I’D like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy New Year for 2020. Once again it has been an incredibly busy and rewarding year, not without its challenges, but also with inspirational moments as police staff and officers go that extra mile to support many individuals and communities.
The annual district and West Yorkshire Policing Awards again demonstrate the commitment and bravery of people to ensure our communities are safe.
In 2019, my Safer Communities Fund has given out a further £468,592.56 to 99 projects across West Yorkshire.
This work builds on the Early Youth Intervention Fund (EYIF) programme across all five districts that help divert children and young people away from violent crime, as well as the more recent creation of a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) for West Yorkshire.
The VRU, which will launch officially in 2020, is investing £3.37m, with an additional £4.4m of ‘surge’ monies spent on law enforcement (Operation Jemlock).
The VRU will be focussing on a whole system approach with key partners to educate, intervene earlier and prevent crime in diverting young people onto a more positive and constructive path where they can have opportunities to fulfil their potential.
Bringing partners together from police, local authorities, public health, voluntary, third sector and our communities to help identify and address the drivers of serious violence locally will be key to making a real difference.
It all builds on my commitment to working together to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe, which is our shared vision set out in my Police and Crime Plan.
A key role for me as the PCC is to champion the interests of victims and I am really pleased to be able to launching my new Victims Strategy in early 2020.
Again, what is needed is a “whole system” partnership response and that is what the new Victims Strategy is designed to achieve.
Securing the best funding deal we can for policing and community safety remains top of the agenda, and I will be continuing to lobby government directly with West Yorkshire Police to achieve the resources that we still desperately need to continue to rebuild the numbers of frontline police, staff and strengthening neighbourhood policing remains a key priority for me and our communities.