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Disability Hate Crime and Wellbeing Event

Do you live or work in the West Midlands?
Do you have a disability or know someone who does?
Safer Sandwell Hate Crime Partnership Group here for you!

The Safer Sandwell Hate Crime Partnership Group is made up of local agencies including West Midlands Police, Sandwell Council, Victim Support and many other agencies that meet once a month to discuss Hate Crime instances in the Sandwell area and look at how we can improve levels of reporting and support in the local area.

In 2015/2016 only 6% of all reported hate crime was reported as disability hate crime.

Come along to the Disability Hate Crime and Wellbeing Event being held on Thursday 19 October 2017, 10am till 2pm at West Bromwich Town Hall, where you can learn more about what a hate crime is, get advice on how agencies can support you, look around the stalls and engage with agencies.

Advice will be available on site on how to report a hate crime.

Easily accessible location, with pay and display car park on site.

BSL interpreters and sighted guides available on the day.

To register your interest go to Eventbrite by clicking here.

Reasons Why Cyberattacks Succeed Are Revealed

Security professionals have named the main reasons why cyberattacks are successful, providing an insight into the areas charities need to protect.

Malware protection specialist Lastline surveyed attendees at the Black Hat 2017 security conference and found that nearly 55% of respondents have suffered a cyberattack within their respective organisations, with 20% being hit with ransomware. While human error is a contributing factor behind these attacks, the survey also found scarce resources to help security teams respond, and a lack of best practices being implemented to prevent future attacks.

Results of the survey include:

  • Human error continues to be a key cause of cyberattacks: 84% of respondents whose company has suffered a cyberattack attribute it, at least in part, to human error, likely exacerbated by understaffed security teams and a flood of alerts and false positives. 43% say technology detected the attack but the security team took no action, while another 41% attribute the attack to a combination of technology and human error.
  • Ransomware is on the rise, but not necessarily effective: One in five organisations has been victimised by ransomware. Of those hit, just eight percent actually paid the ransom while nearly two-thirds refused.
  • Information resources to understand and mitigate attacks are scarce: Overall, 42% of respondents have no helpful source about the specific attack and are left to figure it out themselves, while 52% seek online information from security experts and vendors, and another 19% rely on peers.
  • Organisations are playing roulette with infected computers: Only 28% of respondents follow best practices and erase and rebuild a computer’s software after a potential malware attack. Seventy percent either manually erase (46%) or rely on AV tools to identify and clean the malware (24%), often resulting in the malware staying in place on the infected machine to continue its attack.
  • Cybercrime: risk versus reward: Despite the recent rise in ransomware, just one percent believes it is the most profitable crime with the lowest risk of getting caught. That distinction goes to cyber espionage (43%) followed by enterprise financial fraud/embezzlement (31%), and identity theft and online banking fraud (25%).
  • The case for preemptive hacking: When questioned whether hackers should be hired to test security systems, six out of ten respondents were open to the idea, suggesting a willingness to try every possible resource to ensure effective security. Only 43% responded with a definite “no.”

“The threat of a cyberattack is something that organisations have to deal with on a daily basis,” said Christopher Kruegel, CEO, Lastline. “This survey highlights the need to adopt best practices and equip security teams with better tools to eliminate false positives and provide crucial information to help them prioritise and address those events that present the highest potential risk.”

Source: Charity Digital News Article.


Sandwell Safer 6 Campaign to launch with Fire Station Open Day

Sandwell’s autumn Safer 6 campaign is back – and launches with an action-packed open day for all the family at Haden Cross Community Fire Station on Saturday 23 September. The Safer Sandwell Partnership campaign, now in its eighth year, runs for six weeks and includes a focus week for each of the six towns.

Safer 6 is all about partner organisations targeting their efforts and providing extra reassurance during the darker nights, fireworks and bonfire season – a time when crime and anti-social behaviour can rise.

Sandwell Mayor Councillor Ahmadul Haque MBE will officially launch the campaign at a special open day at 10.30 am on Saturday 23 September. The event at Haden Cross Community Fire Station, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath, runs from 10 am to 4 pm and everyone is welcome.

Get crime prevention advice from West Midlands Police and Sandwell Crime Prevention Panel, watch a chip pan fire demonstration by West Midlands Fire Service and check out Sandwell Council’s Youth Bus promoting young people’s services.

Enjoy music with Black Country Radio and learn about getting fit and active with Sandwell Leisure Trust.
Attractions include face painting, glitter tattoos, a bouncy castle, dance, make-up sessions, a raffle, refreshments and much more.

Each town will have a focus week during the campaign, as follows.
• 25 September to 1 October: Rowley Regis
• 2 – 8 October: Oldbury
• 9 – 15 October: Tipton
• 16 – 22 October: West Bromwich
• 23 – 29 October: Wednesbury
• 30 October – 5 November: Smethwick

Look out for details of activities in your town over the coming weeks at

Follow the campaign on Twitter using the #Safer6 hashtag.

GM2LF Crime Prevention Events

The Grace Mary to Lion Farm Big Local Partnership is working with the local police and Citizens Advice Sandwell, to help prevent crime in your area.

GM2LF Partnership invite you to go along to one of the crime prevention briefing events on 13, 26 & 27 September and 5 October. You can register for a crime pack on:

• Vehicle Prevention
• Burglary Prevention
• Shed Prevention

Click here to find out the venues of the briefings

Visit GM2LF’s website

Microsoft Releases Updates for Older Windows Versions Following Wannacry Attacks

Microsoft has issued a number of security updates for its Windows XP operating system to help users protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

The move has been heralded as good news for those charities still using the older operating system.

Windows XP was targeted by the much-publicised WannaCry ransomware attack last month. At least 75,000 computers in 99 countries were affected by the malware, which encrypts a computer before demanding a ransom and unlocking it.

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, but the software giant is now taking the unprecedented move of including it in the company’s security updates this week.

“In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyber-attacks by government organisations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors or other copycat organisations,” Adrienne Hall, head of Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center, wrote in a blog.

“To address this risk, today we are providing additional security updates along with our regular Update Tuesday service. These security updates are being made available to all customers, including those using older versions of Windows. Due to the elevated risk for destructive cyber-attacks at this time, we made the decision to take this action because applying these updates provides further protection against potential attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCry.”

For more technical information and links to related articles, visit the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

Source: Charity Digital News


West Midlands Police – Offender Management Referral Pathways

Nosheen Khan is the Pathways Coordinator at West Bromwich Police Station Offender Management Team. The majority of crime is committed by a small proportion of the community. It is the job of the Offender Management Team to work with offenders to support them away from their criminal lifestyle by looking at the pathways to offending, which are:

1) Accommodation
Having nowhere to live, sofa surfing or living in the wrong location.

2) Education, employment and training
Occupying time with positive activity and accessing employment opportunities.

3) Health
Physical and mental health support.

4) Drugs and Alcohol support
Rehab and support away from this lifestyle.

5) Finance and debt
Support through benefit support, debt management.

6) Children and families
Family support with access to children, where appropriate.

7) Attitudes, thinking and behaviour
Changing the way the person is thinking and going through processes like Restorative Justice.

Women offenders need to be supported with:

8) Domestic abuse
Is she a victim? Does she need support through civil injunctions? Advice and support.

9) Sexual health
Has sexual abuse taken place and is medical and/or mental health support required.

Nosheen’s role is to build a database of local support organisations that can support offenders in their rehabilitation, by making local referrals to these organisations for the officers.

If you can support this work please contact Nosheen at West Bromwich Police Station on 101 Ext. 8811 3230, or email



Vigil for Manchester in Oldbury Civic Square – Thursday Evening, 25 May at 7 pm

Communities in Sandwell are joining together for a vigil in memory of the victims of Monday’s Manchester concert attack.  Everyone is welcome at the vigil in Oldbury Civic Square outside Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, tomorrow, Thursday 25 May, from 7 pm to 8 pm.

People can bring candles and tributes if they wish, and there will be an opportunity to sign a Sandwell letter of solidarity that will be sent to Manchester.

Should you need more information, please contact


Identifying How Best to Support Victims in the West Midlands

 The University of Leicester, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Midlands, would like to invite you to share your expectations of hate crime support services in the West Midlands by completing a questionnaire.

Alongside this survey they are also conducting interviews. If you would like to tell them more about your ideas for how support services for hate crime victims could be improved, please fill in your contact details at the end of this questionnaire.

Who should complete the questionnaire?
Anyone aged 16 or over who live in the West Midlands.

What will the results of the survey be used for?
The findings from this research will help to develop new and improved support services for hate crime victims in the West Midlands.

All of the information included within the survey will be treated in the strictest confidence and stored securely by the research team.

Access the survey here.

Council Invites Views on New Vision for Sandwell

Sandwell Council in its leadership role in the Borough has recognised that the time is right to refocus Sandwell’s vision for the future. The Council has kicked off the process of refocusing the vision by suggesting 10 ambitions for Sandwell. It is now inviting local voluntary and community organisations to share their views, ambitions and vision for our borough.

This process aims to:-
• Set shared aspirations for what we want for the borough in 2030
• To drive and focus what the Council does to achieve this
• To focus partnership working and influence others to help achieve the vision

Since January the Council have been engaging with various groups of people in Sandwell to see what they think, including residents in the six towns, businesses, the voluntary and community sector and other public bodies.

The 10 ambitions listed below reflect the rapidly changing world around us that bring huge opportunities but also potential threats. The key message of Vision 2030 is to create a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and aspirations are raised. A place where people choose to raise their families and a resilient Sandwell that can cope with and benefit from the changing world around us.

Five of the ambitions focus on creating resilient Sandwell PEOPLE

Five of the ambitions focus on creating a resilient Sandwell the PLACE

The Council is seeking your views:-
• Are these the right ambitions for 2030?
• Which do you think are the most important for Sandwell?
• What are the most important aspects to address in your local area?
• How do we ensure that Sandwell is a place where families choose to bring up their families?

Please take time to complete the online survey and have your say:

Ambitions for People

Ambition 1

By 2030, Sandwell will be a borough where families’ aspirations are raised and that prides itself on equality of opportunity and resilience to change.

Ambition 2

By 2030, Sandwell will be a place where people and families are healthier for longer and are safer.

Ambition 3

By 2030, Sandwell’s young people will have better skills and working people will have developed new skills – giving Sandwell a workforce geared up to respond to changes in business needs and the economy.

Ambition 4

By 2030, secondary school quality will have been raised, and superb primary schools will be giving children the best start.

Ambition 5

By 2030, crime will have fallen and anti-social behaviour incidents will be few and far between.

Ambitions for Place

Ambition 6

By 2030, Sandwell will have excellent public transport links to jobs in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, the airport and the wider West Midlands.

Ambition 7

By 2030, Sandwell will have significant numbers of new homes built along key transport routes and there will be major new employment sites.

Ambition 8

By 2030, Sandwell’s six towns will have continued to develop a strong sense of local identity and pride and will be a better environment in which people choose to bring up their families.

Ambition 9

By 2030, Sandwell will host the industries of the future and will have boosted the best performing companies to grow.

Ambition 10

By 2030, Sandwell will have a national reputation for getting things done, focussing on what really matters in people’s lives and their wider community.

Big Spring Clean Back for 2017

Sandwell’s ever-popular Big Spring Clean campaign is back for 2017 – and local people and organisations are invited to get involved with litter picking, graffiti removal, planting and painting.

The campaign will launch with a community litter-picking event at Victoria Park, Smethwick, on Friday 3 March 2017.

Sandwell Council has teamed up again with waste partner Serco and local charity Litter Watch to recruit volunteers for the 11th annual Sandwell Big Spring Clean.

Sandwell’s campaign this year ties in with a national Great British Spring Clean and will run until the end of September. It will also help celebrate Litter Watch’s 20th birthday.

Residents are also asked to help identify pieces of land that, subject to the owners’ permission, could be transformed into wild flower areas, herb gardens or potato patches.

Email or call 0121 544 3916 to register your interest.

Councillor David Hosell, the council’s cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “The Big Spring Clean is always popular with local people and organisations, and we thank the thousands of people who’ve taken part in our previous campaigns.
“It’s a great way to get people together – with residents, community groups, faith groups, schools and businesses all supporting the campaign.

“Volunteers can decide what they’d like to do on their Big Spring Clean event including litter picking, graffiti removal, planting or painting.

“This campaign builds on our regular cleaning and upkeep of streets and parks, and encourages volunteering and community partnerships.”

Jason Holtom, partnership director for Serco in Sandwell, said: “We are very pleased to be getting involved in such a positive campaign for another year running.

“The campaign continues to go from strength to strength and it’s really great to see the enthusiasm for the Big Spring Clean and what can be achieved when members of a community come together.

“Pledging a small amount of time can make a big difference to a local area and we encourage volunteers to get involved to help improve their neighbourhoods.”

Go to our Big Spring Clean webpage for more information.

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