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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
June 2017
The past few days have seen a very visible demonstration of the dedication and professionalism of our police as they stepped up security across the county in the wake of the horrific Manchester attack, as well as assisting their colleagues from Greater Manchester in the investigation to find all those responsible. With the country's security level increased to its maximum level, police officers and PCSOs stepped up to provide increased visibility within communities across the Bank Holiday weekend, as well as continuing to contribute to national and day-to-day policing.

This will have involved in some cases considerable disruption to their private lives, with rest days cancelled and time away from families but, as ever, Warwickshire's officers and staff and those of the wider policing alliance stepped up to the plate to make sure the public were both protected and felt safe and reassured. From the feedback the force has received and all that I have seen reported in the local media, these efforts did not go unnoticed by the public, who made their appreciation known.

Officers from Worcestershire Operational Policing Unit were on patrol at Warwick CastleWhile the presence of armed officers at key locations could easily have been a cause for alarm, their calm and good-humoured nature put people at their ease. I understand the officers at our tourist hotspots became a popular attraction in their own right, posing for photos with many of the visitors as they made the best of an unusual situation. Members of the Worcestershire Operational Policing Unit, who were assisting their Warwickshire Colleagues, are pictured with some of the staff at Warwick Castle.

The last week has been yet another demonstration of the high calibre of the individuals who police our county but it is also right to give thanks to the Warwickshire public for their reaction to events.  With the arrest in Nuneaton as part of the Manchester investigation bringing the events much closer to home, it was heartening that communities rallied together and remained calm but vigilant - a response that I know we can all be both thankful and proud of.

With the reduction in UK threat level we have now returned to ‘business as usual’. However, all of the officers and staff at Warwickshire Police will be remaining vigilant as ever and will continue to work to do everything within their power to keep you safe.
I was shocked and saddened to receive the news that Sean Lawson and his wife Mary had passed away over the weekend.  Sean, who was Head of Environment and Public Realm at Rugby Borough Council, has worked closely with my office and as part of Rugby Community Safety Partnership for a number of years.  Most recently he was a key voice in our discussions with local authorities on a new protocol for unauthorised traveller encampments, where his views and feedback were much appreciated. My thoughts are with Sean and Mary's family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.
Philip Seccombe TD
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Community schemes set to benefit from £1.6m boost
Sixty projects which help tackle crime and disorder across Warwickshire have been awarded a share of £1.6 million in funding from my Commissioner’s Grants Scheme.  The annual award seeks to support initiatives which will make a positive contribution to the objectives of my Police and Crime Plan, delivered by community, third sector and statutory organisations.  Ultimately the schemes make a big contribution to making Warwickshire safer and more secure.

I have been able to support a wide mix of initiatives, with projects large and small reaching every corner of the county.  This includes services for victims, survivors of domestic abuse and restorative justice programmes, alongside major contributions for projects tackling child sexual exploitation, hate crime, substance misuse and diversionary projects for young people.

In addition, funding has also been confirmed for project workers delivering the Rural Watch, Business Watch and Cyber Safe schemes, alongside awards for the county’s Community Safety Partnerships to deliver local partnership initiatives tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

I have been impressed by the quality of the schemes we are supporting, as well as the dedication of all those involved with supporting victims and working with local communities to reduce crime.  I’m delighted to be able to give this financial support and I look forward to seeing positive results across the rest of this year.

All funded programmes are required to submit detailed quarterly updates to my office to ensure that the expected outcomes are delivered.

A full list of the supported projects can be found at: www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/key-information/financial-information/grant-scheme/
National Specials Weekend 2017

This weekend is National Specials Weekend, an event organised across the country by the National Police Chiefs' Council, Citizens in Policing, the College of Policing and local police forces. Coming as part of National Volunteers Week (June 1-7), it is designed to celebrate the hugely valuable role Special Constables play in keeping our communities safe, as well as encouraging more people to join up.

Special Constable on patrolSpecials Constables are volunteers who commit a minimum of 16 hours a month and play a key role in local policing. They have the same powers in law as regular police officers, including the power of arrest.

Across the weekend in Warwickshire Special Constables will be carrying out policing activities relevant to local needs, supporting community and neighbourhood issues. These will include:
  • focusing on burglary hotspots
  • targeting drugs, anti-social behaviour and car crime
  • tackling rural crime
  • checking on car seat safety in Rugby
  • combating anti-social motorcyclists
  • carrying out a drugs operation in Leamington Spa.
If you are interested in finding out more about Warwickshire Police Special Constabulary, visit: www.warwickshire.police.uk/specialconstables
Funds needed for UK Police Memorial Trust 
An artist's impression of the UK Police Memorial at the Staffordshire Arboretum
An artist's impression of the UK Police Memorial at the Staffordshire Arboretum
There are many occasions in which our dedicated frontline policing personnel selflessly put themselves in harm’s way in order to keep the public safe.  As we have seen all too tragically this year with the death of PC Keith Palmer in the Westminster attack, sometimes this has meant making the ultimate sacrifice.  I think it is therefore very important that there is a fitting memorial to all of those who have died in the line of service.

I am pleased therefore that a campaign has been launched nationally by the UK Police Memorial Trust to raise the funds to create just such a memorial at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. It will honour the dedication, courage and sacrifice of the many members of the United Kingdom’s police service who have died while serving and protect their communities since the establishment of the world’s first recognised police service over 250 years ago.

Support has already been received from His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, while the Government has committed to £1 million towards the £4 million total target. The campaign is being backed by myself and Chief Constable Martin Jelley and I know that in the coming months officers and staff from Warwickshire Police will supporting the campaign in a number of ways, including organising their own local fundraising events, taking part in pre-planned activity in their spare time and donations from their pay.

I hope the public will also give its support to the fundraising appeal and show their thanks to the people who keep their communities safe, demonstrating the high-esteem in which British policing is held.

Specific donations and tributes can be made to remember individual colleagues from a particular force or from the wider policing family. Anyone making a donation or raising funds of more than £20 will receive a black and white chequered wristband inscribed with the words 'courage and sacrifice'.

If you are a social media user it would also be really helpful if you could promote the Memorial and the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #courageandsacrifice.

Further details of how to get involved can be found at www.ukpolicememorial.org.
Wolvey gets 'supported village' status
Wolvey became the latest rural community in the north of the county to gain ‘Supported Village’ status. Rural Crime Co-ordinator Carol Cotterill has been working with the Safer Neighbourhood Team and villagers to property mark the whole village and ensure everyone receives security advice, to demonstrate they are not soft targets for rural crime.

Wolvey becomes the third village in the Rugby district to join the Supported Villages Scheme after Binley Woods and Willoughby, with three others in the north of the county also protected.  A further three villages are also working with their local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Carol to become part of the ‘Supported Villages Scheme’.
 
For more information about tackling rural crime, visit the Warwickshire Rural Watch website at: www.warwickshireruralwatch.co.uk
Come and meet me at Kenilworth Show

I'll be out supporting my Rural Crime Co-ordinators from South Warwickshire, Bob Church and Lucy Lambert at the Kenilworth Show on Saturday June 10.  They'll have a special stand at the event at the show at Stoneleigh Park, joining forces with the Safer Neighbourhood Team to give out lots of crime prevention advice.  I'll be lending a hand from 10am to 12 noon - so, if you are going to the show, do stop by and say hello!
The crime prevention stand seen at Stratford market earlier this yearLook out for the stand (pictured earlier this year at Stratford Market) at the Kenilworth Show
The month ahead

CalendarHere are some of the key events in my diary for the month ahead:
  • June 6: Attending Remember Veterans event, RAF Museum, Cosford
  • June 7: Visit to HM Coastguard, Falmouth (APCC trip to look at emergency services collaboration)
  • June 10: Kenilworth Show - see above
  • June 13: Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board
  • June 14: Delivering a keynote speech at the Future of UK Fire and Rescue Services event, London
  • June 20: Shipston Community Forum
  • June 21: Cyber Safe Warwickshire launch event
  • June 22: Police and Crime Panel, Shire Hall, Warwick
  • June 22: Speaking at Southam 200 Rotary dinner
  • June 23: Warwickshire Youth Justice Service board
  • June 28: Alliance Governance Group, Leek Wootton
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 7 July
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