Employers in Darlington are encouraged to support employees who may be affected by domestic violence, in a new leaflet launched today.
Entitled ‘Domestic violence and your workplace’, the leaflet describes how businesses can really benefit if they help their employees to address domestic violence. It shows that businesses with effective domestic abuse policies can reduce sickness, stress and staff turnover amongst their employees.
Darlington Partnership Director, Seth Pearson said “businesses tell me that the business case for doing this is clear: firms which show concern for their employees will have more effective staff and people with greater commitment to their organisation”.
Darlington’s Director of Public Health, Miriam Davidson, said: “Domestic violence is a serious public health issue. The impact it has on a person and their family cannot be over-estimated.
“The focus of this initiative is to raise awareness amongst employers. Helping employers to recognise when an employee might be suffering domestic violence and having practical measures in place to support them to stay safe and in work can be immensely important to their health and wellbeing.”
Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg added: “I would encourage any victims of domestic violence to talk to someone. Employers who put up posters indicating their support, or who provide counselling for victims, can really helping their employees to deal with the situation they are in”.
Victims of violence abuse are encouraged to obtain specialist support from Harbour on 03000 202525.
The new leaflet is being distributed to businesses. For help to ensure your company can provide the best support for any of your employees suffering domestic violence contact Holly Dobson by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am writing to introduce myself as the new Engagement and Media Officer for Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner.
I have replaced Nyama Johnson as she has recently left the organisation and therefore I would be grateful if you could update your contact lists with my details.
The best way to contact me is via our media email PCVC.Media@durham.pcc.pnn.gov.uk or and designated media number 07814 174417, as someone will pick these messages up even if I am out of the office.
I am looking forward to getting to know you all and working with you in the future.
Engagement and Media Officer
Office of Durham Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner
Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter **Current**
to read the latest December 2017 edition of our e-newsletter Our News
We hope you enjoy it!
Fake Government Grants Fraud Alert **current**
Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee.
To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.
Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.
Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.
Pre-paid credit cards
Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.
Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.
If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.
How to protect yourself:
Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.
What to do if you’re a victim:
• If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
• Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
• If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
The information contained within this alert is based on information from gathered by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). The purpose of this alert is to increase awareness of this type of fraud.
The alert is aimed at members of the public, local police forces, businesses and governmental agencies.
Farmers Grant Fraud Alert **Current**
Payment Diversion Fraud
The purpose of this alert is to provide knowledge and prevention advice to farmers in order to protect themselves from falling victim to ‘Payment Diversion Fraud’. CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) payments are expected to be paid to farmers in December 2017. Information on last year’s payments are easily obtained via the government website allowing fraudsters to know when and how much potential targets will receive.
Fraudsters who purport to be a trusted senior colleague or established customer may request that you change their direct debit, standing order or amend a bank transfer so that the payment can be diverted to a bank account which is in control of the fraudster. Fraudsters will often make the request under the pretence of a highly sensitive or urgent transaction.
Contact is made via phone, letter but most commonly via email (personal or work address) used by the organisation or employee (which has either been spoofed or hacked). The fraudster then provides bank account details into which the monies should be paid.
PROTECTION AND PREVENTION ADVICE:
• Ensure all staff, not just finance teams are aware of this fraud.
• Always verify email payment changes to financial agreements with the organisation directly using established contact details you have on file. If called ask the caller to give you a main switchboard number for you to be routed back to them. Alternatively, hang up and call them back using established contact details you have on file.
• Have a system in place which allows staff to properly verify contact from their CEO or senior members of staff; for example having two points of contact so that the staff can check that the instruction which they have received from their CEO is legitimate.
• Always review requests to change ‘one off’ payment requests. Check for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, such as a misspelt company name or a slightly different email address. Ensure computer systems are secure and that antivirus software is up to date.
Shopping Online Safely **Current**
How To Shop Online Safely
Check the web address
Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.
Is it a secure connection?
Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.
Don't click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.
Criminal Justice Forum - The role of the voluntary sector and PCCs in reducing reoffending **Current**
This forum will focus on how Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and the voluntary sector can work in partnership together to reduce reoffending. You will have the opportunity to hear about what PCCs are doing in the North East, and discuss opportunities for the voluntary sector to be involved. Speakers will include representatives from the Office for PCCs for Cleveland and Durham.
Clinks coordinate quarterly forums to provide the opportunity for members to keep up to speed with new developments or step back from the crucial day-to-day work to see the bigger picture, along with improving access to decision makers and allowing time for all-important networking.
This forum will give local and regional organisations the opportunity to:
· Discuss the role of the voluntary sector and Police and Crime Commissioners in reducing reoffending,
· Share good practice and network with other organisations working in your region,
· Discuss the challenges and opportunities your organisation is currently facing,
· Influence Clinks’ national policy work through shared experience,
· Hear the latest national developments in criminal justice.
A committee of young people has funded projects to combat crime and improve community safety **Current**
YOUNG people from across County Durham and Darlington will benefit from funding to support projects aimed at reducing crime, allocated by the Young Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner.
Today, 17 year old Libby Wright from Stanley took on the duties of Ron Hogg, the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, as part of Takeover Challenge.
Libby was elected as the Young Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) by her fellow Police Cadets. On Monday she chaired a committee meeting of Police Cadets and Mini Police at Darlington Town Hall. The committee agreed to fund the following projects:
- a website for schools, to help teachers plan lessons on topics such as road safety, internet safety and reducing crime
- a project to enable young people to be involved in a samba band, giving young people confidence and a stake in society
- 7 fun sessions involving motorbike activities, such as graphic design for motorbikes and looking after motorbikes. The sessions will be aimed at young people who have been in trouble
- a series of projects for disabled teenagers, looking at topics such as alcohol, drugs, bullying, hate crime
- youth club sessions to help young people learn to be safe when using the internet
Libby said: “I’m pleased that the Committee has funded some projects which will make a real difference to people’s lives. I really want to give young people a voice during my time as Young PCVC and I will continue to ask how the Police, and other service providers, are prioritising the things which young people feel strongly about”
During her Takeover Challenge Day, Libby also spent time with the Police and Crime Panel and met the Chief Constable.
NE Criminal Justice Ebulletin **Current**
This is the latest criminal justice news
for charities from VONNE, the regional support body for the North East Voluntary and Community Sector, and CLINKS.
Modelling Jobs Advanced Fee Fraud **Current**
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.
Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.
The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;
Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.
The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model.
The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.
Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.
The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.
Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.
Tips for staying safe:
Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.
Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.
Don't give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Neighbourhood Watch E-Newsletter October Edition **Current**
Here’s the latest October edition of our popular e-newsletter Our News.
DBS News October 2017 **Current**
Please take a look at our latest issue of DBS News.
We have included a mixture of news and updates to interest our wide range of stakeholders.
This issue of the newletter includes:
Release 1 (R1)
Important update for Basic Responsible Organisations
We publish regular news and policy updates on our website -
Neighbourhood Watch National Survey **Current**
Dear Neighbourhood Watch supporter,
Tackling Domestic Abuse is a national priority for the Home Office, Police, Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.
Neighbourhood Watch is working with Crimestoppers to raise awareness about domestic abuse and what our supporters and volunteers can do to help prevent and report it.
We would be grateful if you could spend just 3 minutes completing this survey, the results of which will help us to signpost people to the right place to report their concerns. Your responses are completely anonymous.
You can complete the survey by clicking on the link below.
Illegal Money Lending Team Newsletter 2017 **Current**
Please find attached
our latest Newsletter which details our recent prosecutions and proceeds of crime hearing result. It’s also has lots of good stories about how our proceeds of crime has been spent Nationally. Please feel free to circulate this to contacts and colleagues.
Police newsletter October **Current**
Please find attached
the latest Police Newsletter for the Town Centre
Creative designs welcomed for Christmas card competition **Current**
PRIMARY aged children are being encouraged to get creative whilst thinking about safety, for a competition launched earlier today.
The theme of this year’s competition is ‘staying safe during winter nights’ and is being promoted through junior and primary schools throughout County Durham and Darlington.
Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, announced his competition at Ox Close Primary School in Spennymoor. He said:
“It is important that young people are encouraged think about the environment around them and how they can stay safe. The designs can be anything from wearing visible clothing on dark nights to locking property, or keeping lights on when the house is empty.
“This is a great opportunity for children to get creative, whilst having those important conversations with adults, and their peers, about how to stay safe.”
Daniel Harrison, Headteacher at Ox Close Primary School said: “Keeping the children safe is something which we absolutely emphasise at Ox Close and it is the most important aspect of my job as Headteacher. Having Ron attend Ox Close was a tremendous honour for us. It helped to re-emphasise key messages that both Ron in his role as Police and Crime Commissioner and Ox Close as a school wish to get across.
“Staying safe as the dark nights of the autumn and winter become a reality is crucial and we are also delighted to be able to celebrate diversity and to try to help to promote unity, especially in these times of division and disharmony in the World at large.”
Entries should be up to A4 in size and composed in pen, pencil or crayon, and be either landscape or portrait in style.
Individual competition entries completed outside of school can be handed in, in person, at Ron’s free family fun day held on Saturday 28th October at Locomotion, The National Railway Museum in Shildon (between 10am-3pm), which is being held to celebrate the work of local superheroes.
A competition design template is also available on Ron’s website at www.durham-pcc.gov.uk to download, for individual entries to be handed in at the Superheroes event later this month.
The competition closes on Saturday 28th October 2017 and the winner will be announced early in November during Ron’s Winter Nights campaign.
Illegal Money Lending:
A guide for health and social care professionals **Current**
I have attached a new leaflet
from the illegal money lending team, specifically for health and social care staff.
Reported crime is increasing and police resources are getting tighter **Current**
The number of reported crimes in County Durham and Darlington is on the increase, according to the latest Performance Report from Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg.
The report indicates that whilst levels of anti-social behaviour reduced by 10% over the twelve months to June 2017, reported crime rose by 31%.
“Some of the increase in reported crime is due to the re-classification of harassment from anti-social behaviour to crime”, said Ron. “However, the bulk of the increase is reflected in traditional crime areas such as the numbers of reported burglaries, car crimes, criminal damage and arson attacks”.
“There has also been an increase in the number of reported sexual offences. It is vital that victims come forward and have the confidence to report their experiences.”
Ron added “Durham Constabulary is still the best and most efficient police force in the country. Our police officers do an excellent job, every day, keeping the public safe. However, the number of Police Officers in County Durham and Darlington has dropped by 400 since 2010 and I am concerned that the budget for local policing continues to reduce. I have called on the Home Secretary to fulfil her commitment to ensure that Police have the resources they need to protect the public.”
Anti-social behaviour reduced in every part of the Force area except Darlington over the past year.
Ron’s Public Performance Report is available on his website at: www.durham-pcc.gov.uk .
Further crime prevention advice is available on the Durham Constabulary website at www.durham.police.uk .
Awards for North East work in crime reduction **Current**
Professionals working with prisoners, ex-prisoners or those sentenced to community punishments have been presented with awards for their efforts to reduce reoffending by long standing north east charity Nepacs.
This is the 13th year of the awards, which are presented by Nepacs to individuals, teams or organisations in the north east for helping prisoners or ex-offenders to resettle in the community and rebuild their lives.
This year’s awards and certificates were presented by Nepacs Patron The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, at an event on Tuesday 19 September 2017 at Lumley Castle in Chester-le-Street.
The awards celebrate projects that support prisoners planning for their release, and afterwards, working with agencies to help promote purposeful and communal activity and build self-belief, helping them re-establish themselves outside prison, securing accommodation, work and positive family relationships. It is usually when this resettlement fails that ex-offenders turn back to crime and inflict more damage on the community.
The six main Nepacs awards this year were presented to:
Mark Lowery - Checkpoint is a voluntary, multi-agency diversion scheme working with Durham Constabulary which offers low and medium level offenders an alternative to prosecution, addressing their behaviour and its underlying causes. Mark, seconded from National Probation Service, has worked as a Checkpoint Navigator for the last two years, during which time he has worked on over 100 cases, resulting in a very low re-offending rate by the individuals concerned.
Donna Pearson - has been acting head of offender management at Low Newton for several months, in addition to her public protection duties there. Embracing the many recent changes at Low Newton, she has become a crucial member of the children and family pathway, giving significant support to child/parent and family days and implementing recommendations.
Kirklevington Harrogate Garden Show Team - A collaboration of staff and men designed and constructed the ‘Garden of Reform’ for Harrogate Show, going on to win the Bronze Prize for a concept garden and Best in Show community award. A work-based horticultural course ran concurrently, and staff put in a huge amount of effort and a lot of their own time. The garden is to be rebuilt at James Cook Hospital, leading to a close partnership with the hospital, with men taking on community work there.
Linda Cummings - works across HMPs Holme House, Kirklevington Grange, Deerbolt and Northumberland supporting mental health resettlement through the gate, providing a seamless connection with outside services. She has also established user forums to shape service delivery, and introduced a peer mentor scheme as well as other innovations including PAT (Pets as Therapy) within the prisons.
John Traynor - has been a peer mentor with Durham Tees Valley CRC for the last three years. During this time he has used his own past experiences to engage with offenders to help turn round their own lives. He is a welcoming and encouraging presence at the community service hub, making it a place where participants feel safe and supported in discussing their issues, empowering them to make positive changes and some have become peer mentors themselves.
Progression Team, Westgate Unit, HMP Frankland - The Westgate Unit is an assessment and treatment service for high risk men with personality disorder/psychopathy. The progression team, together with a working party of both staff and prisoners, have developed a rolling programme which is a new and creative way of engaging the prisoner in his own treatment pathway. Meeting weekly they have produced a draft document based on prisoners’ own inputs, to develop and facilitate assessment, treatment and monitoring during and after their time in the Westgate unit.
Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs, said: “The difficulties of working within the prison system have been clearly highlighted by the media in recent months. The challenges faced by prison-based staff are mirrored in the community, where clients’ problems around substance misuse, mental health, relationship breakdowns and unemployment can continue to put obstacles in the way of fulfilling crime free lives.
“It is for this reason that offenders need a great deal of help and support from a range of agencies to help them prepare for their release and to aid successful rehabilitation in the community.
“Our Nepacs’ awards are a way of paying tribute to the resilience and determination of staff and volunteers working within the criminal justice system who inspire hope for a better future in the people they work with, as well as offering practical support and help.”
Bishop Paul said: “I am delighted to be presenting these awards.
The work done by these projects is really important in helping prisoners and their families. I am proud to be Patron for Nepacs, whose committed team of volunteers are helping people through a difficult time in their lives and making a real difference.”
For more information on the Nepacs awards and previous winners visit our website www.nepacs.co.uk
Reducing anti-social behaviour in the car park at Asda Peterlee **Current**
The number of incidents of ‘boy racers’ causing anti-social behaviour at ASDA in Peterlee has reduced significantly, thanks to an initiative between ASDA and Durham Constabulary.
A barrier was erected at the entrance to the car park, and is routinely used every night, to stop people from driving into the car park and driving dangerously.
ASDA’s People Trading Manager, Julie Pearson, said “We’ve always been pleased to work with the Police to deal with incidents. Since the barrier was put in place, the number of complaints has gone down. There used to be several every month, but now there are very few indeed.“
Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington said “I’d really like to thank ASDA for putting the barrier in place. It has obviously made a difference to the area, to the benefit of local people”.
Grahame Morris MP said “This is a great example of partnership working between ASDA and Durham Police to address a serious and ongoing community issue. I would like to thank ASDA and the Police for doing all they can to stop ‘boy racers’ and dangerous driving in Peterlee”.
Neighbourhood Watch newsletter August edition **Current**
Here’s the latest edition of Neighbourhood Watch’s e-newsletter Our News.
to read it and find out why Neighbourhood Watch is the largest grassroots crime prevention movement in England and Wales.
Neighbourhood Watch is proud to be supported by the Co-op Insurance and ERA Home Security.
LANDMARK REVIEW PLACES FAMILY TIES AT THE HEART OF PRISON REFORM **Current**
- New study by Lord Michael Farmer calls family relationships “the golden thread’ to help reduce reoffending.
- Research shows prisoners who receive visits from a family member are 39 per cent* less likely to reoffend.
- Ministry of Justice welcomes the recommendations by Lord Farmer to strengthen family ties in order to help offenders turn their lives around and protect public safety.
Research has shown close ties between prisoners and key family members can significantly reduce the risk of reoffending – which costs society £15billion every year.
In a landmark review published today Lord Farmer has identified family as the “golden thread” running through the reforms across the prison estate.
In September 2016 Lord Farmer, in partnership with the membership charity Clinks, was commissioned by the Government to investigate how connecting prisoners with their families can improve offender wellbeing, assist in keeping the public safe and reduce reoffending.
Lord Farmer said:
“My report is not sentimental about prisoners’ families, as if they can, simply by their presence, alchemise a disposition to commit crime into one that is law abiding.
“However, I do want to hammer home a very simple principle of reform that needs to be a golden thread running through the prison system and the agencies that surround it. That principle is that relationships are fundamentally important if people are to change.”
The Ministry of Justice has already started developing a strategy which will take forward recommendations from the review.
Progress is being made on a number of the recommendations, including giving governors the budget and flexibility to spend their resources appropriately in order to help prisoners keep important family ties.
Alongside this the Government has started piloting significant relationship performance measures which will provide crucial guidance to deliver more consistent services in areas such as visitations across the entire prisons estate.
The recommendations have been welcomed by Justice Secretary David Lidington who has set out his commitment to creating calm and ordered prison environments to deliver more effective rehabilitation.
Speaking today, he echoed Lord Farmer’s view that family relationships are essential to reducing reoffending.
Justice Secretary David Lidington said:
“Families can play a significant role in supporting an offender and I am grateful to Lord Farmer for his dedication and research on this important issue.
“We are committed to transforming prisons into places of safety and reform and we recognise the need to provide those in our care with stable environments, and opportunities to change their behaviour.
“There are numerous examples of good practice in this area, and we will continue work on a strategy to best support offender needs. That has to start with the numbers of prison officers available to support offenders which is why we are increasing staffing number by 2,500.”
Lord Farmer’s review reflects on progress that has been made in this area over recent years, with many prisons already having defined programmes which puts family relationships at the centre.
Innovative schemes and partnerships with local organisations are also vital vehicles for preparing men for release, and there are already proven partnerships in this area such as Storybook Dads, who help fathers keep in contact with their children, and Partners of Prisoners, who work with prisons to deliver more welcoming visitor environments.
Clinks CEO & Deputy Chair of the Farmer Review, Anne Fox said:
“The Farmer Review listened to over 1,000 men in prison and their families, voluntary organisations across the UK, prison staff and academics.
“The review concludes that quality family services will help people turn away from crime and it will support families to cope. Voluntary organisations have pioneered best practice for decades and now is the time to spread it far and wide.”
The Government has secured an additional £100 million a year investment for an extra 2,500 prison officers. With the increasing numbers of prison officers there will be more time available to directly supervise offenders, provide one-to-one support and increase the number of visits.
This, alongside the creation of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, will put offender management at the centre of our reform agenda and create a necessary cultural change, bringing with it stability and security - and ultimately reducing the risk of reoffending.
Child arrest figures fall to new low **Current**
The number of arrests of children in England and Wales have fallen to a new low - with a drop of 13.9 per cent in the space of a year.
Youth Justice News from Children & Young People Now **Current**