Tag Archives: crime

Victim tells police and community leaders of ‘harrowing’ robbery

Local community and police leaders were brought together by Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox to discuss recent robberies in Batley and Dewsbury. Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff was also present.

The meeting was headed by Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire.

One of the victims was present to recount his experiences, described by Mrs Cox as “harrowing”. He supported the local police view that although the crimes were not racially motivated, Asian households had been disproportionately affected and that there was a specific pattern.

Mrs Cox said: “I was more than happy to arrange this meeting and I would like to thank Mark and members of our local police for accepting my invitation. We have put together an action plan so that our communities are safer and more resilient in future and, importantly, remain calm.

“These are some of the most serious types of crime there can be, invading people’s homes, where they have an absolute right to feel safe. The harrowing account we heard from one of the victims demonstrates why these incidents have caused so much alarm locally. The police have done an excellent job in investigating these robberies and the progress and arrests they’ve made are very encouraging.”

Miss Sherriff said: “I felt it was important that we arrange this meeting given the level of unrest in my constituency following these horrendous crimes. Jo and I are committed to keeping up our campaigns to protect policing and get more support to community policing. The details of some of these incidents are truly dreadful and I hope these arrests are a reprieve to the very real fears that have arisen in our communities.

“I will continue these conversations with Mark Burns-Williamson and other members of our local police to ensure that issues are dealt with swiftly and that residents continue to feel safe in their homes and in the community”

Community leaders were invited to attend by Batley’s Indian Muslim Welfare Association (IMWS), which hosted the meeting.

Police inspectors from both Batley and Dewsbury were also present, joined by Superintendent Paul Jeffrey.

Mr Jeffrey described how the seriousness with which West Yorkshire Police had viewed the robbery offence in Batley had led to a manhunt that involved mobilising both local officers and additional specialist resources from across the Force in order to secure the arrest of an outstanding suspect who was apprehended on Wednesday.

Investigations continue concerning a total of eight men who have been arrested over recent weeks in connection with these robberies.

However, there was also a note of caution for local residents from the police, who were critical of the response of some residents, especially on social media. WhatsApp and Facebook in particular had been used by a small minority of people to spread false information and encourage and organise vigilante actions. This was roundly condemned as unhelpful.

Mr Jeffrey said: “We absolutely rely on working closely with local residents not only in crime prevention but also in developing leads and apprehending suspects. However I must stress that this needs to be done through official channels. In the first instance by ringing 101.

“If our officers are working to apprehend vigilante groups and combat misinformation, this is an unhelpful diversion of our resources.”

Mr Burns-Williamson added: “These are some of the most serious types of crime that are committed in West Yorkshire. Our force is steadfast in the determination that despite budget pressures, we will never be too stretched to deal with this kind of criminality.

“But that does not mean that other areas of our service are not feeling the pain. The fact is that we now have under 8,000 employees compared to 10,000 in 2010. This does have an impact.

“I was pleased to be invited this evening to hear the victim’s story and get feedback from the communities affected. Incidents like these just strengthen my belief in the importance of protecting neighbourhood policing. When we sit down to set a budget for West Yorkshire Police, this will be at the forefront of all our minds.”

Batley burglaries: Information from north Kirklees police

Sent out to local residents via social media today:

I am sure by now you have all heard about the spate of domestic burglaries targeting high value jewellery and cash in Batley, as well as in Dewsbury and elsewhere.

I have spoken to some of the victims and am in daily contact with the police. The police are treating this issue very seriously and their investigations are active. My office is also treating this issue with the utmost importance.

Please share the link below far and wide. This is advice from the Police’s North Kirklees Crime Prevention Officer which is specific to these crimes. It is good advice, please take five minutes to read it and pass it on.

Until the perpetrators of these crimes are apprehended we all need to do what we can to stay safe and also support friends and family members who may be vulnerable.

The first thing to remember is report anything suspicious to the police, by dialling 101.

http://www.jocox.org.uk/files/burglaries.pdf

Stay safe everyone, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on 01924 910 499 or jo.cox.mp@parliament.uk

Warmest wishes,

Jo Cox MP

Further cuts to police will be ‘huge gamble’ with public safety

Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox is backing a national campaign to prevent further cuts to the police.

Mrs Cox supported efforts in Parliament last week to stop planned cuts from going ahead and warned that this will lead to a further, drastic reduction in police numbers.

“I share the concerns of West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner that more cuts will mean the Government is taking a huge gamble with public safety,” she said.

“With violent rise climbing now is not the time to further reduce the numbers of police officers. By next March West Yorkshire will have 1,275 fewer police officers than we did in 2010 – a reduction of 22 per cent.

“With violent crime increasing by around 50 per cent it will be hard to maintain that there is no link with the fall in the number of bobbies on the beat.”

Mrs Cox spoke during a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, raising the point that only 20 per cent of a police officer’s job these days relates to recorded crime, while 80 per cent relates to safeguarding and vulnerability. She is worried that this is something the Home Office doesn’t quantify and therefore has a skewed view of the realities on the frontline.

“There are also concerns about what these cuts will mean for Neighbourhood Policing Teams, which have been successful and popular,” added Mrs Cox. “We will see all the proactive police work that’s been done over the last 20 years vanish and only enough resources for a reactive service.

“We will also see cuts to community safety budgets and the likelihood of a rise in the blight of anti-social behaviour and low level crime.”

Mrs Cox holds regular meetings with local and divisional police commanders as well as with the Police and Crime Commissioner.

November column: Resisting police cuts

Jo Cox writes a column every month for the Dewsbury Press. This is the column for October, published today.

Reducing the number of police officers on the streets amid a backdrop of rising violent crime is a “massive gamble” the Government should not be taking.

We should pay attention when West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the man ultimately responsible for local policing, warns that public safety will be at risk if further cuts are implemented.

By next March there will be 1,275 fewer police officers locally than there were in 2010 – a reduction of 22 per cent. Violent crime has risen in West Yorkshire as it has nationally, by 50 per cent.

It is not unreasonable to conclude the two things are linked.

But these further cuts will mean far more than just fewer police on our streets.

Community safety – the partnership between the police and the council – will see its budget slashed, from both ends. Neighbourhood policing teams, which have been hugely successful and popular, could be dismantled. We have been well served by our neighbourhood policing teams locally but that valuable, proactive and community led service looks as though it will be replaced by an entirely reactive one, due to lack of officers.

The consequences of this aren’t just limited to serious crime, as local people and in particular local business owners are noticing. I am hearing about a rise in anti-social behaviour, low level crime and nuisance. Business owners in town centres report these sorts of problems more and more and their experience is that nothing is being done to tackle it.

It may not be as serious but such crime is no less a blight on local people trying to go about their day or making a living. If we lose the NPTs and suffocate the community safety work then these sorts of issues will get more and more prevalent and more serious.

There is no doubt ideology and not necessity drives these cuts but there also seems to be a deeper issue at play on policing.

I spoke during a debate instigated by Labour in Parliament last week, raising the point that only 20 per cent of a police officer’s job these days relates to recorded crime, while 80 per cent relates to safeguarding and vulnerability – resource intensive missing person cases, trafficking, child sexual exploitation and cases relating to mental health.

As well as not understanding the realities of a police officer’s role, the Home Office doesn’t seem to be able to sort out the funding. Its hunger for cuts has resulted in a calculation error so monumental that changes to the funding formula have been suspended this week.

West Yorkshire’s funding suffers unfairly for being a metropolitan county and even Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners have condemned the formula and threatened legal action, dispelling the myth that condemning these ‘reforms’ is politically motivated.

There is a stark warning from the local Police Federation: By the end of this decade we will have 40 per cent fewer police officers than it did at the start. Our police force will be attempting to meet 21st century demands with 1970s staffing levels.

This worries me and I know it worries local people. I will do all I can to resist these cuts.