Monthly update from Warwickshire's Police and Crime Commissioner
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Monthly Update from Philip Seccombe
The latest news from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner
July 2020

News this week from the Home Office has shown that Warwickshire Police has met and exceeded its targets for officer recruitment since the Government launched a major recruitment drive.
The increase follows the launch of the government’s campaign in September 2019 to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.
The figures show that, nationally, 9,327 new officers joined 43 forces across England and Wales between October 2019 – June 2020. 4,336 of these were specifically recruited as part of the uplift programme, while others were recruited to backfill leavers or through locally-funded recruitment.
Across our region this includes 89 additional officers for Warwickshire, 27 for West Midlands Police, 93 for West Mercia Police, and 27 for Staffordshire Police.

It means that we are now have more police officers in Warwickshire than was the case even before the period of austerity began. This has been a key ambition of mine throughout my term of office and we actually achieved that at the end of last year, so to see that growth continue is further good news.
The national uplift programme has built upon the record-breaking recruitment that has been funded by local Council Tax payers and provides extra resilience for the men and women who keep our county safe. This in turn is good news for our local communities, who I know appreciate the extra policing visibility this brings to our streets. Together with the new focus as force fully-focused on Warwickshire, it bodes very well for the future.

Philip Seccombe signature
Philip Seccombe TD
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Campaign launched to help public understand Covid-19

Coronavirus still remains within our communities, despite the significant progress we have seen since lockdown measures were implemented in March. In recent times we have seen our town centres opening up once more, with pubs and restaurants now able to accept customers and people allowed to meet more readily with family and friends.

However, the recent increases of outbreaks seen in the north-west of England and closer to our borders in Leicester could not illustrate more starkly that we need to remain cautious and vigilant. Today we have seen the postponement of some of the easing measures that were due to be implemented from August 1, as concern about a general rise in transmissions emerges.

The message should be clear: the virus is still among us and, with no vaccine yet available, we do all need to play our part in helping control its spread while at the same time getting back to a more normal way of life. However, feedback has shown that some people are not always clear about the message that the pandemic is not over. 

That's why I am pleased to support Warwickshire County Council as it launches the 'Let's do the right thing for Warwickshire' campaign. It aims to raise awareness around the simple things people can do to stop the spread of the virus and to bring communities together, to help them understand the importance of the role they play. 

The key messages remain around regular washing and sanitising of hands, keeping a safe social distance of at least 2m wherever possible and taking mitigating actions such as wearing a face covering where that cannot be done.  These are already mandatory when using public transport and in shops and supermarkets and will also soon become a requirement in more indoor settings, such as cinemas.

The final key point is that if you have symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a test.  If you are contacted by the track-and-trace programme you should also follow any advice about testing or self-isolation.

I fully endorse this campaign, so please let’s all 'do the right thing for Warwickshire'. Only by following these relatively simple steps will we ensure that we stop the spread of the virus and save lives. As the slogan suggests, it's up to every one of us to play our part.

For the latest news and updates on the response to the Covid-19 outbreak from the OPCC, together with links and information about the support services helping victims of crime and helping protect the vulnerable, visit my website on the link below.
Covid-19 Information and Advice page

Further support for victims of sexual offences confirmed

A distressed woman holds her head in her handsCharities supporting victims of sexual offences in Warwickshire are to benefit from extra funding to support a critical part of their work.

A bid for funding made by my office to the Ministry of Justice has been accepted in full, meaning four additional Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) will be employed within the county to help meet an expected upsurge in demand from victims as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown period.

We made bids on behalf of local charities RoSA (Rape or Sexual Abuse Support) and Safeline when the Ministry of Justice announced a £3 million national fund earlier this year. The successful award of more than £240,000 means that the charities will be able to each employ two additional ISVAs across Warwickshire. The funding covers the remainder of 2020/21 and 2021/22.

ISVAs work with people who have experienced sexual violence to get them access to the services they need. They provide impartial advice on all the options available such as reporting to police, the criminal justice process, accessing Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs), seeking support from specialist sexual violence organisations and other services such as housing or benefits.

I am grateful to the Ministry of Justice for funding our submission in full. We have gained around eight percent of the funding available nationally, which is a considerable proportion for a county of our size and reflects the high quality of the submission we made on RoSA and Safeline’s behalf.

It comes at a critical time with lockdown restrictions easing, allowing more victims better opportunity to seek help and support. Some will have spent the lockdown period living with the offenders and it is widely expected that there will be an increase of reports to the police and to charities like RoSA and Safeline over the coming months.

This increase in ISVA provision will mean that the excellent support that is given to survivors of sexual abuse across Warwickshire will be enhanced even further.

Enhanced national road safety strategy called for

A national policing inspection report has called for greater national co-ordination of roads safety strategy.

HMICFRS logoThe report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), titled ‘Roads Policing: not optional’, makes a number of recommendations for how police and other partners can work together more closely to boost the effectiveness of roads policing and the visibility of road safety campaigns.

I welcome the additional focus on road safety that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate is calling for. Despite hard work by many agencies over a sustained period of time, it remains the case that you are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision on our roads than you are from any form of crime. This is why reducing these numbers has been a strategic priority from day one of my Police and Crime Plan and I fully endorse the need for continued improvement.

A national strategy that makes it clear the responsibilities each agency has to contribute towards improved road safety and which provides greater co-ordination and funding of activity would be very helpful.  It would build on the successful partnership working we have established here in Warwickshire.

I also fully agree with the Inspectorate that any surplus generated by efficiency savings forces make through the delivery of speed awareness courses should be used to fund road safety initiatives. My office has led the way on this through the establishment of the Warwickshire Road Safety Fund. Over the past year this has provided more than £600,000 for a range of targeted education and enforcement initiatives, aimed at some of our most vulnerable road users. This is a template which other areas across the country should be encouraged to follow.

My ambition is for Warwickshire to lead the way nationally on road safety and, while the inspectors did not visit Warwickshire Police, many of the recommendations and good practice suggestions are already being carried out here. This is encouraging.

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe is pictured with members of the Commercial Vehicle Unit and the Highways England ‘Supercab’ at Police Headquarters earlier this year.For example, the Commercial Vehicle Unit I fund (pictured left) leads the way regionally and nationally on Operation Tramline, with extremely close collaboration with Highways England. It has recently been recognised for its continued good work during the Covid-19 pandemic by the Road Haulage Association.

Enhancing the local co-ordination of the agencies working together to improve road safety is also critical and in recent months I have been keen to re-energise this work in Warwickshire. I now chair the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership and my office has taken a lead in pushing forward the road safety agenda, with a focus on evidence-led projects that are based on careful analysis of roads policing intelligence and collision data.

Overall, across the last 18 months there has been considerable progress as Warwickshire Police has also re-established its own roads policing capability following the end of the strategic alliance, with increased numbers of officers being deployed. The number of people killed on our roads has reduced, with eight fewer deaths in 2019/20 compared to the previous year, but that has still resulted in 28 people losing their lives and many more suffering serious injuries. It is clear there is still much work to do.

I will discuss the findings of the report with the Chief Constable and our road safety partners in Warwickshire to ensure that we continue to build on the momentum we have established locally to make a real difference and reduce the human cost of collisions on our roads.

Interactive road safety video asks: ‘What’s your horizon?’

A car drives down a road towards a 'What's on your horizon' banner
Continuing the road safety theme, this month has seen a new interactive video launched by the British Horse Society, after receiving a grant from my Road Safety Fund. The film follows a young driver who is faced with a series of hazards along his journey to collect friends for a party.

Featuring four different hazard scenarios, the film invites the viewer to decide between two options on how the driver should navigate around each obstacle, leading to either a positive or negative outcome.

The scenarios presented in the film are designed to highlight the risks faced by vulnerable road users and the consequences that can occur if drivers do not adapt their driving behaviour appropriately around them. They focus on what to do when:
  • approaching changing traffic lights,
  • approaching a blind bend,
  • approaching a horse rider on a single track,
  • approaching a stationary school bus dropping off children.
I am delighted to be able to support this great initiative to help make young drivers aware of the risks and consequences when they start to drive.

Together, the BHS and I want young people to be safer on our roads and this interactive video provides an opportunity to help reach new drivers not only in Warwickshire but nationally at a key point in their driving career, when they are still learning and receptive to new information.

By educating young drivers we hope to also improve the safety of the increasing number of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, we are seeing on Warwickshire’s roads.

From our work with The Honest Truth and First Car, we know the statistical evidence shows that the majority of collisions involving new and young drivers aren’t due to poor driving skills, but as a result of the lack of decision-making skills and understanding of the dangers faced by new drivers. We hope this video will help to change that.

Contacting the OPCC

We are continuing to operate as normal, though our offices in Northgate Street, Warwick remain closed to the public and my staff are working remotely. You can continue to contact us as normal however by email at or by phone at 01926 412322.  Wherever possible, please try to contact us by email in the first instance, but please note that due to our revised working arrangements, it may take us longer than usual to provide you with a reply.

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