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Preventing & Reducing Crime


A bike marking event in Warwick.

We are fortunate to live in a safe part of the world, but I want to build on that and make people feel even safer. It is important that the police work with partners and the community to put in place measures which will reduce incident numbers and, ultimately, help people to protect themselves from crime and prevent it from happening wherever possible.

I have made funding available for a wide range of initiatives which are designed to prevent and reduce crime, as well as providing leadership to tackle other issues of concern to local communities.

Crime and anti-social behaviour incidents can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Tackling and preventing the underlying issues will in the long term reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and in turn reduce the number of victims and offenders we have in the county. The Criminal Justice System needs to have a clear emphasis on reducing crime, and I will ensure that agencies focus on the areas of preventing offending and reoffending alongside reducing harm and risk to the public.

— Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe

My approach will be to:-

  • Work with key strategic partnerships to provide a proportionate response to prevent, solve and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Continue to support police and partnership initiatives and operations through the ‘Rural Matters’ campaign, to ensure criminals do not see our rural communities as soft spots for crime.
  • Work with partners to understand, identify and respond appropriately to crimes in rural areas, including improving the police response to theft of agricultural machinery.
  • Campaign for a fairer funding deal for rural police forces through continued membership of the National Rural Crime Network.
  • Work with businesses and partners through the ‘Business Matters’ campaign to ensure business crime is addressed effectively.
  • Empower the communities of Warwickshire to be safe and secure in a digital age.
  • Continue to support partners to address drug and alcohol misuse, with a particular focus on early intervention and sustaining recovery.
  • Work with partners to ensure there is a coherent and whole-system approach to offender management across Warwickshire, with a focus on intensive support and supervision to prevent re-offending.
  • Continue to support partners to address drug and alcohol misuse, with a particular focus on early intervention and sustaining recovery.
  • Contribute and have oversight of Out of Court disposals.
  • Support the reducing re-offending partnership action plan.
  • Work with partners to support young people, intervene early and prevent them from causing or suffering from crime and anti-social behaviour.

As a result of this plan I aim to:-

  • Work with Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to implement projects to address local crime trends.
  • Increase public confidence to report crime in rural areas and improve the satisfaction of victims when they do so.
  • Ensure Warwickshire’s voice is part of the national debate on rural crime and police funding.
  • Empower the public and businesses to take crime prevention steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
  • Increase public awareness of how to report cyber crime and where they can get good advice on how to protect themselves from internet-related crime.
  • Have a coherent and integrated whole-system approach to offender management across Warwickshire, which brings about a reduction in re-offending.
  • Reduce the harm caused by drugs and alcohol.
  • Reduce the likelihood of the inappropriate use of Out of Court disposals.
  • Reduce re-offending.
  • Have greater youth engagement and programmes to educate and divert young people from crime.

Key recent achievements:-

Raising awareness of cyber crime

Launching the Cyber Safe Warwickshire website, from left, are Cyber Crime Advisor Sam Slemensek, Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, Cyber Crime Advisor Alex Gloster and Louise Williams, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Manager.

Launching the Cyber Safe Warwickshire website, from left, are Cyber Crime Advisor Sam Slemensek, Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, Cyber Crime Advisor Alex Gloster and Louise Williams, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Manager.

A priority for me is to ensure Warwickshire Police and partner agencies are ready to prevent and tackle cyber crime head on. We know that cyber crime works across territories, borders, even continents, and is not confined to one force area.  The most common type of crime people and businesses suffer is now fraud and other internet-related offences, as criminals have increasingly shifted their focus to an online digital world.

While this requires a more sophisticated response from the police and other agencies, this is a problem which cannot be solved solely by enforcement action. The best defence is for people and businesses to be aware of the simple steps they can take which can prevent the majority of offences taking place and increasing awareness of these will remain a high priority during my term of office.

For these reasons I was keen to continue to fund and support the role of the cyber crime adviser posts in the county, so they can empower the communities of Warwickshire to be safe and secure in a digital age. The advisers are having a positive impact on raising awareness across the county and the launch of the new Cyber Safe Warwickshire website, which I also fund, is making it much easier for the public to stay up-to-date on the latest cyber-threats and what to they need to do to avoid falling victim.

For more information on how to protect yourself from cyber crime, visit www.cybersafewarwickshire.com

Working with the business community to tackle crime

In order to help protect businesses in Warwickshire from crime, I fund a Business Crime Advisor, who works with businesses groups to empower them to protect themselves from crime.

The adviser has been in post since September 2015, helping businesses of all sizes, as well as working with groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce, the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub and other smaller networking groups. Over 500 training sessions have been delivered on a range of topics including fraud and cyber crime prevention.

Warwickshire Business Watch is administered by the adviser and consists of a website, two messaging systems and social media presence in order to reach as many businesses as possible. In addition to this, a campaign has recently been launched by the Community Safety team in Warwickshire County Council, in partnership with Trading Standards and my office, asking businesses and residents if they are #Wifisavvy. The scheme encourages businesses that offer Wifi to look at their security and promote safe use of their Wifi to customers.

For more information on how to protect your business against crime, visit www.warwickshirebusinesswatch.co.uk or follow Business Watch on Twitter @WarksBusiness.

Ensuring rural crime is taken seriously

We have a large number of people in Warwickshire living in smaller towns and villages, where farming and the countryside are focal points for the community and represent major parts of the local economy. Rural crime was a topic that was mentioned frequently during my election campaign, therefore it is vital that the police give this a high priority. Over the last year I have been continuing to ensure this is the case.

I fund three Rural Crime Co-ordinators, who work closely within rural communities and Safer Neighbourhood Teams to provide practical crime prevention advice to the public and work with victims of crime on boosting their security measures. The Co-ordinators have also organised a number of successful ‘Barn Events’ across the county, to bring together rural communities in a forum with local police officers, council officials and a wide range of partners, including the National Farmers Union (NFU). My first public engagement on taking office was in fact to attend one of these events at Over Whitace and I was impressed by the large attendance and the wide range of issues raised. This has been replicated at other meetings around the county.

PC Paula Haden and PCSO Kamila Shilton from the Rugby Rural South SNT putting up the signs at the entrance to Willoughby

PC Paula Haden and PCSO Kamila Shilton from the Rugby Rural South SNT put up ‘Thieves Beware’ signs at the entrance to Willoughby as part of the PCC’s ‘Supported Villages’ scheme.

Key to these events is taking on board the comments of the rural community and using that feedback to make improvements. At several of the meetings it was raised that not all police officers responding to incidents in rural areas have the same knowledge of rural issues or the farming community. Police officers come from all walks of life – both from urban and rural areas – so it is understandable that they will not all share the same experience, but I have been keen to address this feedback positively. As a result, two training days have been held – one at Pailton, near Rugby, and another at Moreton Morrell College – with officers and PCSOs from across the county attending for a day of practical learning about rural crime. This included identifying forensic opportunities in rural locations, information about the theft of livestock and agricultural vehicles and how best to work with farmers when dealing with incidents.

Due to the complexity of the legislation in relation to wildlife crime 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. There are now six trained wildlife crime police officers who have dealt with or advised on a range of incidents relating to fox hunting, hare coursing, badger baiting, sett destruction, lamping and poaching and the killing of wildlife. There have been successful prosecutions in relation to theft, destruction of bat roosts and a number of trafficking convictions relating to wildlife crime.

For more information about initiatives tackling rural and wildlife crime visit www.warwickshire.police.uk/RuralCrime
or join Warwickshire Rural Watch to receive free advice and alerts on crime in your area at www.warwickshireruralwatch.co.uk.

Coordinating an improved response to unauthorised traveller encampments

Unauthorised Encampments Summit

The Unauthorised Encampments Summit meeting at Nuneaton Town Hall

In January 2017, I organised a meeting in Nuneaton to discuss the situation in the county of unauthorised traveller encampments – an issue that I know from my mailbox is one that continues to frustrate local residents and businesses.

The meeting at Nuneaton Town Hall involved all of the agencies with powers to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments on public land, including the police, county, district and borough councils.  Also in attendance were county MPs Marcus Jones and Craig Tracey, along with representatives of other county Members of Parliament, parish councils, Coventry City Council and the Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

The group examined in detail the current legislative powers available to the agencies, as well as discussing recent case studies.  Examples of alternative legal approaches, such as the use of injunctions against individuals, were also considered, drawing on experiences from elsewhere in the country.

To move matters further forward, my office set up a working group for representatives from each authority to develop a new county-wide protocol which seeks to improve the multi-agency response. The protocol was formally adopted by the majority of partners by the end of 2017.

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