Welcome from the APCC Chair
The start of autumn brings with it a very busy period for the APCC…
Since 2012, PCCs have brought increased transparency and direct democratic accountability to policing, providing the public with real say on how policing is delivered in their local area. PCCs work to support and hold their Chief Constables to account and have also driven focused improvements across the wider criminal justice system, helping to change the culture of the criminal justice system to put the needs of victims at its core - ensuring they have access to dedicated help and support services, which PCCs commission locally. The current PCC review is an opportunity to reflect on the learning since the role was created and to help shape and develop it moving forward.
The ongoing challenges and issues faced by BAME communities have also been a strong focus for PCC colleagues in recent months We have heard the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, and community concerns, and acknowledge the important issues that need to be addressed. PCCs have formed a working group to develop a cross-portfolio response to these issues within policing and the wider criminal justice system. We want to ensure this work delivers effective and long-lasting change. We will be working closely with our colleagues in the National Police Chief Council, the College of Policing and wider community groups in taking this forward.
The APCC has this week published its latest ‘In Focus’ report into the work of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in England and Wales. Established by PCCs, VRUs are multi-agency collaborations, bringing key agencies together to tackle violent crime with a strong focus on prevention. I would encourage you all to read it.
As always, this bulletin provides a snapshot of the work PCCs are doing every day to reduce crime, keep our communities safe and ensure your police forces are delivering for the public. To learn more about what your local PCC is doing, use the APCC’s Find Your PCC tool.
Paddy Tipping (Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire)
VRUs In Focus
This week the APCC launched the ‘Violence Reduction Units In Focus’ report.
‘VRUs In Focus’ is the seventh ‘In Focus’ report - part of the campaign strand ‘PCCs Making A Difference’ – a vehicle to demonstrate the innovative work of PCCs, and in particular their excellent collaboration with partner organisations, to help support victims of crime and reduce re-offending.
The report was produced with the support of the Home Office and demonstrates the progress and development of the 18 VRUs in their multi-agency, public health approach to supporting young people and diverting them away from serious violent crime.
The APCC press release can be viewed here.
Have your say: APCC Roads Enforcement and Safety Survey
The APCC Road Safety and Roads Policing Portfolio has launched a national public engagement survey, designed to understand public perception of road safety and enforcement.
The Government is currently reviewing roads policing and what the future of traffic law enforcement may look like, and our responses to this will aim to help PCCs better understand the public’s views on road safety.
In 2018, almost 1,800 people lost their lives on Britain’s roads and over 25,000 were seriously injured. The majority of casualties on roads in England and Wales resulted from the ‘fatal four’ – speeding, drink driving, using a mobile phone whilst driving, and not wearing a seat belt.
The 60-second survey can be accessed here and will be open until 17:00 on Wednesday 30th September.
Read the full story here, including quotes from our Road Safety Lead and Deputy Lead.
Assaults on shop workers rise as shoplifters become ‘desperate’
The APCC announced Sussex PCC Katy Bourne as their new National Lead for Business Crime. Mrs Bourne has convened several meetings already with retailers in Sussex and unveiled some staggering home truths about the impact of these crimes and how little is being reported to the police.
According to a recent survey from the British Retail Consortium assaults on shopworkers have risen by 9% in the last year and this number has only been further exacerbated by the COVID product shortages, strict social distancing measures and now the enforcement of wearing masks in stores. One Southern Co-op Manager has pleaded with people to treat shopworkers with respect having witnessed the devastating impact of theft and threatening abuse made against staff and how this has only worsened during the pandemic.
Read the full article here which includes a discussion on enforcing face coverings, shoplifters capitalising on the two-metre rule to steal from shops and social distancing during the pandemic, and broader concerns around the under reporting of business crime. A recent analysis conducted with a large national chain revealed less than 10% of all their incidents were reported to the police.
PCCs Making A Difference
PCCs and police services take action to prevent a lifetime of crisis and crime
Police and crime commissioners from Humberside, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Cleveland and Durham, and other police services and charities, have joined a coalition led by Revolving Doors Agency. Together they will provide much needed leadership and promote innovation to support young adults away from the criminal justice system.
It has been found that individuals which enter the system for relatively low-level and non-violent offences also have the highest rates of repeat offending. Statistics have shown that these minor offences dominate the entire offending histories of adults who commit the highest volume of crime in their communities.
PCC introduces ground-breaking approach for female offenders
Thanks to funding from Cheshire PCC David Keane, an innovative programme is being trialled by Cheshire Police and restorative justice provider Remedi. The initiative looks to work with female offenders to reduce reoffending by addressing the root causes of their crime including poverty, domestic abuse or sexual abuse or drug / alcohol abuse.
The programme is being trialled as an alternative to the traditional criminal justice process. A case worker will work closely with offender to develop practical solutions which can address offending. These case workers will also support victims to enable them to recover from their ordeal.
Youth mentorship project toasts funding boost from PCC
PCCs are responsible for funding crime prevention initiatives in their area and as part of his Community Action Grant scheme, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa recently paid a special visit to the YouthSkillz project. Run by Parkside High Community Interest Company the programme helps to train young people in trades such as horticulture and joinery to prevent them turning to crime. Focusing on hard-to-reach young people aged 10 to 16, project leaders seek to help prepare them for the world of work and improve their mental health and wellbeing.
The programme includes workshops such as gardening and horticulture, building and joinery and scaffolding and mechanics, and accommodates up to 40 young participants a week.
PCC supports Worcestershire primary school to improve road safety
New bikes funded by West Mercia PCC John Campion are helping to increase road awareness with young children in Worcestershire. The new funds will allow ‘Bikeability’ training to take place which encourages children to travel on bikes, whilst increasing their awareness of road safety, reducing the number of road traffic collisions.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “With more and more people choosing to cycle, this is a great project aimed at young people safely using our local roads. Road safety is a concern for all residents across West Mercia, and it is a priority of mine to work with communities to make our roads safer. It is important for our children to have good road awareness as they start their cycling career, and I am pleased Wyre Forest School Sport Partnership have been able to access my funding dedicated to improving road safety.”
Dyfed-Powys Police is recognised as one of the best places to work in UK
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn congratulated colleagues at Dyfed-Powys Police, as the Force was officially awarded Investors in People (IiP) GOLD accreditation – an accolade achieved by only 7% of UK organisations subscribing to IiP. PCC Dafydd Llywelyn believes the Gold award is a significant endorsement for the communities across the Dyfed-Powys Police area and said “The motivation to serve the community is palpable, with a desire to continually improve the service. Officers, staff and volunteers are always eager to bring their ideas to the table, and an open and visible leadership culture has been nurtured to make this happen.”