Friday, March 24, 2017
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Tags Posts tagged with "west yorkshire police"

west yorkshire police

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By Mark Burns Williamson

2015 brings its own challenges with budgets stretched ever tighter and difficult decisions on how to best spread resources having to be taken.

We also have the General Election in May and the current Government have to recognise that continually taking money away from a resource as crucial as policing is having long lasting implications and needs to be halted.

We have already lost a significant number of frontline officers and staff since the start of cuts in 2010/11 and more will follow compromising our ability to deliver unless the spending review with regards policing is not re-thought.

Mark Burns Williamson
Mark Burns Williamson

Against those challenges it is important to recognise the difficult job officers and staff do day in and day out working in our communities to keep them safe. They know the risks and tackle them daily on behalf of all our communities in West Yorkshire, but we must not forget the challenges facing them.

We must remember the sacrifices they make daily, how they put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe and secure living in a peaceful society we can be proud of. One that we should never take for granted.

Our diversity is also one of our greatest strengths and our communities are all the more richer for the different and wide ranging cultures contained within them, but sometimes tensions are raised.

2015 also brings with it opportunities and different challenges including the work being done to help victims of human trafficking with the creation of the dedicated Human Trafficking Unit, as part of West Yorkshire’s Serious and Organised Unit (SOCU) to investigate the most complex criminal cases.

That comes after we set up, in conjunction with the Hope for Justice charity, the West Yorkshire Anti Trafficking Network which is currently delivering important awareness training to 3,500 frontline staff and officers across West Yorkshire, as well as staff from partner agencies about how to spot the signs of trafficking and tackle it.

I believe the work we have undertaken so far and the work my office, West Yorkshire Police and our partners are planning going forward we will ensure West Yorkshire are leading the way and being a positive example on tackling Human Trafficking for other areas both nationally and internationally.

A College of Policing report recently titled Estimating Demand on the Police Service shows the increasing demand being put on dedicated officers and staff while budgets continually decrease, the significant cuts imposed by government fail to recognise the increasing complexity and demands faced.

While it is reassuring that overall crime has reduced in West Yorkshire, police officers are being required to deal with more complex crimes associated with Child Sexual Exploitation, public protection and safeguarding to name but a few.

This means more pressure put on officers, with one police officer for every 445 members of the public in 2014 nationally, an increase of 50 people per officer since 2010.

In spite of repeatedly pointing out to government the unfairness of the way cuts are made, every force area continues to get the same percentage reduction in grant irrespective of need, demand and threats.

West Yorkshire relies much more heavily on government grant, which pays for around 80per cent of our spending. We are therefore hit much harder by the cuts than other areas which equates to tens of millions every year.

The Home Office police grant figures mean that West Yorkshire Police has to find more than £33.8million in savings this year, on top of the £103m already made in the last three years…with a projection of at least a 40% budget cut overall by the end of the next spending review.

I maintain that this money needs to go towards frontline policing to help people feel safe, working ever more closer with our partners in local government, NHS, criminal justice, emergency services and our community.

This year will see me continue to go out and about across West Yorkshire, including Bradford, speaking to members of the public about policing and community safety and the concerns they face in their communities and ensuring our shrinking resources are effectively targeted.

To contact me visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.

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Bradford – “The thin blue line has become an anorexic one,” according to the head of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, said George Galloway “and the crime figures are being massaged. If that is indeed true – and the police should know! – then the Home Secretary needs to immediately answer these highly damaging, highly worrying accusations.

“And she needs to put back the resources stripped from the force. It’s all very well lobbying for billions more for the security services over terrorism, but what about the people who, day in, day out, worry about their safety and security in the home and on the street?”

George Galloway
George Galloway

The police claim crime is rising ‘significantly and consistently’ across West Yorkshire. ‘Nationally crime figures are inaccurate, misleading and only account for a small portion of daily police business,’ police say. ‘Violence has increased by 16% and public order by 10%.’

“These are horrific and shameful figures and are a direct result of austerity cuts by this Conservative and Liberal Democrat government,” the Bradford West MP added.

“Two police officers a day in our force are being assaulted. The service is on its knees, apparently. With numbers disproportionately cut in our area and back to 1980s levels. This cannot be allowed to continue. I will be asking the Home Secretary to urgently answer these claims and to the public of West Yorkshire who, like me, will be horrified about it. I’m also calling on all our local MPs to get together to lobby hard for these increased resources to put the thin blue line back to health and get out on the streets in increased numbers to combat rising crime and disorder.”

Bradford MP, David Ward MP has today published details of his Private Members Bill in Parliament calling for off road vehicles to be registered to assist the Police with dealing with anti-social behaviour across Bradford.

David published the text of the Off-Road Vehicles (Registration) Bill 2014-15 in Parliament today which will make provision for the establishment of a compulsory registration scheme at the point of sale for all off-road motorcycles and quad bikes.

The use of off road vehicles like Quad and Dirt Bikes on our roads is illegal but there is a particular problem in Bradford where these vehicles are used on roads and estates in order to speed, making a large amount of noise and generally causing a large amount of anti-social behaviour. 15% of all anti-social behaviour calls to West Yorkshire Police relate to the use of Off-Road Vehicles.

David’s Bill will ensure that when Off Road Vehicles are sold, they will have to be registered. The legislation is not retrospective so it will take time for all vehicles to be registered whether new or resold 2nd hand but before long a comprehensive register of off road vehicles would be in place.

David Ward with the Quad Squad
David Ward with the Quad Squad

This means that the Police will be able to access records on a vehicles make and model which will better allow them to identity the perpetrators and take enforcement action. David has met with colleagues from West Yorkshire Police on many occasions to discuss his ideas and they welcome David’s Bill as an effective method in helping the Police track those taking part in anti-social behaviour in Bradford and across the country.

The 2nd Reading of David’s Bill will be on Friday 27th February and ensures that those found to be possession of vehicles that should be registered face a fine of £1,000 and where necessary confiscation of the offending vehicle.

Talking about the Bill, Bradford MP David Ward said:

“The use of off road vehicles in an anti-social manner has proved to be a real problem across Bradford and that’s why we need to ensure that the Police have all the necessary powers available to them to take effective action.

“The registration of dirt bikes and quad bikes after the point of sale would greatly enhance the ability of the Police to identify and prosecute those people using these vehicles in a dangerous and anti-social manner.

“West Yorkshire Police tell me that the registration of off-road vehicles would be significant step in helping to tackle crime, reduce antisocial behaviour and improving road safety in Bradford.”

 

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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The much publicized campaign to find Murphy – a Siberian Husky who went missing in Bradford on 4 December 2014, has garnered much response from the general public as well as support by politicians and celebrities across the country.

murphy2Murphy’s disappearance has put the spotlight on dog theft as many dog owners believe the theft of dogs is on the rise and the police are not doing enough to tackle the situation.

After speaking to dog owners and highlighting their concerns in our article yesterday (Find Murphy campaigners continue their search), early today, Urban Echo contacted West Yorkshire Police to find the facts and look at the statistics on dog theft within our region. Is dog theft on the rise or on the decline?

A spokesman from West Yorkshire Police informed us; “We take all reports of theft extremely seriously and work with householders and businesses to offer crime prevention advice.

“In particular with dogs, we would encourage their owners to get them micro-chipped and ideally keep them indoors or in secure premises when home alone. Where a dog has not been micro-chipped it can be difficult to trace them and return them to their rightful owner.”

240_Dog-Theft-fullIt is clear that West Yorkshire Police are determined to find the culprits who partake in this crime and by looking at the statistics, dog theft has declined from 2013 to last year. In 2013, 211 dogs were recorded as lost or stolen within West Yorkshire and of those 211, 64 were recorded in Bradford, 80 in Leeds, 33 in Wakefield, 11 in Calderdale and 23 in Kirklees.

However in 2014, dogs recorded as lost or stolen in West Yorkshire had declined to 162 – almost 50 less cases than the previous year. In Bradford alone, 22 less cases were recorded than the previous year.

If anyone has witnessed the theft of an animal or know the whereabouts of Murphy, please contact West Yorkshire Police.

 2013 offences

Between 01/01/2013 and 31/12/2013 there were 211 dogs recorded as Lost or Stolen across West Yorkshire.

District Name  Leeds Wakefield Bradford Calderdale Kirklees Force
Offence Count 80 33 64 11 23 211
Offences (%) 37.91 15.64 30.33 5.21 10.90 100
Crimes per 1000 Population 0.011 0.010 0.012 0.005 0.005 0.009

Theft of dog offences per District (West Yorkshire) (01/01/13 – 31/12/13)

 

2014 offences

Between 01/01/2014 and 31/12/2014 there were 162 dogs recorded as Lost or Stolen across West Yorkshire.

District Name  Leeds Wakefield Bradford Calderdale Kirklees Force
Offence Count 49 39 40 12 22 162
Offences (%) 30.25 24.07 24.69 7.41 13.58 100
Crimes per 1000 Population 0.007 0.012 0.008 0.006 0.005 0.007

Theft of dog offences per District (West Yorkshire) (01/01/14 – 31/12/14)

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