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Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Bulletin Issue 9

01 May 2020
Katy bourne

Welcome to the APCC Bulletin

Introduction from Katy Bourne OBE, APCC Chair and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner: 

Police officers around the country are still committed to tackling crime and keeping the public safe during this challenging time so it was very welcome news from the Home Office that forces are still successfully recruiting during the Covid-19 emergency.

So far, nearly six and a half thousand new officers have joined between November 2019 to March 2020 through the national police uplift programme which is being further complimented by the investment that PCCs have been making locally.

This increase will help all police forces address both the need for business as usual as well as the increased demand of policing safe, social interactions. It also shows that, at a critical time for our country, there are plenty of people from all walks of life with diverse skills and experiences who want to become police officers.

Figures this week also showed that the vast majority of people are complying with the public health regulations and that police officers are successfully engaging with the public and explaining the rationale for the restrictions in place, only using enforcement measures as a last resort.

This is definitely a difficult time, with many of us separated from family and friends, yet it is still crucial that we abide by the social distancing measures to minimise transmission opportunities for the deadly virus. If we move about, the virus can move about. If we don’t, it can’t.

   

This week a Home Affairs Select Committee report called for further action to tackle domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic. In response, APCC Victims leads Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden and PFCC Julia Mulligan welcomed calls for a cross-departmental Covid-19 strategy on domestic abuse, and for it to be backed by an emergency funding package.

“This recommendation echoes the call that we recently made to Government, alongside the Domestic Abuse and Victims Commissioners, for a cross-departmental ministerial working group to deliver national leadership resources and action in this area.

“It is essential that we move now to implement new, innovative, national strategies which provide victims with options for accessing the support they will so desperately need.”

Full quote here.

   

Responding to the last week’s ONS statistical crime bulletin, APCC Performance lead, Matthew Scott PCC said:

“The Crime Survey for England and Wales has found that crime fell by 5% in 2019. This is testament to the hard work of police officers and staff throughout last year, including the thousands of new recruits local people have paid for through their council tax precepts.

“That there has been marked decreases in recorded incidents of theft, burglary, and deaths on our roads, is particularly pleasing to see. Knife crime in our cities remains a concern but one which is being addressed by PCC-led initiatives such as Violence Reduction Units. Data for early 2020, when published this summer, will show further decreases in recorded crime partly as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown measures.”

   

APCC Deputy Performance Lead, Keith Hunter PCC said:

“The present statistics for police recorded crime outcomes in England and Wales show a worryingly steady decline in the number of charged/summonsed outcomes assigned to offences, including for serious offences such as violence against the person and rape.

 “Police and Crime Commissioners will continue to work closely with criminal justice partners to ensure resources are available to deliver the right outcomes to the public.”

Read the full statement here.



PCCs continue to adapt to support their communities

The current crisis has required many of us to re-think how we work, and PCCs are no exception with a number tailoring their communications to continue to engage with their communities.

Voice for Victims, Northamptonshire PFCC Stephen Mold’s victim support service, has launched the Voice Home Support Hub app to help people cope and recover from the effects of crime during social distancing.  The app is available to download, free of charge, here.

Voice – which is supporting people by phone and online during social distancing – has created the Home Support Hub to help breakdown barriers to recovery.

In West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson moved swiftly to create a dedicated Coronavirus Support Page on his website which brings together key information and guidance from the Government, NHS and wider West Yorkshire and national partners. Key issues highlighted within the page include health, support for victims, funding opportunities, volunteering opportunities, advice on the Coronavirus legislation, local support information and much more. 

Wales leading the way in tackling adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)

The Early Action Together programme is supporting the police, prison and probation services to work collaboratively with multi-agencies (e.g. social services, schools, housing, third sector etc.) across Wales so they can identify vulnerable people, intervene early and keep them out of the criminal justice system, break the generational cycle of crime and ultimately improve their lives.

The programme stemmed from an original collaborative bid between the four Police and Crime Commissioners, four Chief Constables, Public Health Wales and a range of partners to transform the way police and partner agencies dealt with the most vulnerable in society.

90% of demand on police is complex welfare, public safety and vulnerability issues so they are well placed to intervene more effectively and reduce the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma.

Adapting locally commissioned services.

In Durham, the Office of the Acting Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner (ODPCVC) are working with American company Elucd to use innovative technology to improve engagement and understand what the communities across County Durham and Darlington are in relation to policing. The technology uses surveys, through ad space on social media platforms to broaden community engagement, innovative algorithms to ensure that the data collected is from across the community. This in turn is then used to address the top concerns within communities and can reveal trends. 

Full story here.

In Warwickshire, the Independent Custody Volunteer (ICV) scheme maintained by PCC Philip Seccombe has turned to technology to ensure that vital checks on the welfare of people in police custody can continue. Members of the ICV scheme have been using video conferencing on mobile phones to ensure ‘virtual’ visits can continue to take place. 

Mr Seccombe said that “it’s never been more important to ensure the welfare of everyone in the custody environment, from the detainees themselves through to the police officers and detention staff that work there and anyone else who has cause to visit. Maintaining a viable and active custody visiting scheme is therefore crucial and I’m grateful for the flexible approach that all involved have shown.”

Full story here.

West Midlands PCC convenes a multi-agency response to the early release of prisoners

PCC David Jamieson and West Midlands Police are working with key partners from across the Criminal Justice System to ensure that the early release of prisoners is done safely and minimises the risk to the public.

The PCC and West Midlands Police are keen to ensure that those who are released from prison continue to receive support with substance misuse, they can obtain secure accommodation and they are able to receive rehabilitation support to reduce reoffending. For example, Cranstoun, an organisation commissioned by the PCC will continue deliver Arrest Referral Services within the custody suites of West Midlands Police. This ensures drug and alcohol using offenders are offered the opportunity to access treatment in this difficult time.

Full story here.

 

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