Monthly update from Warwickshire's Police and Crime Commissioner
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The latest news from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
September 2018
This has been a busy month for my office, as work to complete tender documentation for a range of commissioned services for victims of crime was completed.  This marks an important stage in my plan to develop further the way I fund services in the county. 

The services are being tendered for in five lots, offering:
  • General ‘cope and recovery’ services for victims;
  • A sexual abuse and violence recovery service;
  • A child sexual exploitation recovery service;
  • Adult substance misuse services for those in the criminal justice system;
  • Children and young people substance misuse services for those in the criminal justice system.
The services will begin from April 1 next year and will run for a minimum of two or three years, depending on the particular lot.  I am confident that by commissioning services directly, or through co-commissioning with other organisations, I will be able to maximise available funding and ensure good quality accessible services for Warwickshire residents. 

I will also be continuing my grants scheme for locally-provided initiatives which support Police and Crime Plan – the work many smaller organisations do here in Warwickshire to help victims, provide youth services and contribute to crime prevention is extremely valued and something I am keen to continue to support.

The topic of police funding more generally has also hit the headlines in recent days, with a report by the National Audit Office critical of some of the funding arrangements in place nationally, including concerns on how sustainable force budgets will be if the current increases on demand continue. I am pleased that the Home Secretary has made it clear that achieving a better funding deal for policing will be a key priority when negotiations occur with the Treasury in the next Comprehensive Spending Review, though I hope this will also include a review of how funding is distributed between different forces.

In the current funding formula, I believe that predominately rural forces like ours are penalised compared to urban forces. For example, if you look at the amount of police funding available each year per head of population, my counterpart at West Midlands currently has around £190 to spend per person, whereas in Warwickshire I have £171 per person.  This is despite the rates of Council Tax across the border being much lower: £128.55 per year for a Band D tax payer, compared with £203.98 here in Warwickshire. In essence a greater proportion of the overall police budget here comes from the precept than from central government funding, whereas the opposite is true in other forces - often those covering the larger urban areas. This is a fundamental unfairness in the system which needs addressing: while I accept there are different policing challenges in urban areas, that doesn’t mean that taxpayers elsewhere should be penalised.

I will be meeting the Home Secretary next month at the Conservative Party Conference, when I will make this case for fairer funding again in person. 
Philip Seccombe TD
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
New Deputy Chief Constable appointed

DCC Richard MooreWarwickshire Police has selected a new Deputy Chief Constable. Richard Moore takes up the post with immediate effect, having served as Temporary DCC since the retirement of previous DCC Karen Manners in August.

Richard joined Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police as Assistant Chief Constable in June 2017 having spent 25 years previously with West Midlands Police.  He was selected for his new position from an able field of candidates in a rigorous selection process, which included contributions from staff, key stakeholders such as myself and partner organisations.

I'm delighted at Richard’s appointment, which is well deserved. He has made a significant contribution to developing strong relationships with partners in Warwickshire since he joined the force last year.

In what is a critical role for any force, I'm pleased we will be able to benefit from the continuity and familiarity with the county that Richard brings, as well as his broad experience of policing, including from other parts of the region.

Protect the Protectors Bill to become law

A judge's gavelA new law giving courts greater sentencing powers against offenders who assault police officers and other emergency services workers comes into force in November.  The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill will double the maximum sentence from six to 12 months in prison for assaulting an emergency worker which covers police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue and paramedics.

It also created a statutory aggravating factor which means that judges must consider tougher sentences for offences such as Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and sexual assault.

This is very welcome news and comes amid growing concern at the number of emergency services workers being asaulted while they go about their jobs. Only this past weekend we saw an example of this, when police in Rugby reported that a female officer was spat at and bitten as she attempted to arrest a woman, while the male officer was headbutted as he arrested a man wanted for serious offences outstanding from August.

Any assault on a police officer is unacceptable – it should not have to be regarded as something that is ‘just part of the job’. Policing often requires officers to deal with very difficult circumstances while keeping the public safe and it speaks volumes about the dedication of our officers that in lots of the cases I hear about, they will put any injury they suffer to one side and continue on working regardless.

The messages of support for officers I see on social media in these circumstances show the true nature of public opinion towards our hard-working police and that is something that I too want to echo.

I very much welcome the introduction of the new law. It’s only right that we do all we can to ‘protect the protectors’, so I hope that the courts will make full use of this new law in future. With more stringent sentences available, I hope this begins to act as a deterrent to offenders.
Nominate heroes of policing and community safety
The search is on to find the individual or team who has made an outstanding contribution to policing or community safety.

This will be the second year that my Award for Excellence in Policing and Community Safety will be presented, following its launch during Warwickshire Police’s 160th anniversary celebrations and awards evening last November.

Nominations are now being sought for this year’s award, which will be presented again at the Chief Constable’s Commendations Ceremony in Leamington Spa in November.

Nominees can be either individuals or those working as part of a team within Warwickshire who have demonstrated sustained outstanding achievement over and above what is expected of them in their normal day-to-day role. Their actions must have contributed to a reduction in crime or disorder or helped bring about improvements in community safety in support of the priorities of my Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire, making a real difference under challenging circumstances.

Officers, police staff, volunteers, members of the Special Constabulary or people from the wider community in Warwickshire are eligible for the award.

During the course of my work I see many examples within policing, in our partner agencies, charitable organisations and among the public of individuals and teams of people who go above and beyond what is expected of them to make a real difference to their communities. I am really keen that these efforts should not go unsung and the PCC Award for Excellence in Policing and Community Safety is a way of raising the profile of the most outstanding example of this each year.

I’m keen to receive nominations from across the county, both from within policing and more widely from the public, so if you know someone who would be a worthy recipient, please do get in touch.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 28 September.  Nomination forms can be found on my website here.
New Business Crime Advisor
Bogdan Fironda with PCC Philip Seccombe in Warwick Market SquareLast week I was pleased to welcome my new Business Crime Advisor, Bogdan Fironda, who has taken over the role previously held by Alex Williams. 

Bogdan will be continuing the work helping businesses of all sizes, including delivering training sessions to groups of small and medium-sized businesses on a range of topics including fraud and cyber crime prevention.

Among his duties, Bogdan maintains Warwickshire Business Watch, which consists of a website, the police Community Messaging System, Warwickshire County Council’s ‘Keep Me Posted Alerts’ and a dedicated Twitter account.

For more information on Warwickshire Business Watch, you can visit the website at: or contact Bogdan on 01926 412338.
Photo Feature: PCC at Warwickshire Pride

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Warwickshire Pride Festival at Leamington's Pump Room Gardens. In Warwickshire we respect and celebrate difference and diversity, so I was delighted to be asked to give the opening address. It's very important to me that everyone living in Warwickshire feels safe, supported and accepted for who they are, with access to equal opportunities.  I was therefore keen to get this message across on the day.

While there I met with Warwickshire Pride's organiser, Daniel Browne, and called into the Warwickshire Police, Victim Support, Equip Equality and Warwickshire CSE stands to say hello.

We're hiring!
Join our teamA number of vacancies have recently opened up at my office, as staff move on to pastures new. This means there a number of exciting opportunities to join my team and help contribute to making a safer, more secure Warwickshire.  I'm currently looking for a new Development and Policy Lead  for Grants, Commissioning and Engagement, as well as a Personal Assistant for the Chief Executive.  Applications for both positions close this Friday - so please do visit our website to find out more about the roles and get your applications submitted if you wish to be considered for either role.

Additionally, the West Mercia PCC and I are also looking for two new independent members to join our Joint Audit and Standards Committee, which scrutinises both Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police.  Do you have significant skills and experience in dealing with ethical issues?  Do you want to help scrutinise the way your policing finances operate?  Could you offer a strong and independent voice on corporate governance affairs?  If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you!

For more details about all of the roles, visit our Jobs and Opportunities page.
Diary dates
Date being marked on a calendarHere are some of the key events in my diary for the next few weeks:

Sep 19: Speaking at the Emergency Services Show, Birmingham
Sep 20: Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel, Shire Hall, Warwick
Sep 21: Speaking at the Unauthorised Encampments Summit, Birmingham
Sep 25-26: Attending the National Police Chiefs' Council's Excellence in Policing Conference, Ryton
Sep 26: Whitnash Community Forum
Sep 27: Visit to the Grey's Mallory roads policing base, Leamington
Sep 28: Engagement meeting with secondary school headteachers, Nuneaton
Sep 30-Oct 3: Conservative Party Conference, Birmingham
Oct 4: Visit to Vetting Unit, Stratford
Oct 9: Problem Solving Conference, Dunchurch
Oct 10: Alliance Governance Group meeting, Hindlip
Oct 11: Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group meeting, London

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.
Keep up to date with the latest news from the Warwickshire PCC
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