The East Riding of Yorkshire
The East Riding of Yorkshire is an area of 930 square miles, only 68 square miles less than the country of Luxemburg which is 998 square miles. The East Riding has 53 miles of coastline, 333 settlements and a population of 350,000 just over half of whom live in dispersed rural communities. The area is served by 1 district council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council which covers 13 Town Councils and 155 Parish Councils.
The geography of the area provides its own challenges and the dispersed nature of service demand has implications to all sectors delivering services as well as the communities who live there.
Engaging the East Riding
My role as Engagement Officer representing the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) was introduced in June 2017 and has been much welcomed by communities and partner organisations alike. I work with individuals, parish, town and East Riding Councils, partner and community organisations as well as the East Riding Community Safety Partnership (CSP). My work has included raising awareness of the role and responsibilities of the Police & Crime Commissioner and his office, the Police & Crime Plan as well as the East Riding Community Safety Partnership and I share information on how to access to funding.
I provide support to the CSP who are an East Riding Partnership involving the Humberside Police, Probation, Fire & Rescue Service, Health and East Riding Council together with representation from the Voluntary Sector and the OPCC.
The CSP is collectively responsible for overseeing the Community Safety of the East Riding and they have been awarded funding by the PCC for them to allocate through grants to Partner organisations and community groups for community safety activities. This funding has delivered a wide range of services from Domestic Abuse Services across the East Riding to small local projects such as youth activities and CCTV systems.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is elected to represent the public and my role is to represent him and the public in policing and community safety meetings and I represent the PCC in community meetings. We are not part of Humberside Police and whilst we are unable to get involved in individual cases. However, I am able to raise community concerns with the Police and signpost to the correct agency or department if someone is having difficulty talking to the right people for their problem.
I am able to provide and feedback the correct information which often makes a big difference to people’s perceptions and understanding of why things have or haven’t happened in the way they thought they should. The independent nature of my role ensures impartiality and creates an ‘enabling’ approach to all aspects of engagement.
I champion rural safety with all partners and have worked with Humberside Police to host a Rural Safety Conference and to create a Rural Safety Panel with representatives from agencies, community organisations and rural residents who work together to focus on those issues affecting rural communities.
As Engagement Officer I collated information and highlighted issues to Humberside Police which resulted in greater recognition of the impact of rural crime and the need to provide not only improved responses but improved communication about the work that was being undertaken to disrupt and disperse offenders across the area. This led to the formation of a Force Rural Crime Group consisting of a Partnership of Humberside Police (East Riding and North Lincolnshire), the Crown Prosecution Service, the Local Authority and the Office of the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC). The Group meets regularly and looks at all aspects of rural, wildlife and heritage crime, operational issues and operations which arise from rural crime and consider collective ways to improve rural safety.
I represent the OPCC on the Crime Stoppers Humber Board which is the local representation for the national and well known national Crime Stoppers charity. Work is currently underway to set up a Humber wide network to promote Crime Stoppers who provide a confidential telephone and internet service for you to pass information to the Police on crime and criminals. Such a service is really valuable, particularly in small communities where relationships are so important.
I am passionate about the beautiful East Riding and understand the issues that affect those living in rural communities.
Town & Parish Council Engagement Programme.
Due to the large geography and number of Town and Parish Councils in the East Riding I am continuing working on an engagement programme which is aimed at Town & Parish Councils as the first line of community representation. The PCC, Keith Hunter has met with representatives from over 55 Town and Parish Councils during the months of October and November 2018. These meetings have been very positive providing an opportunity for your local Councillors to ask questions and learn about what is being done within policing in Humberside and to support local communities. The next phase of these meetings will take place in March, April and May 2019.
January saw the introduction of a quarterly e-bulletin sent to every Town or Parish Clerk across the East Riding with aim of setting up two way channel for conversation. The Councils have been asked to identify their top 3 community safety priorities for 2019/20 which will then inform the East Riding Community Safety Partnership (CSP) and help agencies understand the real East Riding community concerns and help in decision making.
The East Riding CSP has been asked by the PCC to operate a Crime Reduction Fund which enables community and not-for-profit groups to apply for funding for projects which will improve community safety. The CSP in turn have nominated the Two Ridings Community Foundation Trust to administer the fund on their behalf. Projects must meet one of the following Police & Crime Plan aims:
Aim 1: Deliver increasingly self-sustaining and safe communities in the Humber area.
Aim 2: Build confidence in the agencies involved in creating safer communities
Aim 3: Provide services to victims and the most vulnerable that meet their needs,
The scheme has a dedicated page on the Two Ridings Community Foundation website https://www.trcf.org.uk/grants-er-crime-reduction-fund.