Monthly update from Warwickshire's Police and Crime Commissioner
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The latest news from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
December 2016
This has been another month which has seen major progress being made in a number of areas, not least of which has been the finalising and publishing this week of my new Police and Crime Plan. This is the key document which sets out my vision for creating a safer, more secure Warwickshire and outlines how I will hold the Chief Constable to account for its delivery. 

It is organised into four key objectives:

My plan will strengthen policing across Warwickshire and build on the strong foundations which already exist. I want to ensure that the numbers of police officers, special constables and PCSOs can be increased over the levels we see today, through improvements in efficiency and better use of technology to deliver a service which maximises the resources that are available to it and can meet the challenges of the future head-on.

Overall, I want to ensure that Warwickshire Police delivers the right service, at the right time, to protect communities and provide a safer, more secure Warwickshire. While it sets challenging goals, the plan is achievable and I look forward to working with Chief Constable Martin Jelley and our key partners to make this a reality.

You can read a full version of the plan here.
There have also been significant developments on a national level.  At the recent conference of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, I was asked to lead the important work looking at emergency services collaboration.  We have a strong record here in Warwickshire on working in collaboration through our alliance with West Mercia and I will delighted to put that experience to good use at a national level.  Around the country other forces are looking to adopt similar measures, while also beginning to look at the benefits of working more closely together with other 'blue light' services. Here in Warwickshire I will continue to explore all opportunities to deliver closer working relationships across the public sector and it will be interesting to also have a view on the national picture.
Alex & family with Insp Lucy Sewell who organised the eventOn a completely different note, you may have seen the recent publicity about a event at Leek Wootton, which saw hundreds of police officers and other members of the emergency services (myself included) put on their dancing shoes to record a music video in aid of Alexander's Journey.  This is a fundraising effort for the son of a Warwickshire police officer, Alex Goodwin, who has Ewing Sarcoma - a rare type of bone cancer that affects fewer than 30 children in the UK each year.

Recently, Alex's family have been informed that the cancer has spread which has significantly reduced his prognosis and chances of survival. It has also reduced the treatment options available to Alex on the NHS, leading to a major charitable drive to ensure Alex can get the treatment he needs in Amercia.

This week came the fantastic news that the fundraising efforts have paid off and, thanks to the additional help from an anonymous benefactor, enough money has been raised to cover the cost of Alex's treatment in the US and the immediate aftercare which will be required after his surgery.  You can read dad Jeff's emotional announcement here.

Fundraising is still continuing to help meet the costs of the extensive rehabilitation Alex will need - and a good way to help out is to buy a copy of 'Horizon on My Mind', the song written and recorded by Warwickshire police officers and featuring the video recorded at Leek Wootton.  It is released on December 5 but can be pre-ordered now on iTunes or Amazon or by texting HOMM to 85888.  The fund for Alex will receive 70p from the 99p cost of each download - and with Christmas fast approaching, a surge up the charts will go a long way to helping Alex in his long journey ahead.

With that mention of Christmas and with thoughts of family and well-being in mind, it only remains for me to sign off by wishing all of you a safe and happy festive period and an enjoyable new year.  I hope to see many more of you around the county during 2017.
Philip Seccombe
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Work starts on state-of-the-art Operations Communications Centre for Warwickshire
Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, Chief Constable Martin Jelley and Michael Clifton, Estate Project Manager from Place Partnership at Neville HouseOn Monday, Construction work started on a new state-of-the-art Operations Communications Centre (OCC) which will improve policing services across Warwickshire.

The project will see Neville House, on the Warwick Technology Park, entirely refurbished to provide a new, purpose-designed facility handling emergency and non-emergency calls. Changes in technology, telecoms, estates and culture will mean officers and staff can work more efficiently and effectively. For the public, it will mean improved responses and better opportunities to stay up to date on the progress of investigations.

It has been extremely important to be able to keep an OCC facility here in Warwickshire, able to serve Warwickshire Police and the wider alliance. This is a multi-million pound investment which will retain jobs in the county and ensure that the local knowledge of our workforce and the strong links with the Warwickshire community are maintained, creating an asset with which we can be very proud.

When it opens, the new OCC will mark a significant step forward in meeting the pledge I made in in my Police and Crime Plan to deliver a modernised and efficient police force. Combined with investments in sophisticated new technology systems, staff at Neville House will have the very best facilities and tools at their disposal to ensure that when people contact Warwickshire Police, they are dealt with efficiently and effectively, with the most appropriate resources used to meet their call for assistance.

Construction and enabling works are expected to be completed by the end of 2017, with the new technology fully implemented by 2018.

Picture shows Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, joining myself, Chief Constable Martin Jelley and Michael Clifton, Estate Project Manager from Place Partnership at Neville House.
Refuge awarded new contracts to help and protect victims of domestic abuse in Warwickshire

Last week saw the announcement by my office and Warwickshire County Council that two contracts to provide support services for domestic abuse and domestic violence victims have been awarded to the charity Refuge.

The contracts are for community-based support - which includes provision of the Warwickshire helpline which provides specialist one-to-one and outreach support - and refuge accommodation.

Refuge logoRefuge - one of the largest providers of domestic violence and abuse support services nationally - already runs the accommodation service in Warwickshire, while the community based support service is currently run by Stonham.  The contracts for these services are due to end on 31 March 2017 so the County Council has undertaken a review and re-tendering of the services with its partners including the OPCC, police, housing and health.  

The decision to award both contracts to a single supplier will bring many advantages - not least for victims, who will have a clear route to getting the advice and help they need. 

Refuge is an organisation with a vast wealth of experience in working with victims and survivors and has achieved a high reputation nationally, so I am delighted we will be able to work with them on a wider basis here in Warwickshire.

For more details about the changes and where you can get help and support if you are a victim of domestic abuse, view the full announcement on the OPCC website.
Community projects set to benefit from Grants Scheme
Philip shows off a giant cheque for good causes with delegates at the conference
Launching the grant scheme at the Building a Stronger Warwickshire Together Conference’ with, from left, Councillor John Horner, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Safety for Warwickshire County Council; Paul Tolley from Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action; and Phil Evans,  Head of Community Services for Warwickshire County Council.
At the beginning of November, I relaunched my Commissioner's Grants Scheme at the Third and Public Sector Partnership Group’s ‘Building a Stronger Warwickshire Together Conference’ in Rugby. After praising the role the third and voluntary sector can play alongside statutory bodies in delivering a safer, more secure Warwickshire, I invited the audience to find out more about the funding opportunities that my grants scheme provides.

My aim is to fund projects that will promote crime prevention, help support victims of crime and reduce re-offending - in short, each funded project must be able to show how it will support me in the delivery of my Police and Crime Plan. It is open to both established and new non-profit service providers. Overall, I want to foster a culture and a marketplace which allows the most successful ideas and initiatives to prosper.

Applications are welcomed from community, voluntary, third-sector and statutory organisations which deliver services either county-wide or targeted in one or more local authority areas within Warwickshire. The deadline for applications is noon on Thursday, 22 December 2016, so please don't delay if you have a project or initiative you believe is worthy of support. 

For more information and details of how to apply, visit:
Wildlife Watchers scheme launches

Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner with Carol Cotterill, Chair of Warwickshire Rural Watch, and PC Lucy Whatmore from Bedworth Police Station holding one of the owls from the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary
Philip with Carol Cotterill, Chair of Warwickshire Rural Watch, and PC Lucy Whatmore from Bedworth Police Station holding one of the owls from the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wildlife crime is an issue that has been raised with me as I’ve been around the county in the last six months and it is something that traditionally has been under-reported, possibly because of a perception that nothing can be done.  To help ensure this misconception is corrected, last month I launched the Warwickshire Wildlife Watchers scheme.
It brings together a wide range of organisations including Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Warwickshire Police, the Angling Trust, Environment Agency, Warwickshire County Council Country Parks, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Tame Valley Wetland Scheme.

Through the provision of an online wildlife crime reporting facility, a Facebook page and by highlighting what wildlife crime is and what the public can do to help combat it, the scheme aims to boost the numbers of reports to police and other agencies, helping them to take action against offenders and providing a deterrent to criminals.

It is one of a number of measures I fund to help combat rural crime under my Police and Crime Plan, while I am also supporting the training of wildlife officers within Warwickshire Police to ensure there is specialist advice and support to investigate and bring offenders to justice.

Wildlife Watchers is initially being launched in North Warwickshire and will later be extended to cover the whole county, as well being adopted within the neighbouring West Mercia Police area.

To find out more about the scheme, visit and follow the link to the Wildlife Watchers pages.
Picture roundup
Here a few more images from events over the past month:  
Operation Protect street patrol with Leamington SNT
Bike security marking event in Warwick
The Warwickshire Wolves present £2100 to Parkinson's UK
CoPACC 'Transparency 'awards winners group photo
Top left: As part of Operation Protect I went on patrol in Leamington Spa with the Safer Neighbourhood Team on a Friday night.  As well as seeing an arrest take place, I visited the CCTV facilities run by Warwick District Council and joined council licensing officers as they made checks on pubs and takeaways. I am pictured with Sergeant Allison Wiggin and PCSO Lauren Dwyer in the town centre. 

Top right: Operation Protect aimed to give the public a behind-the-scenes look at all aspects of policing.  Here I joined Chief Constable Martin Jelley and the Warwick Safer Neighbourhood Team at a cycle security event in the Market Square in Warwick.

Bottom left:  You may recall from a previous newsletter that a team from my office - joined by former Commissioner Ron Ball - took part in the Wolf Run in September.  Last week we were pleased to handover the £2,100 raised by the 'Warwickshire Wolves' to Paul Baynes from Parkinson's UK. Well done to all involved!

Bottom right:  On Monday I attended a special ceremony in London with representatives from 12 other PCC offices to receive an award for meeting our statutory requirements on openness and transparency. It is the second year running that the Warwickshire OPCC has received a Quality Mark from CoPaCC.
A quick reminder that our cyber crime survey is still up-and-running.  I'm delighted that Staffordshire's PCC Matthew Ellis has now also given his backing to the survey, so we will be able to get a complete picture for how internet offences affect the whole region for the first time.  All four PCCs in the West Midlands region want to hear your experiences of online crime - so please do complete the survey and encourage friends and family to do the same.  Click the blue button below to get started.

With Christmas soon upon us, many of us will be heading online to buy presents and take advantage of pre- and post-festive period sales - a fact that cyber criminals know all to well.  Warwickshire Police is running its #becybersafe campaign to help people avoid the pitfalls - check out their advice on how to stay safe while shopping online.
Take the 2016-17 Cybercrime Survey
The month ahead

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

December 2: Rugby Police Station visit
December 5: Chief Officers/PCC planning day
December 6: Meeting with Minster for Policing and the Fire Service, Brandon Lewis MP, London
December 8: Visit to the Stratford Link project
December 13: Attending WOW Project graduation ceremony
December 14:  Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) standing group meeting, London
December 15: Leamington Justice Centre visit
December 19: Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board
December 20: APCC Resources, Efficiency and Strategic Finance standing group meeting

In addition, I have a weekly meeting with the Chief Constable to hold the force to account and discuss arising issues.  

A full schedule of my key meetings and events is kept up-to date online at

The next newsletter will be published on Friday, 6 January.
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