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Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Bulletin Issue 11

26 June 2020

Welcome from the APCC Chair



 

Since the last bulletin the UK joined the rest of the world in shock at the death of George Floyd in the US and the tragic attack in Reading.

There have inevitably been comparisons between the US system and our consent-based style of British policing. Locally elected, PCCs play a vital role in representing our communities and holding our Chief Constables to account. All of us will continue to engage with policing and community partners to address racism and disproportionality where it exists. 

Furthermore, the murder of three people in Reading has shocked and saddened us all and reminded us that, despite the community spirit we have shown to tackle the pandemic, there is still an ongoing threat from hate-filled extremists and radicalised individuals.

My deepest condolences to everybody affected by the attack, and our grateful thanks to the officers who acted so swiftly and bravely.

Katy Bourne OBE (Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex)



PCCs Making a Difference



 

Concerns raised over the court backlog

APCC Criminal Justice Lead, David Lloyd, has written to the Lord Chancellor and Home Secretary to express concern over the significant backlog of cases in the courts as a result of Covid and court closures, and to offer the support of the PCCs who chair their Local Criminal Justice Boards in helping to address this. In his letter, David highlighted the importance of timely justice and how, without this, victims and witnesses will suffer. Victims should not have to put their lives on hold as they wait for delayed court cases. There also remain significant concerns over issues such as a lack of data sharing, the need for more local innovation, improvements in use of video technology and funding. PCCs will continue to drive forward improvements wherever they can through their local criminal justice board, but David Lloyd has stressed the need for action from the centre in responding to this crisis.



APCC Lead for Modern Slavery welcomes Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s review on the business response to Operation Fort

On 16 June, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, published her review of the business response to Operation Fort; the UK’s largest modern slavery investigation and prosecution which identified an estimated 400 victims.

APCC Lead on Modern Slavery, Mark Burns-Williamson welcomed the review which focuses on the important role of businesses in ensuring modern slavery and exploitation do not exist in their supply chains, calling it a wakeup call. Mark has called for the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to be revisited and made more robust in order to capture businesses that fall outside the statutory remit.  

Read the full statement here.

 


 

#SaferTogetherApart - Hampshire PCC is providing events to keep the community safe

Michael Lane, PCC for Hampshire, has developed new ways of reaching out to his communities during lockdown. From the 15 June his office has been providing a month of engagement events online, #SaferTogetherApart 2020, each week focusing on a key theme: Staying safe from fraud and scams; Protecting children and older people; Tackling Domestic Abuse; and Building inclusive communities. Every day new content is available via Facebook and Twitter including chats with experts and information and advice.



Project supports parents of disabled children through lockdown

The Dorset Children's Foundation which is funded by Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill has been providing counselling support to around 40 families. The charity works with parents and carers of young people suffering a wide range of conditions, from learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorders to life changing physical conditions. Support is provided free of charge and includes one-off phone calls, online chats and blocks of counselling sessions.

Read the full article here.



 

Bedfordshire PCC teams up with YouTuber to provide online activities to young people

Kathryn Holloway, PCC for Bedfordshire,  launched a range of online activities for young people during the Covid-19 pandemic by teaming up with The James Campbell Collective, a YouTuber who has been producing fitness videos. The aim is to empower young people, to deliver activities which might occupy 10 to 25-year-olds and even create a longer-term hobby or career opportunity. The initiative has received outstanding feedback so far and has reached over 2000 views in a single month.



Short film warns young people of the angers of image sharing

A film, funded by Lancashire PCC Clive Grunshaw and the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, has been produced by the Artz Centre to highlight the dangers of image sharing online. The film has now been made available online due to the Covid pandemic.



PCCs mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day seeks to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the potential causes. On 15 June 2020, South Wales PCC Alun Michael, called on communities to help tackle the hidden harm of elder abuse, and PCC for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert urged residents to learn how to spot the signs of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of older people.

For more information visit the United Nations page which provides an overview and a number of useful resources.

 


In other news...



 

PCCs acknowledge vital volunteers during National Volunteers Week

National Volunteers Week 2020 took place 1-7 June and PCCs have thanked those who have provided valuable support to their forces and our communities.



PCC Matthew Scott, APCC Mental Health and Custody Lead, reflected on the stories of selflessness and community spirit that have given people hope during this period of emergency. The support of volunteers is something which policing and the public continue to benefit from, whether they are special constables, police staff volunteers, appropriate adults, independent custody visitors, Speedwatch, Witness Care, Neighbourhood Watch, Search and Rescue, 4x4 Response, cadets, chaplains and many more.

Read the full statement here.

 


 

APCC Citizens in Policing Lead Alun Michael, PCC for South Wales, thanked Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers who are viewed as important and valued members of the policing family and support PCCs in understanding and responding to the needs of diverse communities.

Read the full statement here. 



Martyn Underhill, APCC Deputy Lead for Custody and Mental Health, highlighted the important role of Independent Custody Visitors who give their own time to make sure people in police custody are being treated properly, and volunteers who sit on independent scrutiny panels helping hold police forces to account.

Read the full statement here.

 

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