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Monthly update from Warwickshire's Police and Crime Commissioner
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The latest news from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
July 2017
I wrote back in my May newsletter about a meeting I had held with the father of murdered Nuneaton man Morgan Hehir and the question marks his son's case has raised about the criminal justice system, in particular the supervision of violent offenders after their release from prison.  I gave Colin Hehir the assurance that I would convene a meeting of criminal justice agencies to discuss these concerns further.  Last week I was able to make good on that commitment, when Colin joined me at Leek Wootton to sit down with key representatives to look at the public protection arrangements in Warwickshire in detail.

Representatives from Warwickshire Police, the National Probation Service, HM Prison Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, Warwickshire Youth Justice Service, Warwickshire and West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Company and solicitors from Warwickshire County Council were all present as Colin outlined his key concern that his son’s death exposed possible gaps in public protection measures, which meant that agencies had few options to supervise potentially unreformed violent offenders when they were released after serving their full term in prison.

The meeting heard how the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) had been strengthened since Morgan's death in 2015 to follow national best-practice in identifying and managing the risks posed by offenders, while changes to the Warwickshire Police operating model have led to an enlarged Integrated Offender Management programme, with the focus for the force being to protect people from harm. 

The number of violent offenders leaving prison having served their full term was described as being low, however there was an acceptance that in such circumstances agencies were more limited in how they could actively managed in the community.  Active discussion then took place at how existing powers could be better used to provide improved protection, as well as what additional powers may be helpful in the future.

I was very pleased with the positive and constructive way that all of the agencies discussed ideas for further improvement. There was a clear determination to find new ways to ensure the public’s safety, for example by making greater use of Criminal Behaviour Orders and Civil Injunctions. My office will continue to work with the agencies to identify the best ways for taking forward these suggestions in the coming weeks.
The first Police and Crime Panel meeting since the local authority elections in May took place on June 22.  The role of the Panel is to to scrutinise and support the work that I do, holding me to account and also acting as a 'critical friend'.  The Panel’s membership has changed considerably following the election and indeed now has a new chair, Councillor Nicola Davies and Vice-Chair, Councillor Derek Poole.  I look forward to working with Panel members old and new over the coming months and years.
Philip Seccombe TD
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Cyber Safe Warwickshire website launches
Launching the Cyber Safe Warwickshire website, from left, are Cyber Crime Advisor Sam Slemensek, Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, Cyber Crime Advisor Alex Gloster and Louise Williams,  Warwickshire County Council’s  Community Safety Manager.
With record numbers falling victim to online crime, the loss of nearly £9m by Warwickshire adults is among the shocking findings of the second cyber crime survey, the results of which were published in June. The headlines included: 
  • There have been nearly 15,000 successful phishing scams in Warwickshire in the last 12 months.
  • More than 5,500 residents have been a victim of an online romance scam.
  • 9,900 have been victim of identity fraud.
  • 30,000 fell victim to viruses and malware.
  • More than 6,000 online hate crimes.
  • Other online fraud and theft equates to a further 21,500 victims.
This year's survey was commissioned jointly with Warwickshire County Council and also run by PCC's offices across the West Midlands region. Pleasingly, we achieved the highest number of responses here in Warwickshire, despite easily being the smallest area taking part.

In terms of awareness of the risks posed to residents by their activity online, only 59% of respondents felt they were at risk when using online services. However, 87% felt either reasonably or very confident that they knew how to protect themselves online and only 1% of respondents had no idea how to protect themselves. 

Cyber  Safe Warwickshire logoTackling cyber crime is one of the key ambitions within my Police and Crime Plan and so, as well as commissioning the survey, I have provided funding for a new Cyber Safe Warwickshire website to help give everyone accessible and easy to understand information on the latest in cyber safety.  

Populated by my two Cyber Crime Advisors, Sam Slemensek and Alex Gloster, the site keeps track of the latest trends in cyber crime and online fraud, with timely information on what you need to do to keep safe.  There's also a special section of the site with information relevant to young people, including how to stay safe while using social media. Just as importantly there are links to services and sites where you can report online crime or receive further help and support.

The survey results and the Cyber Safe Warwickshire website were both launched at a special event held at IBM's UK headquarters in Warwick.  IBM generously made their facilities available for free and it made for a very appropriate setting.

Find out more about staying safe online at www.cybersafewarwickshire.com.  You can also follow Sam and Alex on Twitter @CyberSafeWarks or on Facebook at @CyberSafeWarwickshire.
Emergency Services Collaboration
Philip addressing delegates at the Inside Government conference in London
In my role as chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners' Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group, I was the keynote speaker at the Inside Government Conference in London recently, which was looking at the future of the UK fire and rescue services.

Coming in the immediate aftermath of the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower and also the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the ways in which police, fire and all of the other emergency services come together to deal with major incidents has never been more apparent. How that spirit of co-operation can be furthered and deepened on a more day-to-day basis was very much the focus of my address to the conference delegates.  Across the country, PCCs are currently looking at how police and fire services in particular can collaborate more closely and this is something that the Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group will be offering its support to over the coming months and years.

PCC Philip Seccombe at the National Maritime Operations CentreOf course, the blue-light services encompass more than just police, fire and ambulance.  The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is another vital organisation which works hard to keep the public safe.  While here in land-locked Warwickshire there isn't much call for their expertise, there are nonetheless ways in which collaboration can be achieved across the services, whether that's through training, IT systems or procurement. 

Last month I was pleased to visit HM Coastguard's National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham to get a better idea of how they operate and how they interact with the other emergency services.  It was a fascinating day as the centre co-ordinates all aeronautical search and rescue for the UK.  
In Pictures: Kenilworth Show
The Kenilworth Show on June 10 saw many hundreds of people flock to Stoneleigh Park for a showcase of the Warwickshire agricultural community.  Warwickshire Police had their own stand at the show, where attendees could meet and chat with Bob Church and Lucy Lambert, our Rural Crime Co-ordinators in the south of the county, as well as police Safer Neighbourhood Teams.  On display were a number of police vehicles, including the Off-Road Motorcycles which have proved very successful.  The Special Constabulary recruitment team was also on hand, as were Warwickshire Horse Watch, while the stand showcased a huge amount of crime-prevention equipment and advice.

I joined the team during the morning, meeting members of the public and also had a good look over the police drone equipment with chief pilot, PCSO Andy Steventon.  I also took the chance to pop into some of the other stands at the showground, including the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, which has given support and expert advice to my office and the force as we have worked to address issues around backlogs with the issuing of firearms licenses.  I am pleased to say that situation has now much improved.
2017 Youth Academy launched

Youth Academy logo
Warwickshire Police is running a great scheme for children aged 14-16 this October, giving them an exciting chance to find out more about the police, how they operate and why they do what they do. The free two-day event at Newbold Revell near Rugby also sees the attendees take part in a series of thought-provoking, challenging and engaging workshops, with inputs on cyber crime, social media, the dangers of sexting and child sexual exploitation and facilitated discussions around choices and consequences.

The aim is to provide the children with knowledge and understanding of the world around them, equipping them with the skills and increased confidence to allow them to thrive safely both in person and online.

Find out more and get details of how your children can sign up at: www.warwickshire.police.uk/youthacademy2017
2016-17 Annual Report published
Annual report coverEach year I publish an Annual Report to highlight how I have carried out my legal duties, the progress made in delivering my Police and Crime Plan and what other achievements have occurred over the past 12 months.

The 2016/17 Annual Report was published in June, recalling my first year of office. It serves to underline that this has been a busy year, as I set out my Police and Crime Plan to deliver a safer, more secure county and invested heavily in programmes to transform Warwickshire Police to meet the challenges of today and beyond.

We've tried very hard to make the report accessible and easy to read while giving good detail on the work that has been undertaken and still meeting all of our statutory obligations.  

You can find the report in full at: www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/your-pcc/the-police-and-crime-plan-our-priorities/annual-opcc-report/
The month ahead

CalendarHere are some of the key events in my diary for the month ahead:

July 11: Meeting with Crimestoppers
July 12: Speaking at NFU County Meeting
July 19: APCC Annual General Meeting, London
July 21: Visit by the Victims' Commissioner to Leamington Justice Centre
July 26: National Rural Crime Network Annual General Meeting
July 29: Attending Whitacre Show with Rural Watch
August 2: Local Criminal Justice Board meeting
 
In addition, I have a weekly meeting with the Chief Constable to hold the force to account and discuss any arising issues.  You can find details of these meetings here.

A full schedule of my key meetings and events is kept up-to date online at www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/event/

The next newsletter will be published on Friday 4 August
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