December 2016
The latest newsletter from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
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PCC Blog: Think bigger, better, differently

As we approach the end of 2016, I feel like this has been the year where I’ve taken the role of Police and Crime Commissioner up a gear.
By thinking bigger, better, differently, this office has achieved real results for the people of the West Midlands.
Of course, there has been business as usual – weekly meetings with the Chief Constable, for instance, and monthly board sessions – but there has been a lot of innovation and taking a different path to other PCCs around the country.
Take my M6 hearing as an example. After a tragic crash in the early hours, the motorway was shut for an unacceptable 24 hours. Patients couldn’t get to hospital, people missed family member’s funerals and the regional economy ground to a halt as deliveries and meetings were missed.
But I took the bold move of stepping in and doing something about it. I arranged a hearing in public for all those involved - Highways England, the police, councils etc - and thrashed out exactly what had gone wrong to keep the motorway closed for so long and how we ensure it improves in future.
This had never been done before and, I’m pleased to say, it was successful. Since then, Highways England has made progress and the links between it and partners are now stronger. Collaboration has been a key element of success.
In fact, the model proved so effective, I am replicating it for another issue that is important to people: illegal traveller camps.
Illegal encampments affect so many people. From the residents and businesses who lose their land for days at a time, to police, council officials and the travellers themselves, there is no one who is untouched by the stress and complexity of this issue.
I will therefore be holding a summit in February to try and tackle the problems and come up with solutions. I’ve invited residents, traveller groups, local councils and the police to the table, as well as shire councils so we can come up with a regional approach and not just move the illegal camps from one place to the next.
The hearing will take place on February 10 and will also be webcast live. I will also look at the extra powers that could be granted to local agencies by government.
Please get in touch if you have any information about this issue by taking part in my public consultation, which is launching shortly, and hopefully – together – we can come up with a solution.

Christmas campaigns get PCC backing

One of the West Midlands Police domestic abuse campaign posters

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is backing West Midlands Police’s two Christmas safety campaigns.

Supported by his Assistants, Judy Foster and Ashley Bertie, the PCC is endorsing the force’s bids to tackle drink/drug driving and domestic abuse during the festive period.

The Commissioner attended the launch of the driving campaign in Birmingham city centre, where members of the public could try the drink driving simulator funded by his office and get an experience of the dangers of being under the influence behind the wheel.

David Jamieson said: “It was great to see people learning about the dangers of drink and drug driving by having a go in the simulator. It’s a fantastic piece of kit that really gets the message across.

“Drink or drug driving is dangerous and inexcusable – and yet a reckless minority unfortunately still take the risk.

“At Christmas, people are out celebrating and end up making decisions they normally wouldn’t, such as getting behind the wheel after drinking.

“I want everyone in the West Midlands to have a safe and happy Christmas so please don’t ruin your family – or someone else’s – by drinking or taking drugs and driving. West Midlands Police will be watching.”

As part of the campaign, police officers armed with drug-testing kits and breathalysers will stop motorists suspected of putting lives at danger during the festive season.

The force has also launched its annual Christmas domestic abuse campaign, running throughout December and New Year, a time of year that typically sees a spike in reports.

The campaign is backed by a WMP employee who has spoken out about the emotional and psychological torment – plus regular bouts of physical abuse – she suffered at the hands of her controlling ex-husband.

She is supporting the ‘Control isn’t love’ campaign to raise awareness of coercive control in relationships in a bid to help victims who may not previously have realised this is domestic abuse to take steps to end the relationship. Coercive control has been shown in cases of domestic homicide to be an antecedent to serious harm and fatal violence.

Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Judy Foster backed the campaign and praised the community officer for speaking out.

She added: “Christmas can be a difficult time for many, with family pressures and tensions running high.

“West Midlands Police understands this and has specialist officers on hand to support victims and improve their lives.

“This brave officer’s story proves anyone can find themselves a victim of domestic abuse and I would urge those people not to suffer in silence but to reach out to the police for help.”

Don’t forget to take part in regional cyber crime survey

West Mercia PCC John Campion, Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe and West Midlands PCC David Jamieson launch the 2016 regional cyber crime survey.
Online crime is one of the biggest threats facing us today. To tackle it, West Midlands, Warwickshire, West Mercia and Staffordshire PCCs have joined forces to launch the second annual cyber crime survey.

The results of the survey will be used to assess the impact online crime is having around the region and what the police, councils, businesses and individuals can do to stop it.

Last year, there was a very high response rate to this survey, which found the following:
  • More than half of respondents were targeted by phishing scams, with one in 10 going on to become victims.
  • One in five people who spend more than seven hours a day online will become a victim of cyber crime.
  • As age increases, knowledge of online crime risks reduces slightly, while the feeling of being at risk increases significantly.
  • Under 18s are the age group most targeted for online harassment or bullying with female respondents targeted twice as much as males.
  • Nearly one third of parents have neither applied online restrictions nor spoken to their children about internet safety.
  • 4% of respondents have no idea how to protect themselves online.
  • "I did not think anyone could help" was the number one reason for not reporting cyber crime, followed by "did not know who to report it to".
David Jamieson said: "I am pleased we are coming together to tackle this issue. Crime is changing not falling and cyber crime is an increasingly important issue that affects individuals and businesses alike.

"As well as getting a better picture of how it impacts people across the region we also will be promoting preventative measures that in many cases will protect people from cyber crime.

"My Assistant Commissioner Ashley Bertie heads up cyber crime in the West Midlands force area and over the coming months he will be leading on a series of events to help individuals and businesses protect themselves online."

Take part in the second annual cyber crime survey here:
News Bulletins
  • West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner was presented with an award for its transparency. CoPaCC - the independent body that monitors police governance - presented the office with an OPCC Transparency Quality Mark, meaning it hits a high standard in having accessible information for the public. The West Midlands office was one of only 13 PCCs nationwide to pick up the quality mark.
  • West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has webcast its first Strategic Policing and Crime Board meeting since moving back in to the revamped Lloyd House. All of the meetings from now on will be broadcast on the web. You can watch it again here.
  • More than 140 weapons, including axes, swords and survival knives, were recovered from surrender bins in Birmingham and the Black Country. Supported by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and provided by Word 4 Weapons, the bins give people the chance to dispose of weapons safely. You can see exactly what was recovered in the latest round of collections here.
  • Strategic Policing and Crime Board member Cath Hannon has been awarded a Professional Doctorate in Policing, Security and Community Safety. Entitled ‘Managing a risky business: Developing the professional practice of police and probation officers in the management of high-risk offenders’ her work is an exploration of relationships, tensions and collaboration opportunities between the two services. Dr Hannon said: “I am very grateful to the participants who shared their thoughts and time to support to me. Thank you and I hope you are pleased with the outcome.”

Great and good honoured in police awards

Mr Javeed's mother and daughter with the outstanding officers
The great and the good of West Midlands Police were honoured for outstanding acts of bravery, exceptional conduct and dedicated service at an awards night.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson addressed the audience at Tally Ho! after Chief Constable Dave Thompson opened the ceremony.

Royal Humane Society Awards, Good Citizens Awards and Chief Constable Awards and Commendations were all given out on the night.

Among those honoured were Sergeants Richard Nutt and Julie Kempson, plus PC Matt Moore, who were first on the scene of the warehouse raid in Digbeth where Akhtar Javeed was shot.

The officers administered first aid and performed CPR for around 30 minutes while paramedics performed advanced trauma care. Grandfather Mr Javeed sadly passed away in hospital shortly after the February 3 attack and three people were later jailed for a total of almost 40 years for their part in plotting and carrying out the robbery.
In recognition of their efforts, the three officers were awarded a special certificate on behalf of the Royal Humane Society. Mr Javeed’s family were in attendance.
His daughter, Lilas said: “We wanted to be there in person to thank the officers for the selflessness and care they showed my father: they went above and beyond in trying to save his life.
“Without a second thought they put themselves in potential danger not knowing if armed robbers were still present.”
Other awards were given out to an officer who had saved a pensioner from a knife-wielding attacker; a PC who had worked tirelessly to help and support sex workers; two Constables who performed first aid in the midst of a horrific car crash; and three officers who overcame a violent offender to arrest him on suspicion of attempted murder following an incident that saw a woman fall 45ft from a block of flats.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “This night highlighted the true courage and dedication West Midlands Police officers show on a daily basis.

“There are no words that do these brave officers justice – they are an inspiration to us all.

“On behalf of the people of the West Midlands, I can only say ‘thank you’. I truly believe we have the best officers in the world.”

Assistant PCC's blog: Judy Foster

The West Midlands is a wonderfully diverse place: a melting pot of different cultures, faiths, religions and ways of life.
I for one think this is a fact to be celebrated and it’s therefore heart-breaking when we see things that threaten it.
Islamophobia is a poison in our society. It is an absurdly ill-informed and prejudiced way of thinking that needs to be stamped out.
I am committed to doing all I can to rid our communities of Islamophobia in any form.
As part of this work, I attended an event at Green Oak Academy in Moseley, Birmingham.
Run by Tell MAMA, which supports victims of anti-Muslim hate, the event focussed on women and Islamophobia.
We held a discussion with the women and young people about how Islamophobia often targets and affects women the most and we discussed how to tackle it.
It was an enlightening event and the women and young people I spoke to were inspiring, informed and engaging.
I have taken back their thoughts and findings to the PCC and will use the information to shape the services we provide that target Islamophobia. This work will also be supported by the new recruitment of 800 police officers, 200 specialist support staff and 150 PCSOs as promised by the Commissioner. We are determined to have a police force that looks more like the communities it serves and it's pleasing to know we've had a higher number of BME applicants this year than in previous recruitment waves - something that will surely help in the fight against Islamophobia
Together, we will rid our streets of this crime.

Thanks for reading,

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