Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
01234 842064
PCC praises Force for 'unprecedented' awards ceremony to celebrate community cohesion
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has praised the Force for successfully hosting the Community Cohesion Thank You Awards 2018 for the fourth year running in what she described as an “unprecedented” show of engagement for any force in the country. 

The Commissioner shared the cost of the event with business and other sponsors from throughout the county at The Auction House in Luton (on Friday 16 February) with over 420 people in attendance from all faiths, ages and backgrounds to celebrate the diversity of Bedfordshire and improving cohesion between all communities. 

“This event has been singled out by the national Community Tension Summary team, which monitors events which could cause problems for our diverse neighbourhoods, as being truly exemplary with not even the huge metropolitan forces like the Met in London and Greater Manchester Police able to match it,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The show of goodwill it represents shows the whole county what Bedfordshire Police is doing to build genuine bridges of trust and confidence and it’s the investment I most enjoy making each year,” she said.

Throughout the evening, 16 awards were handed out to those who have been working with the Force’s Community Cohesion team over the last year. The Community Cohesion ‘Choice Award’ was presented to Kim Greig, who has supported the Cohesion team on a weekly basis, working with young Cohesion Champions aged between 13 and 15 to help their communities by raising money for local charities while learning about policing.

Bedfordshire Police’s Community Cohesion team is a small unit who spend time meeting and working with communities around the county to understand issues they have and build better relationships with the Force.  

Chief Inspector Hob Hoque, who helped to run the awards, said, “The night was amazing with so many dedicated individuals and organisations who have supported Community Cohesion and Community Policing in the last year.  We are grateful to all our sponsors, which included the Bedfordshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, who supported this amazing evening and without their support this may not have been possible.”

During the awards, over £7,000 was raised by those in attendance to support a seven-year-old child in Bedfordshire with cerebral palsy who is in need of an operation which is not currently funded by the NHS, to improve her mobility.

“I wish to thank all those who helped to raise £7,000 and to my team who worked tirelessly to make this event happen with over 420 guests attending. It was a truly amazing night and showcased the best of our communities here in Bedfordshire,” added Chief Inspector Hoque. 

“Every year we want to make this awards ceremony bigger and better. It’s an outstanding and beautiful event. I’ve attended ceremonies and dinners at BAFTA and it’s no exaggeration at all to say this matched any I’ve experienced. It was also genuinely moving to see how much our communities understand and appreciate all that is done for them by their police force despite all its challenges,” said Commissioner Holloway.
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One week left to apply for Bedfordshire PCC's Grant Fund
With just seven days left to apply, organisations which run projects preventing offending, protecting communities and supporting victims of crime to cope, recover and move forward are being urged to submit their application for the PCC’s Grant Fund now.

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, launched the 2018/19 Grant Fund application process at the beginning of January, and the window of opportunity is due to close on Monday 19 February.  The Fund is created through the combination of a grant from the Ministry of Justice and funding from the Bedfordshire Police Force budget producing a flexible and accessible grant opportunity aimed at promoting innovative and collaborative working across Bedfordshire. 

“I particularly want to spread the news of my Grant Fund as widely as possible so that those who have never applied to me before for funding get an equal opportunity to do so whether they are single individuals with a brilliant idea, voluntary groups or established partners. Applications are also invited from within Bedfordshire Police for innovative ideas to help victims, stop crime and protect our communities,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“I am asking this year for every single organisation or person who applies to me for cash help to demonstrate how their project both reduces demand on Bedfordshire Police and builds confidence in the Force. 

“I am particularly interested this year in projects which help to reduce knife crime and gang involvement. I am extremely interested too in projects which help to give a better start to young children to help avoid a future life of crime. I continue to wish to help to protect those at risk of Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation and also victims of largely hidden crimes, like hate crime and forced marriage,” added the Commissioner. 

In 2016-17, Commissioner Holloway funded organisations including The Anne Frank Trust to work in schools across the county and combat prejudice by teaching the story of Anne Frank and the impact that hate crime can have.  

“Being able to extend our reach by developing and nurturing relationships for another year with schools, community partners and the Police in Bedfordshire demonstrates the importance of our work in the locality to educate young people against the dangers and impact of prejudice. Our work is designed to foster positive attitudes and behaviour towards others for a lifetime, thus creating a more cohesive, supportive and positive environment,” said Val Ross, Eastern Regional Manager for The Anne Frank Trust.

“On the project to date 2016/17, we have trained 146 Peer Guides for our exhibition Anne Frank: a History For Today, welcomed 3800 students to the exhibition and worked intensively with 676 students in workshop settings and are developing a network of over 100 Anne Frank Ambassadors: without the support of Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, this would not have been possible,” she added.

“I am delighted with the impact made by so many of the organisations I have funded which have made a real difference to people in Bedfordshire. I want to make sure that success continues and would like to encourage anyone who thinks they have an idea or a project that could make a real difference to apply to my fund,” added the PCC.

Details for the Grant Fund can be found on the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) website: (www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk) under the Campaigns and Initiatives section - Funding Opportunities. Applications close on Monday 19 February 2018 at 5pm.

For further information please contact the OPCC on 01234 842064 or email PCC-Commissioning@Bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.
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PCC pledges up to 130 new cops for a pound a month on council tax
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has promised to recruit an extra 110-130 officers a year during her term as a result of a £12 per year rise in council tax in the county.

The Policing Settlement of December 2017 gave PCCs the right for the first time to raise the police share of council tax - the precept - by a pound a month for Band D homes without having to hold a referendum. This will apply for at least the next two years.
 
“I’m absolutely clear that if the burden for paying for policing has been shifted from Central Government to the local council taxpayer this year and next that it must pay for improvements which are both visible and welcome to the public. I am planning to recruit between 110 and 130 new officers per year for each of the next two years of my term as a result to boost Bedfordshire’s notoriously overstretched frontline,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The intention is for the Force to raise the number of officers overall by 10% over the next four years, taking those who retire or leave into consideration too. I’m entirely certain that I have the backing of the public in this as in every single public meeting, from Shefford to central Luton, the community concerned has called for more police to strengthen Bedfordshire Police’s response to crime.

“This increase will come on top of virtually 10% extra officers who have been being introduced into Bedfordshire since I came into the role as Police and Crime Commissioner. There were just over a thousand when I arrived and I plan that there will be 1,224 as a result of the flexibility given to me with regard to council tax,” she said.

The Police and Crime Panel who hold the PCC to account voted to back her rise in council tax at a pound a month for Band D homes in 2018-19 and gave an informal indication through the Chair, politically independent member Paul Cain, that they would be likely to back her next year in raising the same sum to allow the Commissioner to proceed with further recruitment.

The Panel met at Luton Town Hall to reach their decision (Tuesday February 6 2018) by a majority, with two abstentions.

“I’m being given the right by Government to make these adjustments to council tax for the next two years only at this point but the Policing Minister Nick Hurd has told me personally that the historically unfair share for Bedfordshire Police of the national funding pot will be addressed at the time of the next Spending Review in autumn 2020. He has said the same in the House of Commons in a reply to South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous.

“Having fully evidenced the need for these officers - and more - to Government I fully intend to recruit as many as I can afford into the Force and expect the Government to deliver on its promise to produce a budget to support them from that point onwards. I have made this clear to the Home Office,” said the PCC.

“I’m meeting later this month with the Policing Minister, Mr Hurd, and the Security Minister, Ben Wallace, as I’m also asking for a share of the extra £50m for Counter Terrorism from the December Policing Settlement to bolster neighbourhood policing - as both vital eyes and ears on the ground and to further build bonds of trust with local communities - and also for help from the £93m Special Grant if possible. That's a contingency fund generally used to help forces in the aftermath of terror attacks or other serious emergencies but my view is that it should, logically, be used to prevent them wherever possible,” she said.

The new officers are intended to be destined for Community Policing, the Operation Emerald team who deal with rape, serious sexual offences such as Child Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Violence as well as Bedfordshire Police’s Cyberhub, to tackle online crime from fraud to the grooming of children. 
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PCC funds workshops to reduce slavery, gang, gun and knife crime across Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has organised and paid for a series of cutting-edge Home Office events with senior leaders and practitioners across the county in an effort to develop a joint response to the issues of violence and vulnerability, including modern day slavery and gangs.

The workshops, led by Home Office expert Mick McNally, allowed those working to prevent violence and exploitation of vulnerable children and adults to work closely together to discuss and understand what needs to be achieved across Bedfordshire.

“Bedfordshire is facing some truly alarming emerging issues across the county as a whole which I am working with our partners to help the Force get on top of. Key to this approach is that we cannot simply pay for individual schemes and come up with stand-alone policies to tackle these issues,” said the Commissioner.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been able to have introduced expertise from the home office to those working in Bedfordshire to try to make a real difference in uncovering modern day slavery, diverting young people from entering gangs in the first place and understanding and disrupting gang crime and violence,” added Commissioner Holloway.

Mick McNally, from the Home Office’s Violence and Vulnerability Team, has been working closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to understand the challenges Bedfordshire faces.

“We are trying to bring learning and practice from around the country to support Bedfordshire in tackling violence, vulnerability and exploitation. We need to make sure everyone understands new legislation and new practices, like the Modern Day Slavery legislation, so we are making the most of new legislation to tackle old problems such as gangs, drugs and exploitation,” said Mick McNally.

“The workshops have allowed partners to work together to identify violence, vulnerability and exploitation under the umbrella of safeguarding, but with clear governance and leadership. We have been able to get a clear understanding of what is happening and then explain good strategies around prevention, safeguarding and law enforcement in order to tackle it as a partnership,” he added.

“I am really pleased to report that the work to identify those involved in gang activity, in particular, has been recognised as highly useful by our partners so that we can genuinely start to develop a more effective approach to this problem together,” said PCC Holloway.
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One month left to apply for PCC's Grant Fund
At the start of the year (Wednesday 3 January 2018), Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, launched the Grant Fund for the 2018/19 application process for those who run projects which prevent offending, protect communities and support victims of crime to cope, recover and move forward.

There is now just one month left to apply for the PCC’s Grant Fund which is created by combining a grant from the Ministry of Justice and funding from the Bedfordshire Police Force budget producing a flexible and accessible grant opportunity aimed at promoting innovative and collaborative working across Bedfordshire. 

“I particularly want to spread the news of my Grant Fund as widely as possible so that those who have never applied to me before for funding get an equal opportunity to do so whether they are single individuals with a brilliant idea, voluntary groups or established partners. Applications are also invited from within Bedfordshire Police for innovative ideas to help victims, stop crime and protect our communities,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“I am asking this year for every single organisation or person who applies to me for cash help to demonstrate how their project both reduces demand on Bedfordshire Police and builds confidence in the Force. 

“I am particularly interested this year in projects which help to reduce knife crime and gang involvement. I am extremely interested too in projects which help to give a better start to young children to help avoid a future life of crime. I continue to wish to help to protect those at risk of Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation and also victims of largely hidden crimes, like hate crime and forced marriage,” added the Commissioner. 

In 2016-17, Commissioner Holloway funded organisations such as the Safer London Foundation which enabled them to broaden their reach and work with frontline services in Bedfordshire to safeguard more children and vulnerable adults from county lines.

“Keeping frontline workers abreast of the exploitative tactics of groups involved in drugs trafficking and child sexual exploitation is vital and the funding from the OPPC has helped us do just that through the training sessions we have delivered across Bedfordshire in partnership with the local community safety partners and the local safeguarding boards,” said Sarah Castro MBE, Director of Development and External Affairs at the Safer London Foundation.

The Road Victims Trust is a charity that has been working closely with the OPCC for many years to support those who have been affected by fatal road collisions and also receives funding from the Grant Fund.

“I am very happy to say that with the support of Commissioner Holloway and her office, the Road Victims Trust has been able to provide support to hundreds of people from Bedfordshire. The money we received has gone di7rectly to the victims who needed our support following road deaths. That simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support and understanding of the OPCC and we have been able to strengthen our relationship with Bedfordshire Police too,” said Mark Turner, Chief Executive of the Road Victims Trust.

“I am delighted with the impact made by so many of the organisations I have funded which have made a real difference to people in Bedfordshire. I want to make sure that success continues and would like to encourage anyone who thinks they have an idea or a project that could make a real difference to apply to my fund,” added the PCC.

Details for the Grant Fund can be found on the OPCC website in the Campaigns and Initiatives section under Funding Opportunities. Applications close on Monday 19 February 2018 at 5pm. For further information please contact the OPCC on
01234 842064 or email PCC-Commissioning@Bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.
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PCC recognised with national award for openness and transparency
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has been awarded the CoPaCC Transparency Quality Mark by the PCCs’ watchdog for the way in which she provides public access to information about what she does.

The annual award was presented by CoPaCC, the national organisation which reviews PCCs and best practise both in their offices and policing as a whole.

“I’m absolutely delighted to receive this important award which recognises all the work that goes on in my office and in public to try to let people know what my team and I are up to and why,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“There are a huge range of legal requirements when it comes to the information which is posted and I have a very small team indeed compared with the offices of other PCCs, of just a dozen including part-timers and admin assistants, to handle all the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, including distributing and overseeing over £1 million worth of grants to help support victims and increase community safety,” said the PCC.

Bernard Rix, head of CoPaCC, commented, “Although this is a national scheme, as a resident of Bedfordshire myself I’m delighted to be able to present this award to Bedfordshire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. PCCs are public figures and are, rightly, publicly accountable. Transparency is a topic that both the Home Affairs Select Committee and Committee for Standards in Public Life have commented on. This award is a reflection that the Bedfordshire OPCC meets the standards that they require.”

Applications are now open for individuals and groups to submit bids from £1 to over £50,000 to the Commissioner’s Fund, a budget formed of both Ministry of Justice money and that from the Force, to improve victim support, prevent crime from happening in the first place and to improve the safety of Bedfordshire’s communities in both towns and the countryside.

Details for the Commissioning Fund can be found in the Campaigns and Initiatives section under
Funding Opportunities. For further information please contact the OPCC on 01234 842064 or email PCC-Commissioning@Bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.               
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PCC draws huge crowd in hall and online at Shefford meeting

 

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, last night (Thursday 11 January) addressed the residents of Shefford to discuss policing issues within their town.


Around 171 residents took the time to attend the meeting at the Shefford Town Memorial Association Hall, filling the hall to capacity. It was the first public meeting where the Commissioner has been live streamed, which enabled over a thousand further residents to watch online and submit their questions.

“I was delighted to go to Shefford with the Deputy Chief Constable Garry (sic) Forsyth and the inspector for the area, Insp. Nick Masters, to give the people of the town the facts over recent highly successful police action to address Anti-Social Behaviour in Shefford.

“Naturally we could not go into details over the arrests made in November and December as we want individuals to process through the criminal justice system and, if found guilty, face the full weight of the law for their actions. 

“Suffice to say that there is a very full police presence in Shefford, more extensive CCTV coverage regarding which I have to thank Central Bedfordshire Council for their assistance and, as Insp. Masters told the audience, we know who the potential troublemakers are and they cannot evade the consequences if they offend again,” added the Commissioner.

 

Attending the meeting alongside the Commissioner was Deputy Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, who spoke to the residents about the priorities for the Force at a strategic level and the importance of long term problem solving as a preventative measure.

 

“It was a great opportunity to meet the residents of Shefford and explain our current position as a Force to those in the hall, but also to the many that watched live online. The Force has worked extremely hard to deal with the issues experienced in Shefford, but I strongly believe that our continued focus should be on sustainable, preventative, problem solving measures that enable us to work with partners and communities ensuring issues are dealt with before they escalate to more serious offending and criminality,” said DCC Forsyth.

During the meeting, a number of people from the audience submitted questions regarding whether or not the PCC would look at increasing the police’s share of the Council Tax.

“The audience want more frontline police in this county and seemed unanimously to back my proposal to raise council tax by a pound a month for Band D homes to do so. I’m asking as many people as possible to make their views known on my website before February 1 to give me a clear mandate to do so,” said Commissioner Holloway.

The Commissioner’s Office is currently running a consultation on change to the precept to boost the frontline. For more information or to submit your comments please visit our website -
http://www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk/2018-01-pcc-launches-consultation-on-change-to-precept-to-boost-the-frontline

Questions put to the Commissioner ranged from the £12 annual rise in council tax and Government funding issues to the input of police into housing development plans in the county.

Commenting on the meeting, Mayor Paul Mackin said, “I feel the meeting last night was very positive and constructive. The people of our community had the chance of a face to face meeting with the Commissioner and asked the questions that have been troubling them over the last year.

“All the people I have spoken to since the meeting were impressed that the Commissioner and very senior police officers took the time to sit down and explain the situation regarding funding and resources. I believe the whole event was worth the effort and I would encourage other Town and Parish Councils to set up similar events. There is nothing like face to face meetings to settle people’s fears,” added Mayor Mackin.

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Bedfordshire PCC launches new online support service for victims
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has today launched a new website giving victims access to all support services in the county.

The website, called Signpost (www.signpostforbedfordshire.com), was promised in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. 

Commissioner Holloway said: “This website does exactly what is says on the tin. It is called Signpost for a reason and features a signpost on the homepage, so we can direct victims of multiple different crime types to the help and support they need and deserve, as easily as possible.

“It also allows me to meet my legal duty to provide help and support for victims of crime who, for whatever reason, do not want to report crime to police. 

“It is important to me that the service also explains to victims how to report the crimes they have experienced and explains what will happen next to help give them confidence to report crimes to police, to bring them real justice.”

Signpost lists all key support services for victims, with contact details for a range of different crimes ranging from rape and child sexual exploitation, to hate crime.

Those voluntary organisations which are already funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner are included, along with others whose services are quality assured by the Bedfordshire Victims’ Partnership. 

The website, which has been at consultation over the last few months, was shown to partners and organisations across Bedfordshire today (Tuesday 9 January) as part of a Partnership Day ran by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

At the event it was also unveiled a centre of excellence enhancing the practical and emotional support services available to all victims of crime is being created at Bedfordshire Police.

The new victims’ hub will be based at Kempston Headquarters and will take over from the current service provider Victim Support, going live on 1 April 2018.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sharn Basra said: “We are really excited about the new service, which will give first-class support and care for victims of crime. It will be a one-stop-shop for everything a victim of crime needs to know, offering practical and emotional support and referrals to specialist support. Victims will also be able to keep up-to-date with the progress of their case.

“The decision behind the move has been made after careful consideration, thorough research and consultations which have taken place nationally. It will reinforce the force’s commitment to putting victims at the heart of everything we do and be responsive to their needs, helping to improve victim satisfaction.

“The new service will also be a champion and advocate for victims by improving our understanding and responding to their needs. This will give victims greater confidence and satisfaction throughout the whole process, from reporting a crime through to attending court.”

Margaret Barker, the Chair of the Bedfordshire Victims’ Partnership (BVP) added: “The BVP supports Signpost and the hub as part of the OPCC and partners’ collaborative plans to improve existing services to victims of crime and community. We hear lots of the resource issues faced by the police locally, and partnerships will ease these challenges.

“The voluntary sector brings the authentic voice of victims’ expertise and immense experience and we are committed to improving services for underserved or hidden people. People young and old can access the help and report crimes with confidence that all our services will be tailored to their needs.”
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PCC launches consultation on change to precept to boost the frontline
 
Since 2010 the Government has continuously reduced the amount of national funding for Bedfordshire Police and to date, as your Police and Crime Commissioner, despite a successful on-going recruitment campaign which has helped to hold service levels against a picture of ever-increasing demand, I have been given no facility, until now, to uplift the total number of resources available to respond to victims of crime and protect the people of Bedfordshire.
 
As a result, the force now has 140 less officers than it did in 2010.
 
When we take into account the demand, complexity and the landscape of policing (which is significantly different to 2010), I am sure you will understand why I have taken the decision to raise Council Tax by £1 per month for the next 24 months, which will cost the total of £24 pounds per Band D household in Bedfordshire to increase the number of police officers by at least 100, taking us some way towards what this county requires.
 
Please see below the table of costing per household:
 
  2017/18
£
2018/19
£
Increase
£
A 110.73 118.73 8.00
B 129.18 138.51 9.33
C 147.64 158.30 10.66
D 166.09 178.09 12.00
E 203.00 217.67 14.67
F 239.91 257.24 17.33
G 276.82 296.82 20.00
H 332.18 356.18 24.00

I would like to invite you to share your opinion on this decision by way of reply to the following email address: PCC@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk
 
Your comments of support or concern for this decision would be welcomed and will be collated and presented to the Police and Crime Panel on 6 February 2018 which is the authoritative body which holds the Police and Crime Commissioner to account.
 
I appreciate your thoughts, time and consideration regarding this issue and look forward to receiving your response.

Kathryn Holloway
 
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PCC launches Grant Fund to help victims, prevent crime and build community safety in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has today (Wednesday 3 January 2018) launched her Grant Fund for 2018/19 and is inviting applications for her to help pay for projects which prevent offending, protect communities and support victims of crime to cope, recover and move forward.

The PCC’s Grant Fund is created by combining a grant from the Ministry of Justice and funding from the Bedfordshire Police Force budget which produces a flexible and accessible grant opportunity aimed at promoting innovative and collaborative working across Bedfordshire. 

“I particularly want to spread the news of my commissioning fund as widely as possible so that those who have never applied to me before for funding get an equal opportunity to do so whether they are single individuals with a brilliant idea, voluntary groups or established partners. Applications are also invited from within Bedfordshire Police for innovative ideas to help victims, stop crime and protect our communities,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“I am asking this year for every single organisation or person who applies to me for cash help to demonstrate how their project both reduces demand on Bedfordshire Police and builds confidence in the Force. 

“I am particularly interested this year in projects which help to reduce knife crime and gang involvement. I am extremely interested too in projects which help to give a better start to young children to help avoid a future life of crime. I continue to wish to help to protect those at risk of Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation and also victims of largely hidden crimes, like hate crime and forced marriage,” added the Commissioner. 

For the first time, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) will be holding Commissioning Surgeries to give potential applicants the opportunity to meet with staff, designed to help applicants fully understand the Commissioner’s priorities and identify opportunities for joint-working and funding help. 

Last year the majority of the PCC’s commissioning funds were distributed to multiple organisations supporting victims of Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation and other crimes against women and children such as Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage. The largest single grant went to support the hugely successful Mental Health Street Triage project with a police officer, mental health nurse and paramedic manning a single vehicle to attend those in mental health crisis, threatening to harm themselves or others, to keep them out of custody and provide a pathway to more appropriate care. The service also cut by half the number of so-called ’sections’ to hospital by police officers handling such cases alone, without access to medical notes or the clinical qualification to make such judgments.

In 2016-17, Commissioner Holloway also funded organisations such as the Anne Frank Trust to work in schools across the county to combat prejudice by teaching the story of Anne Frank and the impact of hate crime. The Restorative Justice programme was also funded by the Commissioner, which has allowed victims the opportunity to meet with the person who carried out the crime against them, giving them a voice and a chance to ask questions that would otherwise go unanswered, as well as allowing the offender to understand the impact of their crime in full with a view to preventing reoffending. 

“I am delighted with the impact made by so many of the organisations I have funded which have made a real difference to people in Bedfordshire. I want to make sure that success continues and would like to encourage anyone who thinks they have an idea or a project that could make a real difference to take advantage of our Commissioning Surgeries and apply to my fund. It's an opportunity to meet my staff and fully understand what I’m looking to fund and how best to complete your application,” said the PCC.

The Commissioning Fund is now open and details can be found in the Campaigns and Initiatives section under Funding Opportunities. Applications close on Monday 19 February 2018 at 5pm. Commissioning Surgeries will be held in January on the 11th, 12th and 15th. To apply to attend please contact the OPCC on
01234 842064 or email PCC-Commissioning@Bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.

 
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PCC comments on funding announcement as she formally opens the new Bedford Town Centre Police Enquiries Office
This will be the first opportunity to speak with Commissioner Holloway since the Government’s announcement on the funding settlement for all 43 police forces in England and Wales yesterday afternoon as she and Bedfordshire's Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher, were attending the key Policing Performance Oversight Group (PPOG) meeting of police watchdog, HMICFRS, attended by the Home Office, College of Policing, National Police Chiefs Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners in London at the time.

Commissioner Holloway has done all that she believes was possible to influence the outcome for Bedfordshire Police including being congratulated by the Home Affairs Select Committee for the powerful evidence she gave on the subject in November as one of only 4 PCCs called as witnesses. She met with the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, at Bedfordshire Police HQ, and on multiple occasions, both privately and publicly, and corresponded with him extensively - as with his predecessor, Brandon Lewis - and met with the Home Secretary and even Prime Minister when she was Home Secretary to put the Force’s unique funding case. She has also campaigned in the House of Commons for increased force funding on a cross party basis with all six of the county's MPs (meeting with Brandon Lewis).

The Commissioner had been asked to provide the Home Office with a report stating four things clearly; what are Bedfordshire's policing challenges, what resources are available to meet them, what is the gap between the two and what will it cost to close it. This was done, with the OPCC and the Force's Chief Finance Officer working flat out for several months to produce a report which went to Nick Hurd directly in October 2017, as well as to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs Council to help them with their overall funding submission for Policing as a whole. The document produced the evidence backing a case for £10 million a year in extra funding to pay for 300 Frontline officers and 80 detectives to bring the Force to a level comparable with those facing similar challenges including the third highest terror threat in the country, cross-over Serious Organised Crime from London, a growing serious youth violence issue and as the county where 40% of all shots fired in the (7 Force) Eastern Region are discharged. 

The Government grant available to Bedfordshire Police has been held at the identical level to last year but the PCC will have room for manoeuvre, for the first time, to be able to raise council tax above 1.99% without having to hold a referendum. This will not produce the £12 per household that has been stated - this is just an average for Band D homes. The amount will be below this for those below Band D, and slightly above it for the rest and will bring in just shy of £3 million for Bedfordshire Police on current calculations (£2.988 million).

The Commissioner is determined that if she asks the taxpayers of Bedfordshire to back the Force they must get a demonstrable and palatable return on their money. She will continue to support recruitment to Bedfordshire Police's Frontline to strengthen Community Policing, Response and the number of detectives, as far as practically possible. Her view is that, if she does the maximum to raise help from local taxation, even though the increase has been cleared for just two years, Government will have to deliver on its promise to address the overall funding position from then onwards, as it has committed to, in the next Spending Review.
 
Commissioner Holloway said: “Sadly I am still being promised ‘jam tomorrow’ as the Policing Minister pledged to me yesterday, and in the House of Commons, in reply to South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous, that the Government will look at Bedfordshire Police's historically unfair share of the national police funding ‘cake’ at the next Spending Review, in two years’ time. 

"This is a force which is making every penny count and producing results since my arrival which have genuine public support like the opening of the new Lime Street Enquiries Office in Bedford today, the Luton Mall office, the new Community teams with Local Priority Plans drawn up with residents and councillors, a much enhanced Serious Organised Crime offering, an outstanding international award-winning Community Cohesion team, a completely revamped and reorganised Force Control Room and Crime Bureau, exemplary Cybercrime Unit, hugely dedicated Emerald and CMIT specialist teams dealing with Rape, Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation and Response officers doing everything possible given the numbers to help the public when they need police most. The list could go on and on.

"I will continue to fight Bedfordshire’s corner. I have already asked the Policing Minister to back a case for payment for more Community officers in Luton from the £50 million new Counter Terror money, for example.”

A separate media release covers the Lime Street opening which delivers on a pledge in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan to provide more visible policing and Community Policing Hubs.

If you are unable to attend this afternoon’s event, the PCC hopes you have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and looks forward to working with you in 2018.
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PCC opens new central Bedford police enquiries office in time for the peak festive season of demand
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has opened the latest and most high profile police station in the Force in Bedford as a “shopfront for policing in the town” immediately ahead of the key Christmas and New Year festivities.

“I promised, in my Police and Crime Plan, that I would put police in the most visible locations possible where they could do most good. This Enquiries Office will allow the people of Bedford we access to officers to report crime and call for help during the key hours for shopping and working in the town centre and will be a base after hours for those policing the pubbing and clubbing businesses in the immediate area,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The need for an Enquiries Office in the very centre of town, in Lime Street, was obvious even before it opened and on the first official day of operation (Monday 18 December 2017) when people were calling in to report crime, including a theft, shoplifting and a hate crime on Monday morning alone,” she said.

Bedford’s Community Policing Inspector Paul Ayling said, “It’s fantastic to be based here in the centre of town. I’ve told my less experienced officers that they will come across crime they can take action over every time they go out of the door and that’s the attitude and the results I expect from them.”

“Even as we moved the furniture in a lady from Chelmsford in Essex, who didn’t want to report a crime that had happened in Bedford online or on the phone, came to see us and reported it to officers which really shows the value of the new office,” added Enquiries Office Manager, Jay Khan.

“It’s a much better environment for the new Community Policing Hub of 36 officers and staff to operate from than the old Greyfriars Station, however much nostalgia surrounded that building for the longer term residents of Bedford,” said Commissioner Holloway.

Insp. Ayling confirmed the popularity of the move for his officers, “We are right in the heart of where crime is happening day and night. Being based here will provide us with a lot of opportunities to make ourselves known in the area.  

“The working environment is much better at Lime Street. Although there has been a lot of nostalgia, understandably, the move has been a breath of fresh air. We are excited to be working here and there has been a real uplift in morale as a result,” he said. 

The Bedford Enquiries Office in Lime Street, immediately off the High Street and only minutes from the larger pubs and clubs, will be open for public reporting and queries from 9am - 5pm and it was confirmed that, if officers are in the building outside these times and the public are reporting an emergency, they will of course respond. 

However, Inspector Ayling called on the public to support the desk staff at Lime Street and understand that they are there to take public enquiries and reports and that, even if officers can be seen in the interior, they might not be able to respond at the desk immediately as they have to complete vital work around crime reports and problem-solving, as well as being on patrol.

Insp. Ayling confirmed his intention for the Community Hub team to be as visible as possible in patrolling Bedford town centre, including on bicycle as well as on foot and in vehicles, and welcomed the move ahead of the approaching period of highest demand in policing, around Christmas and the New Year. 

“We’re right where we need to be in the run up to the Christmas holiday with all the issues associated with drinking or shop thefts so it’s the perfect time to move in,” said Insp. Ayling.
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