Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC holds Partners' Conference to encourage more effective joint working with Bedfordshire Police in the county and set priorities for her funding in 2019
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, held a conference for Partners - inviting organisations from across the county to focus on the year ahead and how best to serve the people of Bedfordshire, working more closely with Bedfordshire Police. 

The event, which took place in Luton at Venue 360 (Tuesday 11 December), was attended by over 95 representatives working for Bedfordshire's public services, charities and organisations supporting victims together with those from local authorities and community members. Throughout the day, there was an opportunity for organisations to present on work they had completed this year or projects they are currently working on, which allowed 26 presentations to be made in total for partners to gain a greater understanding of the work of their colleagues. 

“This is the second conference my office has held for partners and it is going to be an annual event. We simply can’t work as effectively as possible with Bedfordshire Police if we don’t know one another exists or the detail of the projects which we might all benefit from - and fund together as a result to make public money go as far as possible,” said Commissioner Holloway.
 
“The range of projects my office was able to introduce to partners was truly diverse, from an app to monitor harmful content being generated by children on their mobile phones to prevent bullying, sexual exploitation and even radicalisation, by the company Safe to Net, to the work being done to get prisoners to challenge their own long term views of themselves and turn their lives around, from Reactive8.
 
“This year my fund will focus on the prevention of serious youth violence with particular emphasis on very early intervention before the age of 10 to create mentors and safe spaces for children who are at risk of being sucked into criminality more generally and knife carrying and gang involvement in particular. It will also focus on the prevention of reoffending and ways to ensure those leaving prison or the wider Criminal Justice system, such as the Magistrates’ Courts, are not being set up to fail, without access to the support services they need,” said PCC Holloway.

Mark Turner, Chief Exec of Road Victims Trust, said: “The day served as a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work of so many groups and organisations who work tirelessly for the benefit of others. This type of coordinated response, supported and funded by the PCC, is making a significant and positive difference to the lives of many Bedfordshire residents.”

Teyba Seyed, Project Coordinator at the One Stop Advice & Training centre in Luton, said: “We found the event to be very useful not only in terms of networking and discovering other services available within the locality, but we also found that the event was very beneficial in terms of highlighting what we can all do as one unit to help improve the society. We hope you will continue to work with local businesses to make a difference as we find that events like these really help bridge the gap between the police and the general public.”

Commissioner Holloway and her team presented to the attendees, informing them of the PCC’s 2019/20 Commissioning Grant Fund which has just opened for applications to help pay for projects which prevent offending, protect communities and support victims of crime to cope, recover and move forward with their lives.

The Commissioner also outlined her plans to focus on reducing reoffending in the county, by launching ‘Direction’, a one stop shop providing offenders and their families with a support network made up of an online directory of all services to help those who want to break the cycle of crime and a call centre of specialist advisors to help direct them to those services of most use to each individual.

“This is a Team Bedfordshire approach to deal with the revolving door syndrome of prisoners leaving detention only to re-offend and return and it is the first time all these services will be brought to one point of access, through Direction, to help ex offenders with the support they need,” said the PCC.

The Commissioning Fund is now open and details can be found on the website under Funding Opportunities. Applications close on Friday 11 January 2019 at 5pm. Those with queries should contact the OPCC on 01234 842064 or email PCC-Commissioning@Bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.