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Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Bulletin Issue 4

01 November 2019

PREVENTION IN FOCUS

A word from APCC Prevention Leads, PFCC Roger Hirst and PCC Keith Hunter

Published last week, the APCC ‘Prevention In Focus’ report demonstrates the commitment and drive of PCCs to invest in early intervention and prevention services across England and Wales.

PCCs are addressing the root causes of crime, helping to support children and young people to move away from the risk factors that can lead to crime 

or victimisation. Working with local partners to protect vulnerable people who may be at risk of becoming victims, PCCs are empowering local people with crime prevention measures to help make their local communities safer. 

By investing resources upstream we know we can keep communities safe, improve resilience and tackle the factors that can lead to crime.

You can read the full report to find out how 15 cross-party PCCs are making a real difference, via their leadership, commissioning and partnership work, to help prevent crime and keep communities safe and resilient.

Case studies include: working with women offenders; an award-winning Community Peer Mentor Service; a Safe Schools and Communities Team project; a Young Victims of Crime Service; Adverse Childhood Experiences projects; as well as various sport-based intervention schemes. In all these initiatives PCCs are leading local partnerships to help deliver transformation and change in their communities.




MPs back PCCs’ evidence-based approach to tackling drugs misuse

APCC lead for alcohol and substance misuse, PCC Hardyal Dhindsa, gave evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee’s Drugs Policy inquiry in July. He used the opportunity to highlight Police and Crime Commissioners’ commitment to reducing drug related deaths, drug related crime and the other harms to society that drugs misuse brings.

Responding to the publication of the Committee’s Drugs Policy Report Hardyal Dhindsa PCC said: “PCCs echo the Committee’s call for increased resources as a matter of urgency, and know first-hand the importance of investment in evidence-based drug treatment services locally, this needs to be part of a comprehensive package of education, prevention and other support measures focused on the prevention of drug use amongst young people and other vulnerable people. PCCs have consistently advocated this approach and agree with the Committee that the focus should be on health and harm reduction.

“PCCs continue to work across local partnerships, piloting innovative and evidence-based approaches to both harm reduction and reducing demand for drugs. Nationally we continue to make the case for evidence-based policy and services to the Government through our membership of the Home Secretary chaired Drugs Board and our participation in the Independent Review of Drugs chaired by Dame Professor Carol Black.”

PCCs welcome review into Serious and Organised Crime

This week PCCs welcomed the Government’s announcement of a review into Serious and Organised Crime.
The review, led by Sir Craig Mackey QPM, will look to find ways to tackle criminal activity including county lines, people trafficking, drugs, child sexual exploitation, fraud and illicit finance.

Speaking on the review APCC Leads for Serious and Organised Crime Baroness Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Greater Manchester, and Marc Jones, Lincolnshire PCC said: “These crimes have a devastating and destructive impact on people in our communities and have a significant cost to our economy.

“Police and Crime Commissioners have long advocated the need for a whole system approach to tackle SOC, from local to international, cross agency and cross sector. PCCs support a robust law enforcement response to SOC while recognising the need to tackle root causes, putting prevention and safeguarding at the heart of any strategy. We welcome this review and look forward to working with Sir Craig to inform the recommendations arising and will continue to work with Government to ensure the necessary governance and funding is in place.” 

You can read more about the review here.

PCC Jason Ablewhite marked five years of Cambridgeshire’s Victim and Witness Hub helping victims recover from crime

The Hub provides ‘end to end’ support with Victim and Witness Care Coordinators providing confidential emotional and practical support from the point of reporting, through any criminal justice process including giving evidence at court. The Hub also links into many specialist services from support for young victims of crime, survivors of sexual and domestic violence to specialist language support for migrant victims of exploitation.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said: “If you become a victim of crime or witness a crime, the last thing you need is to be in the dark about who to turn to for support. Taking the first step and asking for help, whether you report the crime to the police or not is a very important stage in your recovery.

“I often talk about victims being wrapped in a blanket of care and that is exactly what happens at the Hub. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to being there for people, making sure they have all the support they need to properly recover from what has happened to them.

“I am pleased to see just how much the Hub has grown over the last five years, both in terms of experience but in the breadth of specialist services on offer, representing the diversity of people living in our communities and want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone at the Hub.”

Digital Storage Detection Police Dog sniffs out crime

Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez visited Parliament this week to showcase the successes of the force’s Digital Storage Detection Police Dog. Following investment from the PCC, Police Dog Tweed became the first Digital Police Dog to be trained outside of the United States.

Police Dog Tweed was on hand to greet visitors including MPs and Home Office representatives who came to learn how Digital Storage Detection Police Dogs are at the cutting edge of detecting crime.

These dogs give the police a new way to fight the threats of terrorism, paedophiles and fraud and have been used by police at crime scenes across the whole UK to sniff out data devices such as mobile devices, USB sticks, SD cards, hard drives and computers.

PCC’s new team of financial experts take on drug gangs

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has funded an innovative new team of financial experts to take on the region’s drugs gangs and organised criminals. The new team will focus on confiscating laundered assets and drugs cash. All the money seized will be put back into drug policy initiatives to make streets safer and further disrupt organised crime.

The team is currently comprised of three financial investigators, who have been hired from the banking sector and an intelligence analyst. The PCC is funding the team for an initial two years, using around £160,000 of money seized using the Proceeds of Crime Act to pay for the team.

As well as funding the team’s running costs, additional money seized by the investigators will go towards funding drug support services in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie said: “Drugs have a terrible impact on the lives of so many people. This scheme aims to take away the profits from the kingpins at the top and use their money to increase drug support services.

“This is a full-circle approach, we are taking away the profits from criminality, using expert financial investigators to forensically attack the pockets of organised criminals. We will then be shrinking the drugs market further by increasing the availability of drug support services.”

 

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