HoggWatch Putting victims first in County Durham and Darlington
AUTUMN 2016 MAGAZINE
A welcome from Ron Hogg, as he introduces his new magazine Welcome to my new magazine! I will use it to let you know what I am doing on your behalf, in my role as Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) for County Durham and Darlington. It will also feature articles from partners and local organisations and groups, which help to keep our communities safe. I hope you enjoy reading it and I look forward to hearing what you think about it. My office contact details, can be found on the last page.
Contents Page 3........ Page 4........ Page 5........ Page 6........ Page 6........ Page 7........ Page 8........ Page 9........ Page 10..... Page 11..... Page 11..... Page 12..... Page 12.....
Looking ahead - putting victims first The Restorative Hub Community Peer Mentors project expands Brenda’s story A new Hate Crime Advocacy service Engaging with the community Funding community projects A picture tells a thousand words Working with the Mini Police and Cadets Introducing Nathan, our Young Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner Celebrating local Superheroes How your Force is performing We’re on the move - how to keep in touch!
PUTTING VICTIMS FIRST
Putting victims at the heart of his second term of office Ron talks about his plans following his re-election earlier this year... I was of course delighted in May when I was re-elected for the next four years. Throughout the summer months, and until the end of September, I have been talking to local people about what the objectives for policing should be for the next four years. I will hold the Police to account on your behalf for the delivery of those objectives. I also need to ensure that your money is spent as efficiently as possible on policing and reducing crime; and I have a duty to support victims of crime and anti-social behaviour. Throughout my second term, I will be focusing very closely on putting victims first. I have decided to include ‘victims’ in my job title to reflect this: it is now ‘Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner’ for County Durham and Darlington. Over the past year I have been proud to be able to refer to the Constabulary as the
best Police Force in the country. That’s not just my view: it is the result of inspections of all the police forces in England and Wales by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. We need to maintain that position for as long as possible, as we help people to continue to feel safe in our communities. Victims don’t ask to be victims. It can take a long time to come to terms with the experience they have suffered, and different people react in different ways. With Barry Coppinger, my counterpart in Cleveland, I have already launched the Victim Care and
Advice Service (VCAS). VCAS helps victims to understand what services are available to them and refers them to support which will best meet their needs. I will work with local authorities, the police, the courts, the Crown Prosecution Service, voluntary organisations and others to develop a full range of support to help victims come to terms with crime or antisocial behaviour. Our budgets continue to be constrained and by working together we can achieve the best outcomes for victims.
PUTTING VICTIMS FIRST Victims of crime have not normally been able to meet their offender; in the past it has been normal practice for the two to be kept separate. However, the Restorative Hub, which Ron Hogg launched in May, facilitates the communication between a victim and an offender, if and when a victim wants to use this approach. The hub responds directly to victim requests throughout the criminal justice process and provides safe and informed opportunities for victims to seek the answers they often require.Whilst this is not the right approach in all cases, the
“The Restorative Hub gives victims a voice”
process can really help some victims to cope and recover from the impact of the crime.
A County Durham woman who was subject to an attack with a knife felt able to move on after participating in a facilitated meeting with her offender. She commented ‘I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have been involved in the process and listened to, rather than it all being about the offender’. Speaking at the launch of the Restorative Hub, Ron said: “Restorative justice benefits the victim by helping them to understand why the crime
The Hub has supported over 200 clients across a range of interventions, with cases ranging from neighbourhood disputes up to serious and complex crimes. The current round of facilitator training has now come to an end. There are now 67 skilled volunteers from the community, who support the work of the Hub and criminal justice agencies.
Victims can choose their level of involvement: communication can take place through a faceto-face meeting or if a victim wants answers but does not want to meet their offender, they can communicate through an intermediary. Research shows that offenders who have been made aware of the consequences of their actions can be motivated to address their offending behaviour and not to offend again.
So what has happened since the launch of the Hub in May? By the end of August, the rate of people being referred into the service had more than doubled to 23 cases per month.
happened to them, and it can enable them to become involved in the sentencing process.”
There has been an increase of victims participating in a restorative activity within the Crown and Magistrates courts. This opportunity has been offered in more than 40 cases, where the victims have benefited from this approach. This takes place after a guilty plea, and in addition to the sentence. “This is a unique opportunity within County Durham & Darlington. It aims to raise the
victims’ voice and offer them greater direct involvement in the criminal justice process”
For more information, visit the Restorative Hub website at: www.restorativehub.org.uk, or call: 0300 003 1818
PUTTING VICTIMS FIRST Community Peer Mentors project goes from strength to strength More residents who feel vulnerable or isolated will have the opportunity to receive support, thanks to the Community Peer Mentor scheme which has now extended from Darlington into Bishop Auckland. Volunteers have been sought to come forward and receive free training to become a mentor, and help others in the community. Whether you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or if you feel you would benefit from receiving support from a Mentor, contact Jim Cunningham for more details on: Pictured: Resident Mr Jack (left) who has benefited from the support provided by mentor Barbara Dawson-Dixon (centre) after a neighbour dispute left him feeling suicidal. Jim Cunningham is pictured (right).
Tel: 0300 0031818 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A day in the life of... A Community Peer Mentor Meet Hannah from Darlington, who tells us why she volunteers to help others: I chose to volunteer as a Community Peer Mentor after I had a breakdown last year and picked myself back up. I wanted to help others in the community who don’t have the same support in their darkest hours which I had. I also eventually want to be an Art Therapist and felt the role would give me great experience for this. As Mentors, we work in a team of two, with one client. We work together for six to ten weeks - more if required. I am currently working with my first client. We visit once a week to talk about the week, any old and new issues and update the client with anything new. Our job can involve referring clients to certain services, helping out with financial/housing troubles, attending courses and appointments with our client for the first time or even being a shoulder to cry on and an attending ear. We listen, talk and resolve any issues within our capability. We keep Jim, who manages the project, in the loop with feedback from the visits so we are all on the same page. We work with the client until they feel their issues are resolved and they are happy, and our client can use the services again if need be. It’s a really satisfying feeling knowing you’re making a positive impact on another person’s life. It’s a role that so far has raised my confidence and made me feel I have such a good purpose for the community. I’d highly recommend that people volunteer on this scheme as it is fun, interesting and rewarding. The team are lovely and the training is the best 6 weeks you’ll have; you’ll make so many new friends through this and gain so many life skills. 100% recommended!
Just Another Newsletter Title
PUTTING VICTIMS FIRST
Brenda’s story: how a Victim’s Personal Statement helped her to move on Brenda is a retired teacher from Flint Hill near Stanley. In April last year she arrived home at lunchtime and heard a knock on the door. She opened it to be confronted by a man who immediately pushed her onto her back on the staircase. As she got up he produced a large knife and demanded that she give him £30 ‘for drugs’. Brenda found the money and the man left as quickly as he had entered. Brenda went next door and her neighbours called the Police. She was very shocked by the experience and suffered a minor injury. The Police told Brenda that someone had been apprehended, and she was invited to give a Victim’s Personal Statement to the Police. The Statement is the victim’s personal account of their experience. They take time to write up what happened to
them. For many, it helps them find closure.
able to distance herself from her bad experience and move on.
Brenda found it easy to recall what had happened, and was reassured that a Police Officer was present as she wrote it.
She says: “It was cold and calculated. I didn’t cry when I read the statement. Instead, I was able, calmly, to tell the offender how upset I was.
“I didn’t cry when I read the statement. Instead I was able, calmly, to tell the offender how upset I was.”
A few months later, during the trial, the offender stood motionless as Brenda read out her statement to the courtroom. The Judge thanked her and for Brenda that was the end of the ordeal. She found that writing the statement meant that she was
“He hasn’t stopped me being a mother, a neighbour, or a helper in the community. “I’m no longer the victim”, Brenda adds. “I haven’t stayed in that moment. The statement enabled me not to be a victim. I am on the side of the law and I have helped bring someone to justice. I am a friend of the Police, not a victim.” Durham Constabulary is increasingly using Victim’s Personal Statements to help bring offenders to justice, and in particular to help victims of crime to have closure and get on with their lives.
Pioneering new service to support hate crime victims VICTIMS of hate crime will have unique access to a groundbreaking service launching this year. The first of its kind in the country, the new Hate Crime Advocacy Service will support victims that experience crimes motivated by prejudice. The service, put in place by Ron, is made up of three organisations: Darlington on Disability, Gay Advice Darlington/Durham and Show Racism the Red Card. Working together, they will provide combined and unique advocacy support to victims of hate crime across County Durham and Darlington. Ron said: “A crime that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards the victim is particularly destructive and can have devastating consequences for that victim, those closest to them and the wider community. This is a unique service, whereby three different organisations are collaborating as one, to meet the specific needs of victims affected by the different strands of hate crime throughout the criminal 6 justice process.” The bespoke hate crime service will be available later this year.
HEARING YOUR VIEWS
Residents’ views help to shape the future of policing A new Police, Crime and Victims’ Plan will be published later this year, which sets the direction for the police service. Residents across County Durham and Darlington were encouraged to get involved in shaping the new plan, before the consultation closed at the end of September. Ron has set a vision for the area over the next five years, and his new plan will work towards it. He said: “My vision is for County Durham and Darlington to be an area where people have confidence in the police and criminal justice system, victims and vulnerable people feel supported, and all our
communities feel safe. “However, this is not just my plan. It involves all of us – residents, businesses, and visitors alike. “It is for this reason I’d like to thank members of the public and partner organisations for completing my survey. In doing so, each person has given their views on the future of policing and community safety in neighbourhoods right across the force area.” Ron and his team have attended numerous public meetings, events and focus groups, and their opinions have helped shape Ron’s Plan. The final Plan will be published in November. Ron will hold the Chief Constable to
account for delivering the Plan over the next four years, through regular monitoring meetings with the Force’s Executive Team. You can view the Plan from November 2016 on Ron’s website at: www.durham-pcc.gov.uk
Community Days Ron has had a lot of involvement with local communities over the summer months, including attending agricultural shows and family fun days. Ron’s Community Days programme has expanded this year, whereby he spends a whole day in one area, visiting residents and organisations to get a better understanding of what is happening in the neighbourhood and listening to any local concerns. Aligning with Durham County Council’s Area Action Partnership areas, recent Community Days have taken place in Derwentside, 3 Towns (Crook, Willington and Tow Law) and 4 Together (Ferryhill, Chilton, Cornforth and Bishop Middleham), and in Darlington. Bikewise in Durham, Party in the Park in Consett, Middleton-in-Teesdale Carnival, Chester le Street Activity Week, Shildon Family Fun Day, Wolsingham Show, Peterlee Show, Stanhope Show and Hurworth Country Fair have also all provided fantastic opportunities for engaging with the community. And there have been plenty of other public visits in between. Ron has published a number of videos and photographs from his Community Days on his website at: www.durham-pcc.gov.uk, or search for Durham PCC on Facebook or Instagram.
YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR NEWS £150,000 awarded to support community safety projects across County Durham and Darlington Communities across the area are benefitting from £150,000 of funding provided to local groups and voluntary organisations. Applications were submitted earlier this year to Ron’s Community Safety Fund, for projects aiming to reduce crime and improve community safety. Ron provided £100,000 of funding for 2016-17, with an additional contribution of £50,000 from County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF). This means £150,000 is available for local projects. Ron has asked CDCF to manage his Community Safety Fund again this year. In total, £149,817.00 has been awarded to 21 different community groups and voluntary organisations throughout County Durham and Darlington. Ron said: “We had an overwhelming response with around £500,000 worth of bids. The successful applicants can make a real difference to individuals in their local communities something which I believe is important to invest in.” Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of CDCF said: “We are delighted to be working with Ron and his team again to support these important initiatives across the area. County Durham Community Foundation was able to provide a 50% match against the funding pot and it’s great to be working together in this way. The awards made will help community projects right across County Durham and Darlington, so residents from different areas will benefit from this fund.” Three organisations, who were awarded funding this year, tell us more about their projects to help the local community...
Durham Pride Durham Pride UK, was awarded £5,200, and they will use the grant towards preventing hate crime. Mel Metcalf, Chair of Durham Pride UK, said: “Thanks to this grant from the Community Safety Fund, Durham Pride UK can provide our very own Rainbow Alliance and Rainbow Community Cafe, encouraging diversity and inclusiveness and improving the visibility of the growing numbers of LGBTQ+ people living in County Durham.”
Life Skills Project Young people in Darlington, aged 16-25 and who are not involved in education, employment or training have the opportunity to get involved in an innovative project to gain essential skills, thanks to a scheme that supports young people. The Morrison Darlington Enterprise Trust, was awarded £18,966 of grant funding, offers Apprenticeships, Selfemployment, Accredited Training and Vocational Skills to meet young people’s needs and aspirations.
Defiant Voices An ambitious educational programme involving 100 sixth form students, from five County Durham schools, will help young people learn to stand up against hate crime. The Forge in Stanley, who run the programme, uses theatre, drama and music to create 100 young civic ambassadors. These young people will identify and tackle prejudice and promote respect, inclusion and intolerance within their own school communities. They will showcase their learning at a final event in January 2017.
A picture tells a thousand words........
YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR NEWS
From public meetings, community group visits, partner events, school visits, coffee mornings or Ronâ€™s Community Days in different towns in the area, hereâ€™s a snapshot of public engagement activity which Ron has been involved in during the last few months...
Age UK, Durham City
Hurworth Country Fair
With Mini Police, Durham
Salvation Army, Crook
Working with other PCCs
Dementia Friends, Darlington
Hackworth Park, Shildon
YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR NEWS
Young people look to the future Junior by name, mighty by nature... THE newest ranks at Durham Constabulary may be Junior by name, but they are mighty by nature. Aged between 11 and 13, the new recruits are the first join a brand new Junior Cadet scheme, piloted in County Durham and Darlington. In the past, many police forces only took Cadet Volunteers aged between 14 and 18. Durham is now one of the first forces in the country to recruit volunteers aged between 11 and 13 years old.
Funded by Ron, the Cadets are run by the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC). Ron said: “I am very pleased to support the introduction of the Junior Cadets scheme. “It is now possible for young people to get involved in policing from the ages of 9 to 18, starting with the Mini Police and then with the Junior and Senior Cadets.”
The Junior Cadets have now bridged the gap between the Mini Police and the Intermediates which enables children to stay on as volunteers from 9 to 18. The aim of the scheme is to inspire young people to participate positively in their communities and improve the perception of young people in our area.
Mini Police on a big mission! The Mini Police programme is expanding rapidly within County Durham and Darlington with 43 schools already part of the programme. A further 27 schools are due to join throughout this academic year. This will take the number of Mini Police, who are aged 9-11, to around 1,500 ‘officers’. They indirectly engage with a further 16,000 children. Durham’s Mini Police scheme is now being followed elsewhere. Merseyside are the latest police force to get involved in the scheme. The programme also has the support of the College of Policing, and has been promoted at national conferences in Westminster and Gloucester during the last few months. Going from strength to strength, the programme also won Durham County Council’s Chairman’s Medal in May and won a police award in June this year.
YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR NEWS
...... our first ever Young Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron tells us why he has introduced a young PCVC I’m always impressed by the energy which our Cadets contribute, and how they come up with innovative ideas for reducing crime and improving the safety of our communities. Working with them made me think about other ways of empowering young people, and encouraging them to take responsibility. One of the ways that I am doing this is by introducing a Young Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (YPCVC). The Police Cadets held an election in September this year, and voted Nathan Gaskill as the chosen candidate. Nathan is already Deputy Head Boy at Parkside Academy. In his presentation to fellow Cadets, Nathan emphasised that he would like to help develop a positive perception of the Police amongst young people and also to help to raise awareness of the harm that can be caused by alcohol and drugs. I published details on my website to encourage Fire and Police Cadets and the Mini Police, to submit their proposals on how £10,000 can be spent on projects to reduce crime and improve community safety. A committee of young people will choose the best proposal and I will ensure it is put into action. Details of the chosen project(s) will be available on my website and announced in the local press.
Back for its second year: let’s celebrate our local Superheroes! Following the success of last year’s event, Ron is hosting a second FREE family fun day, giving local people the chance to find out more about the work of our real-life superheroes.
When and where...? The event is free and will be held on: Saturday 29th October 2016 at Locomotion, The National Railway Museum, Shildon, 10am – 3pm. It will showcase and raise awareness of all the good work that is happening in our local communities.
Who and what...? Emergency services, including the police (and the Police Interceptors), fire service and other organisations, e.g. Blood
Bikes and various council services, so that families can get involved in exciting activities and see demonstrations from real life local superheroes.
prizes and much more. No need to book, just turn up on the day (either with, or without, fancy dress!)
Other community safety organisations who make a difference to people’s everyday lives will also be on hand with fun family activities. They are providing information and advice to give families and individuals a better understanding of what they do and how they can help. Activities and demonstrations include police vehicles, dog displays, Crime Scene Investigation activities, a children’s treasure hunt and superhero fancy dress competition, police dogs Jet & Ben, competitions with
HOW YOUR FORCE IS PERFORMING Your Public Performance Report: Key headlines Incidents of anti-social behaviour dropped by 14% across County Durham and Darlington in the twelve months to end of June 2016. Ron’s report also shows that victim-based crime has increased by 20%. There has also been an increase in recorded crime. The report explains that this is for a range of reasons: • The biggest reason is a change to the way that harassment is recorded compared with this time last year: harassment is now recorded as a crime the first time it is reported, instead of the second time. • People are also more confident to report crimes, such as sexual offences. There have also been increases in the number of burglaries and cases of criminal damage. Ron has sought assurance that whilst the number of recorded crimes is going up, the measure of harm which the Force use, the Cambridge Harm Index, shows that harm to the public is not increasing. Ron said: “The decrease in anti-social behaviour is good news for everyone living in the area. The 20% increase in recorded victim-based crime does not mean that the actual number of crimes has increased by that percentage: it is largely a consequence of changes to classifications. It is also likely that it will continue to rise as we have not yet seen the full impact of those changes. “Nonetheless, the increases in burglary and recorded crime are concerns, and I would encourage everyone to make sure that they lock their doors and windows to make it as hard as possible for would-be thieves, and people should report any suspicious behaviour to Crimestoppers.” You can view the latest Public Performance Report at www.durham-pcc.gov.uk.
GET IN TOUCH
A final message from Ron Please remember to let me know what you think of my magazine. I am keen to hear your views. And did you know, my office contact details are changing during November?
We are relocating from County Hall to Durham Constabulary Headquarters at Aykley Heads, Durham (DH1 5TT). You can still get in touch with me, or my team, in the usual ways (face-to-face at meetings or events, through my website, social media channels or other traditional ways including telephone, email or post). After the move, my new office contact details will be: Telephone: 0191 375 2001 Email: email@example.com Website (no change): www.durham-pcc.gov.uk Until then, please continue to call: 03000 264631 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Magazine published by Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington