easier to detect drug drivers, many of which are slipping through the net at the moment. It will also save lives, as anyone taking such risks behind the wheel is endangering themselves and others.”
Cllr Val Slater
Cllr Val Slater

Inspector Joanne Field, who leads West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, welcomed the new legislation. She said: ‘‘The change in law, will set limits for both illegal and some powerful legal drugs. It makes the process of tackling those who put lives at risk by drug-driving simpler by enabling us to test for the two most common illegal drugs at the roadside.

‘‘Drugs, both illegal and medication prescribed by a doctor, can significantly impair someone’s ability to drive and put your life as well as those of other road users in significant danger- just like drink-driving.
 ‘‘It’s vital that anyone taking prescribed medication reads the instructions carefully and sticks to the prescribed dosage.  If you have any concerns regarding the impact any medication may have on your ability to drive, please speak to your doctor before you get behind the wheel.”

This has been the message highlighted by West Yorkshire Police in its most recent burglary campaign, which aims to make people think about the true cost of burglary – both emotionally and financially.

House burglaries in West Yorkshire are currently down by more than 600 offences compared to the last financial year, and the force is working hard to continue this trend.

Einbrecher an einem FensterEvery day, officers from West Yorkshire Police see the devastating impact that a burglary can have on individuals and families.

A burglar may know how much they can get for a second-hand laptop or a mobile phone, but they do not appreciate the value people place on feeling safe in their own home.

The true cost of burglary is not just an insurance claim; it can lead to sleepless nights, feelings of anger and helplessness, family upset and the loss of treasured memories and personal items, such as jewellery and family heirlooms.

For while a laptop or camera can be replaced, unless you have backed up your documents and photos elsewhere you might never get them back.

Some simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary

  • Always lock your doors and windows – even when you’re in (one in four burglaries occur when a door has been left unlocked)
  • Don’t leave cash or valuables on show
  • Leave a light, radio or television on when you leave the house
  • Don’t open your door to unexpected callers – speak to them through a letterbox or window
  • Upgrade Euro-cylinder door locks to ones which meet the highest security standards

For more information about crime prevention, please see the Help & Advice section on the West Yorkshire Police website (www.westyorkshire.police.uk) or contact your local Area Neighbourhood Team on 101.

Manchester – Three illegal taxi drivers caught in Manchester have been ordered to pay a total of £2,785 after being prosecuted for breaking licensing rules.

In separate incidents, Manchester City Council officers routinely operating in the city centre observed the illegal activity.

Gary Edward Young was fined £1,050 with £655 costs and a £55 victim of crime surcharge. Young was also given eight penalty points after pleading guilty to operating an unlicensed private hire vehicle, operating as an unlicensed private hire driver and driving without insurance.

During the morning of Wednesday 25 June 2014, council officers observed Young drop off two passengers at Piccadilly Station, exchange money and provide a receipt. When challenged by officers, Young initially denied any offences – despite a working taxi-meter in the front of the vehicle showing a current fare of £28.50.

licensing-unitc-Manchester-councilYoung, 70, of Lymington Close, Middleton, pleaded guilty to all of the charges at Manchester Magistrates Court on 9 February 2015.

Mohammed Habib was fined £250 with £350 costs and a £25 victim of crime surcharge after pleading guilty to illegally plying for hire.

At around 2am on 4 May 2014, council officers observed two passengers flag down Habib’s Rossendale registered Hackney carriage on Deansgate. Only a Black Cab licensed by Manchester City Council is able to collect fares off the street without a booking.

Officers established that the passengers had agreed a £10 fare for a journey of less than a mile.

Habib, aged 30 and of Swayfield Avenue, Longsight, pleaded guilty to the offence of illegally plying for hire at Manchester Magistrates Court on 10 February 2015.

Sarmad Salih Abdulahi, 32, of Sandsend Close, Cheetham, was fined £220 with £160 costs and a £20 victim of crime surcharge. Abdulahi was also handed 6 penalty points after being found guilty of the offences of driving without insurance and being an unlicensed driver.

At 10am Wednesday 16 April 2014, council officers observed Abdulahi drop off a passenger at Piccadilly Station. The officers stopped Abdulahi and after interviewing advised he was to be prosecuted.

Abdulahi pleaded guilty to the charges at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 18 February 2015, but declared special reasons for driving without insurance, stating he thought the car’s owner had insured him. This was dismissed by the Magistrates.

Cllr Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “These three prosecutions serve as a warning to rogue drivers – the consequences for illegally operating any taxi are both serious and costly.

“Our officers are working day and night around the city – if you are caught operating illegally, we will not hesitate to prosecute you.”

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An innovative new centre to tackle youth crime is set to open in Bradford.

Bradford Centre of Excellence: Positive Pathways for Young People is a new initiative that delivers targeted interventions about the consequences of crime.

The programmes that the centre puts on are designed and presented by ex-offenders and prisoners to young people from across the Bradford District who are “at risk”.

“At risk” young people include those who are vulnerable or excluded, and those who are already offending or who have fallen into problematic lifestyles. The centre’s role is to provide vital support that helps young people resolve problems and chose a positive future.

The centre, which is located in Girlington Community Centre in the Toller area of Bradford, uses a series of theatrical sets, such as a courtroom, a prison cell, as well as a shop and park where crime might happen. Mentors can use these sets to get over to young people what crime can involve.

Cllr Imran Hussain
Cllr Imran Hussain

Experience from similar projects elsewhere in the country shows that these kinds of interventions deliver great improvement in the numbers of young people who return to mainstream education and refrain from further crime.

The initiative has been funded by Bradford Council and has been developed in partnership with West Yorkshire Police and other partners in the youth justice system.

The centre will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Mike Gibbons, on Wednesday, 18 February 2015.

Cllr Imran Hussain, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council, said: “We know that crime can blight communities and young people’s lives. It also comes at a huge financial cost. This is a very exciting initiative. It demonstrates the Council’s commitment to making young people of the district a priority and will help them make the right choices and avoid getting involved in crime.”

Mark Burns Williamson
Mark Burns Williamson

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “This is a great initiative for Bradford and for Yorkshire. Many young people aren’t aware of the consequences of crime. Raising awareness amongst young people of the impact crime can have on your life and the lives’ of other people is an important step in preventing crime and building a safer community.”

Mick Chandsoor, Project Lead for the centre, said: “All the programmes the centre will deliver for young people will be done with the help of mentors who have served time in prison. We believe this is vital to success, as our mentors are able to tackle the misconceptions many young people have about prison and prison life.”

Kallum Robert Inman, aged 19 on the Princes Trust Programme, said: “The centre will be really useful for young people. People can do stupid things and get themselves into trouble without realising the consequences.  The centre will help people realise where crime can lead to.”

Organisations can arrange to visit the centre by contacting Mick Chandsoor, Project Lead, Bradford Centre of Excellence – Positive Pathways for Young People, on 07582109733.

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Bradford Council is working with other local authorities and major housing associations, including Incommunities, as part of the Yorkshire and Humberside Tenancy Fraud Forum, encouraging people to report tenancy fraud as part of Tenancy Fraud Awareness Week, which runs up to Friday 6 February.

images1N4CTDRYExamples of tenancy fraud include tenants letting out their home without the council’s or housing association’s permission, getting a home by giving false information or moving out of the property without ending their tenancy.

Tenancy fraud was made a criminal offence in October 2013 and since then, Bradford Council’s Fraud Unit has received 64 allegations from a variety of sources. This has led to 13 properties being returned to housing associations in a time where demand for social housing is rising, proving how vital this work is.

Martin Stubbs, Assistant Director of the Revenues and Benefits Service at Bradford Council, said: “We take any type of fraud committed against the council or housing associations very seriously. We don’t want people to think that tenancy fraud is a victimless crime – it deprives families and individuals of the homes that they desperately need.

imagesBO7HXMX7“We would urge people to help us to stamp out fraud by reporting their suspicions.”

Karen Lee, Director of Incommunities – Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are committed to cracking down on any Incommunities tenants who are found to be involved in this type of fraud such as  illegal sub-letting. We would urge anyone who may be aware of such a practice at one of our properties to contact the Council in the first instance.”

You can report tenancy Fraud in confidence by calling 01274 437511 or by emailing reportfraud@bradford.gov.uk.

 

By Mark Burns Williamson

Mark Burns Williamson
Mark Burns Williamson

I have previously spoken out about the need for more awareness around how to tackle human trafficking and last year held the first event of its kind in West Yorkshire where partners came together to look at how we deal with this significant emerging threat.

Human trafficking can include forced labour, or services, domestic servitude, sexual offences and other forms of exploitation. Those descriptions do nothing to convey the true horror and nightmare faced by those human trafficked each and every day, with numbers steadily rising, although the true figure is probably much higher than we predict.

Since that event last April, events have gathered pace and we have recently announced the establishment of the West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network, which is a network created by myself (OPCC) in conjunction with Hope for Justice, an anti-trafficking charity.

That network will help train up to 3,500 frontline staff and police officers to know how to detect the signs of someone being trafficked and how to tackle it and support the victims of this horrendous crime.

Now I am proud to be part of the new initiative by West Yorkshire Police to create a new dedicated Human Trafficking Unit (HTU) with the funding I set aside in last year’s budget for this to happen.

The unit will be made up of a dedicated team of detectives, who will work both locally and nationally to target organised crime lords seeking to traffic people into West Yorkshire.

Human Trafficking Team oneIt has been formed as part of a range of initiatives underway in West Yorkshire to combat trafficking, as well as Cyber Crime and CSE which I identified as key issues that needed dealing with in my Police and Crime Plan.

The new Human Trafficking Unit will be led by a dedicated detective inspector and staffed by specialist detectives and investigators who have all received training in investigating human trafficking and related offending.

It is only the second of its kind in England behind the MET police and has been set up as part of West Yorkshire’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and will use the full range of tactics and techniques used by SOCU to investigate the most complex criminal cases across the piece.

The creation of this dedicated response unit shows how West Yorkshire Police is leading the way in helping victims of human trafficking.

Those being helped by the unit will then be supported by the 3,500 people being trained by the network to put their lives back together and it means victims are subsequently more confident in coming forward to the police.

I have also spoken openly about my support for the Modern Slavery Bill which aims to increase the maximum custodial sentence for offenders from 14 years to life and there is cross party support for action to tackle this issue.

I have heard shocking cases of people being trafficked and forced into a life of misery. This is happening in modern day society and I, along with West Yorkshire Police and partners, will do everything in my power to stop these perpetrators of this vile crime in their tracks.

images1Y84A7BLI have personally pledged to work with fellow Police and Crime Commissioners to tackle these issues and the role of the National Crime Agency is also key for joined up strategic working to deal with these vile crimes.

I want to warn those inflicting this awful practice on others that they will be dealt with severely by the courts as more awareness and support is offered to victims to come forward. There will be no hiding place for those thinking it is acceptable in the 21st century to inflict this kind of abuse on others.

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