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Learn about Hate Crime from the Crown Prosecution Service

The Independent Members of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Black Country Innovate and the Crown Prosecution Service would like to invite you to attend a workshop on hate crimes. The event takes place on place on Wednesday, 17th March 2021.

The aim of the workshop is to explore what constitutes a hate crime, how to report one, raise awareness and build resilience in communities to tackle hate crimes.

The workshop will end with a Q&A session, when you will have the opportunity to put questions to the CPS.

This event is open to all.  To register click here.


Barnardo’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Family Covid-19 Helpline

Barnardos is offering specialist support to children over 11, young people and families from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, affect by COVID-19.

Call 0800 1512 605 to speak to a friendly person. Lines open Monday to Friday 10 am to 8 pm. Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm.

You can also talk to a member of the team by webchat at helpline.barnardos.org.uk and click on the bottom right. Openings times as above.

Further information.


West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Victims Summit

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has announced his final annual Victims Summit will be taking place virtually on Thursday, 25th February 2021. The theme of this year’s summit is ending Violence against Women and Girls.

Violence against women and girls has been defined by the United Nations as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.’

Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the reduction in the perpetration of some crime types, violence against women and girls has been referred to as the shadow pandemic with the number of victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence continuing to rise.

A core priority of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan has been preventing and detecting hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage and honour based abuse, FGM and sexual exploitation, many of which have also been held as key priorities of the Victims Commission. The majority of these hidden crimes disproportionately impact women and girls.

The prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls must continue to be prioritised across the whole system and the Victims Summit will enable key stakeholders and partners to come together to hear from Keynote speakers Dame Vera Baird and Jess Philips MP, and engage in discussion on tackling these issues. Themes which will be discussed on the day include violence against women and girls, working effectively with domestic abuse perpetrators, the impact of Covid-19 and PCC priorities.

The agenda and further details of how to access the meeting on Zoom will be shared once partners have signed up to attend.

Please direct any queries to Jennifer Alder, Sexual Assault and Abuse Services Coordinator, on 07436 781920.


Stark Warning from Sandwell over New Variant of Coronavirus

Sandwell’s director for public health Dr Lisa McNally today issued this stark warning: “A new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has now spread to most areas of the country.

“It is expected to be prevalent in our area very soon.

“The problem is the speed of transmission – we can expect a dramatic rise in cases over the next few weeks which inevitably means more pressure on already strained hospital critical care units and an increase in deaths.

“Our data suggests that shops, and especially supermarkets, are likely places for infection.”

Councillor Maria Crompton, deputy leader, Sandwell Council added: “We want everyone to stay safe this Christmas so please do not take any unnecessary risks.

“COVID-19 can be a fatal illness and it is vital we all do what we can to stop the spread and in particular protect our most vulnerable residents.”

Anyone with symptoms must get tested straight away and ensure they self-isolate for the full 10 days.


Advice and guidance from the Counter Terrorism Policing to Faith groups

Following the recent attacks in France and Austria, the local Policing Unit at Sandwell would like to send a message. West Midlands Police are always here to help and support, and understand that these times can raise community concerns.

To report a crime, incident or any concerns, please contact the police via Live Chat on the website, www.west-midlands.police.ukbetween 8 am and midnight or call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

This is an emotive time for all faiths, communities and those people affected. Please be vigilant of any concerns related to these attacks with individual or groups, and let the police know. There will be a lot of talk and discussion, on online platforms and social media, so please ensure children and the vulnerable are kept safe online. If you need advice, guidance or resources on online safety, please contact Prevent Education Officer, at justin_nixon@sandwell.gov.uk or call 07790396643.

Sandwell Prevent Team contacts.

Further information.


Free online Loan Shark Training Session

A free online Loan shark training session will be available on Tuesday 17th November at 11.00 am. The training will be with Nadeem Mahammed from Birmingham Council’s Illegal Money Lending Team

Anyone can be a victim of a loan shark – your family, friends, neighbours and even you. It’s not always easy to spot a loan shark as they come in all shapes and sizes and will at first appear friendly, just part of the community. It is when you can’t pay that they will turn on you.

To book a place contact susan_clark@sandwell.gov.uk

Loan sharks:
• Are running an unauthorised businesses under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
• Often refuse to tell the borrower how much they still owe or when repayments finish.
• Often increase the debt or add additional amounts.
• May take items as security- including passports, bank cards and driving licences.
• May resort to violence, threats and intimidation.
• What is being done to stop this?

The Illegal Money Lending Team investigates illegal money lending and any related offences. In the past this has included violence, blackmail, drugs offences, threats, kidnap and even rape.

If you think you may be involved with a loan shark, call the team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or Text 0786 002 2116.  E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.

Visit www.stoploansharks.co.uk


Outdoor Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation COVID-19 Guidance

Public Health have created an overview from the official Government COVID-19 guidance and Sport England resources to aid organisations returning in their delivery of outdoor physical activities, sport and recreation.

Please note, there is separate guidance for Out of School Activity for children. If you are providing out of school activities for children, please refer to this guidance as well.

The report can be accessed by clicking the adjacent link Physical Activity Providers V3.

Source: Public Health

 


West Midlands Police – Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

A message from Chief Superintendent Mat Shaer, Force Lead for Hate Crime:

“Dear All,

You will all, no doubt, be aware that due to the current Covid-19 situation, this season’s Pride events will be held entirely online.  I am aware through contact with the LGBTQ+ community; both within West Midlands Police and wider, and national policing of a planned campaign of homophobic abuse. It is suggested certain individuals are planning to attack websites and social media accounts that have posted support for the LGBTQ+ community.

This kind of harassment is clearly unacceptable. I would like to reassure anybody who is concerned that this is being taken seriously. There are robust plans locally and nationally to deal with any incidents as well as to support those who may be affected.

I would encourage anyone affected to make contact with West Midlands Police (Hate Crime App, Live Chat, 101) or True Vision or third party reporting centres and/or their community support networks.”


Regulators Urge Safe Giving to Charities as Communities Respond to Coronavirus Pandemic

The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator urge people to ‘give safely’ as people continue to respond with generosity in the current crisis.

At this time of national emergency charities are coming together to support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is vital at this unprecedented time of need that donations reach their intended cause. Charities will form a core part of our collective response to the pandemic, so we encourage people to give to existing registered charities. By giving to a registered, regulated charity, the public can have assurance that their funds will be accounted for in line with the charity law framework.

The regulators encourage people to support registered charities, including the National Emergencies Trust (NET) national coronavirus fundraising appeal, launched yesterday to raise funds for local charities responding to the pandemic. The Commission helped to establish the NET following other devastating disasters, and it is well equipped to coordinate the charity sector’s contribution to emergency response.

Thousands of other registered charities are also dealing with the pandemic or continuing to do important work throughout the country to support vulnerable people and communities.

Advice for the public on giving safely to registered charities is:

  • check the charity’s name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered
  • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
  • be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
  • contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending

To read the full Charity Commission article click here.

Source: Charity Commission


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Increased Risk of Fraud and Cybercrime Against Charities

Fraudsters are exploiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to carry out fraud and cybercrime. Police have reported an increase in coronavirus related scams.

The Charity Commission are issuing this alert to help charities minimise the risk of becoming a victim of such frauds and cyber-attacks.

All charities, but especially those providing services and supporting local communities during the coronavirus crisis, could be targeted by fraudsters.

Webinar about the risks of coronavirus frauds: what to watch out for and how to stay safe click here to watch.

The Fraud Advisory Panel and Charity Commission have pre-recorded a webinar with sector partners to help you spot COVID-19 related fraud, and better protect your charity from harm.

The Charity Commission have joined by fraud experts from the City of London Police and Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy who share practical advice and tips.

To read the full Charity Commission article click here.

Source: Charity Commission


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