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Community Safety Online Consultation

Sandwell residents, workers and students are being asked to share their thoughts, feelings and concerns about community safety, as part of Safer Sandwell Partnership’s online consultation, which runs until 6 November 2021

The consultation will be used to update Sandwell’s Community Safety Strategy, and will help inform actions to tackle the issues identified by local people.

The Community Safety Strategy Consultation is also part of the annual autumn Safer 6 campaign.

The Safer Sandwell Partnership wants to hear from people who live, work or study in Sandwell about:

• how safe they feel

• the crimes that they are most concerned about, and

• what they think is needed to crack down on these and increase their feelings of safety.

The link to the consultation can be found at: www.sandwell.gov.uk/communitysafetysurvey


Anti-Slavery Day: Monday, 18th October 2021

The Medaille Trust is a national charity with a mission to provide refuge and freedom from modern slavery. They are one of the largest provider of supported safe house beds for victims of modern slavery in the UK. Their Moving on Project is to raise awareness around support to adult female survivors of modern slavery, exploitation and trafficking for Anti-Slavery Day.

The charity provides help with:
• Casework and befriending
• Physical and mental wellbeing
• Education, employment and volunteering
• Community activities
• Independent living and access to justice.

The Medaille Trust cover the West Midlands and women can complete a self- referral form or be referred by professionals.

For more information please contact Katie Moreton at K.Moreton@medaille-trust.org.uk

Visit the website


Sandwell’s Safer 6 campaign is back for 2021

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign gets under way on Monday 27 September, promoting a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice for people of all ages.

The six-week campaign, now in its 12th year, has a special online focus this year, with activities also being planned across Sandwell’s six towns including speed awareness, walkabouts, litter picks and skip days. We will also be launching the resident consultation for Sandwell’s new Community Safety strategy.

Safer 6 runs from 27 September to 7 November 2021. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme:

Week 1 (27 September-3 October): Substance misuse
Week 2 (4-10 October): Under 25 violence and county lines
Week 3 (11-17 October): Hate crime
Week 4 (18-24 October): Exploitation
Week 5 (25-31 October): Anti-social behaviour and crime
Week 6 (1-7 November): Violence against women and girls

The campaign is led by Sandwell Council for the Safer Sandwell Partnership, which brings together the council, Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and many other partner organisations.

Visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/safer6 for more information on the campaign.

 

 


iTrust Programme win prestigious public service award

Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme was declared the Best Community and Neighbourhood Initiative including Community Safety in the prestigious Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) Annual Service Awards 2021.

The APSE Awards recognised frontline service teams and special initiatives delivered by UK local authorities and public sector partners. This year’s awards, with 22 categories covering the vast majority of local services, were agreed by a panel of expert judges, following a rigorous selection process.

The winners were announced at the APSE Annual Charity Awards Dinner, in aid of Parkinson’s UK, at the ICC in Birmingham.

iTrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme, which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.

The programme was delivered by a small team within the council, who worked closely with partners in the police and the voluntary sector, schools and families to identify and support children in years six and seven in the Smethwick and West Bromwich areas, taking an approach based on very early intervention to increase confidence, build resilience and drive aspirations.

The programme engaged with 28 primary and secondary schools in the two towns, seeking to provide universal activities for 700 children and targeted one-to-one mentoring for 85 children. It significantly exceeded these goals, with over 1,500 children attending universal sessions and 241 receiving individual mentoring support.


Police and Crime Plan Consultation

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, wants to hear what people’s priorities are, what crimes they are most concerned about and their views on the way the police is funded.

A PCC’s term is normally four years, but the pandemic delayed last May’s voting by 12 months so on this occasion it will be a three year term. Simon Foster has already committed to ensuring 450 new police officers are recruited and deployed to local communities across the region. Some of the PCC’s priorities include tackling knife crime and domestic abuse. His Police and Crime Plan will set out a much wider range of policy objectives and the PCC wants to hear the views of the public before writing it.

The consultation will run until 10.00 am on 14th September 2021.

The new West Midlands Police and Crime Plan is set to be published in October once it has been considered by the cross-party Police and Crime Panel.

The consultation is also available in other formats on request.

For further information on the consultation, click here.

 


Appeal as Rare Breed Lambs Stolen from Sandwell Farm

Devastated staff at Forge Mill Farm in West Bromwich are appealing for help to catch thieves who stole two rare breed lambs on the evening of Sunday 25 July 2021.

The two Pedigree Shropshire ewe lambs were born in February and were due to join the farm’s breeding flock next year. The animals were particularly important to the farm and its work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). The Shropshire sheep is one of the success stories to come out of the RBST’s programme to boost numbers of vulnerable livestock in the UK.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member responsible for the borough’s farms and parks Councillor Maria Crompton said: “This theft is a huge loss for the team that works so hard to care for the animals throughout the year and for the people of Sandwell that visit our farm”.

“The farm staff are devastated by this callous act. These lambs are irreplaceable as it takes a huge amount of time and energy to produce rare breed sheep of such high genetic quality as these and for them to be stolen, and most likely slaughtered is disgusting.

“We are appealing for anyone who witnessed people acting suspiciously on Forge Lane, West Bromwich around 10.30pm on Sunday, 25 July or knows anything to call the police.

“The animals taken from Forge Mill Farm are not fit for human consumption. Don’t buy meat except from a reputable shop – it could be a health risk, not a bargain.”

We have CCTV of the incident taking place which West Midlands police are using to identify the individuals involved.

West Midlands Police have issued a crime reference number 20/146 4767/12 and an incident report number 849 26/07/2021. Anyone with any information is asked to report this using the reference numbers to the police via LiveChat at https://west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/live-chat or by calling 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Any cases of illegal slaughter should be reported to Sandwell’s consumer protection team at EHTS_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk.

 


Domestic Abuse is a Workplace Issue

In July 2020 Sandwell Council reported that the workplace can be an invaluable lifeline for people experiencing domestic abuse. Employers also have a duty of care and a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work environment, and tackling domestic abuse is an integral part of this.

The Domestic Abuse: Toolkit for Employers, has recently been updated to include new case studies, initiatives and information on the recently passed Domestic Abuse Act.  Published by Business in the Community, the toolkit is sponsored by the Insurance Charities and supported by the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse. It recommends a ‘four Rs’ approach by employers:

Recognise
Help everyone in the company to recognise the signs of abuse and understand that it is a workplace issue that everyone can play a part in tackling.

Respond
Have policies in place for what happens when a member of the team discloses that they are being abused.

Refer
Know where and how to refer people for help, information and support.

Record
Keep accurate details of what is said as this can be used as evidence if the police become involved.

The toolkit contains information and advice about how to spot domestic abuse, how to set out workplace policies and how to take appropriate action. It also gives practical examples of workplace support and how to start difficult conversations. The full toolkit can be downloaded from the Business in the Community website.

For more information and resources on domestic abuse, and other aspects of mental and physical health at work, please visit Sandwell workplace wellbeing page


Hate Crime

The Safer Sandwell Partnership Police and Crime Board which consists of Sandwell Council, West Midlands Police and other organisations in the community has made tackling and eradiating hate crime a key priority.

What is hate crime?
A hate crime is hostility against a person or a group of people where they have been targeted because of their:

  • Race
  • Faith
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Disability
  • Any other characteristic that is different to that of the perpetrator’s or that which the perpetrator thinks is different

What are the impacts of hate crime?

  • Victims can be left traumatised and terrified
  • Negatively impacts on the health and wellbeing of victims and their family and friends
  • Can be violent
  • Can impact on an entire community
  • Can lead to tensions and conflict
  • What can I do about hate crime?
  • It is important to report a hate crime that you have been the victim of or witnessed. By reporting, you are taking action to stamp out hate crime in Sandwell.

Your report will be taken seriously and can help stop the perpetrator from doing this again and provide the police with information that will help them to protect everyone in Sandwell from hate crime. When a criminal offence is classed as a hate crime, courts in England and Wales have the power to give tougher sentences to the perpetrator. Also, by reporting, victims can get access to specialised support and advice that will help them to feel safe once more.

If you have witnessed a hate crime, it can also be helpful to a victim to speak to them in a friendly manner and make them feel reassured if it is safe to do so. This can show the victim they are not alone and might make them feel safer.

For further information about what to do if you or someone has been a victim of a hate crime please view the link for further information.


West Midlands Police and Crime Panel seeks Independent Panel Member

The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel are looking for a community-minded individual to become a member. You will act as an independent voice, sitting alongside Councillors from the seven local councils in the West Midlands area, to scrutinise the work of the elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

The West Midlands has recently elected a new Police and Crime Commissioner whose job it is to make sure West Midlands Police is run effectively and community needs are met. They set the police budget and priorities and bring together community safety and criminal justice partners to fight crime and help victims.

The Panel is an independent body that publicly scrutinises the activities and priorities of the Commissioner – acting as a critical friend by providing both constructive challenge and support. The Panel is an integral part of the governance structures for policing by promoting open, accountable and transparent decision-making.

This is an exciting opportunity for a member of the public with community-based experience and an interest in policing, community safety and victim support, to apply their insight and skills to reviewing the strategic plans, budget and performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Term of appointment:
Fixed three-year term, starting in July 2021.

Remuneration:
This is a voluntary role but travel and carers expenses can be claimed.

Training:
Induction and other appropriate training will be provided.

Time commitment:
Attendance at approximately six meetings a year plus preparation time. Meetings are usually held on Mondays 1 pm – 5 pm, across the West Midlands. Dates for the year are set in advance. More information about the Police and Crime Panel and the Independent Panel Member role is in our Recruitment Pack

See details on how to apply at www.westmidlandspcp.co.uk.  Applications forms should be returned to wmpcp@birmingham.gov.uk.

The closing date for applications is 6 June 2021. Interviews will be week commencing 28 June 2021. The first Panel meeting will be on 12 July 2021.

For informal inquiries please contact the Panel Officer on email at wmpcp@birmingham.gov.uk.

Applicants must be over 18 and live or work in the West Midlands. Please see full eligibility criteria in the recruitment pack. The Panel welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, including those with caring responsibilities.

 


Sandwell Council’s Online Safety Consultation Survey

Sandwell Council is undertaking an Online Safety Review to develop a single approach to online safety training and support for children and young people, parents, the wider adult community and professionals.

The Council would like to engage with as many different groups as possible to canvass views on online safety, using the following questions as a guide.

1. What is your understanding of the phrase ‘online safety’?
2. What do you think, are the current issues affecting children and young people online?
3. What do you think, are the current issues affecting adults online?
4. What support or training would you like to receive in online safety?
5. In what format would you like training/support in online safety to be delivered?
6. What barriers or challenges do you face when accessing or engaging in online safety training?
7. Are there any other comments you would like to make about online safety?

If you would like to be involved in the consultation please contact Lydia Dunne on lydia_dunne@sandwell.gov.uk


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