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Engagement Quarterly Blog – January 2024

Hello everyone, Welcome back to my quarterly engagement blog update.

This entry will update you on the community engagement work I have participated in as Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York over October – December 2023.

During this time there have been many engagement activities which have taken place, so I wanted to highlight these moments which continue to be fantastic opportunities for me to be out meeting North Yorkshire and City of York communities.

North Yorkshire & York Supermarket Drop in Engagement Mornings October – December 2023.

My team have continued with Supermarket Engagement Mornings over the last three months, and it continues to be a fantastic way to meet and speak to so many members of the public across the entire county hearing about the issues and concerns they have around our police and fire services. Thank you to everyone who popped along and chatted in Ripon, Stokesley, York and Boroughbridge.

Once again, I would like to extend a massive thanks to the kind staff of Co-op, Booths and Morrisons for allowing my team to continue visiting and using their stores for drop in mornings.

Information on my teams upcoming Supermarket visits for 2024 can be found on the website:  https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/commissioner/

October 2023

5 October Malton Anti-Social Behaviour Stakeholder Meeting

I was contacted by local County Councillor Lindsay Burr and Malton Parish Town Council who had received concerns from residents around anti-social behaviour in Malton. I helped arrange a meeting for key local partners and the Malton Neighbourhood Policing team to come together to discuss matters further.

The meeting was beneficial, and I am looking forward to our follow up meeting in the new year to see how things have progressed.

17 October York St John University Policing Students Live Crime Scenario Morning

I spent the morning at York St John University along with members of my team to observe the level five second year policing students taking part in a reconstructed National Crime Scenario.

The policing students were given a briefing, assigned roles of Inspectors, Sergeants and Response Officers before making their way over to the scene of the crime. The scenario included paramedic and journalism students too, as well as having amateur and professional actors being the witnesses for the major incident.

After the scenario was completed, the I was invited to the debrief session where I spoke with students about my role before opening it up for a Q&A session.

I am so impressed with York St John University being able to provide its students with opportunities like this simulation day which really does provide them with an idea of what it will be like in the real day to day life of being a member of the police. It was great to see North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and other emergency agencies all taking the time to be a part of this exercise, and on hand to assist and answer students’ questions throughout the whole morning.

Support from real practitioners is an amazing way to learn, and I think this will have really helped these students decide what path they would like to follow going forward.

A massive thank you to Giles, Jazz, and the University for arranging and inviting us to join them for this experience.

17 October York College A Level Students Afternoon & Speech

I attended York College’s Crime and Justice Day as a keynote speaker to address students currently on the Uniformed Protective Services course about my journey to becoming the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

The students then had a Q&A Session asking me about how I hold the police and fire services to account and asking what their next steps should be transitioning out of Higher Education into employment within these services.

It was great to speak to students at York College about my role and I hope that many of them will now tune in to watch my monthly Online Public Meetings via my offices YouTube Channel and continue to be passionate and enthusiastic about joining our local public services in the future.

Thank you to Lecturer Kyle and York College for inviting me.

18 October MENCAP Northallerton Hate Crime Awareness Week Event

 As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, I attend a partners’ network event at Northallerton Town Hall with my Community Engagement Officer.

It was fantastic to have so many local organisations in attendance and being available to members of the community to come in and find out more about their services, and how they can help towards tackling local Hate Crime.

We were also treated to a special poem performance by members of the local Northallerton and Dales Mencap Society which was around this year’s awareness week’s theme of disability.

They all did a fantastic job standing up and delivering the poem together for everyone in attendance.

We would like to thank Helenor, Tracey and Sue for organising such a great awareness week event.

23 – 29 October International Force Control Room Week

This week was all about celebrating the hard work of the dedicated staff who answer when you call ‘101’ or ‘999’ for help.

I enjoyed dropping in and visiting both North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s force control rooms across this awareness week to thank them personally for the amazing and crucial work they provide to the public of North Yorkshire and York.

23 October Bishopthorpe Ward Meeting

York Councillor Michael Nicholls invited me to join him at his ward meeting in Bishopthorpe. The meeting was focused on local road safety issues where I was able discuss North Yorkshire Police’s  stance on 20mph zones, my view of a self-enforcing highway network in areas where 20mph would be appropriate. Thank you for inviting me to join the meeting and listen to residents’ concerns.

27 October North Yorkshire Wider Partnership Conference

Members of my team and I had a wonderful time taking part at the North Yorkshire Wider Partnership Conference at The Pavillions of Harrogate.

It was great to showcase all the fantastic work and services the office offers to the people of North Yorkshire and City of York, as well as having the opportunity to engage and network with other partners.

Thank you to the partnership for the opportunity, and the team looks forward to returning next year.

November 2023

11 November Craven u3a Meeting

What a very enjoyable morning I had at u3a in Skipton.

I thoroughly enjoyed giving a talk and answering questions regarding both police and fire services and gave an insight into my office and the work we carry out and victim services we commission.

3 November Clean Slate Solutions Meeting Northallerton

I was invited by Clean Slate Solutions with members of my team to an afternoon in Northallerton to hear all about how funding from my office has helped support the company over the last few years.

We were presented with a slideshow and short video showcasing the social impact and overall statistics for the projects we helped fund which aim to reduce reoffending and contribute to safer communities by diverting people with former convictions into meaningful, sustainable employment within 12 months.

It was an extremely insightful session, and I would like to thank in particular one of their beneficiaries who also attended the meeting and openly share their experience of how Clean Slate Solutions has helped them back into employment. It was very moving and great to hear how far they have come already.

Massive thank you again to Richard and the whole team at Clean Slate Solutions. Information on how to apply for my Community Fund can be found here: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/community-projects/apply-community-fund/

22 November Brake Road Safety Awareness Week Visit to North Yorkshire Police Traffic Bureau

For this Road Safety Awareness week, I visited the North Yorkshire Police Safety Camera Van and the Traffic Bureau team in York to find out more about their work and how they are keeping communities safe.

I have also added a link to where North Yorkshire Police bust 10 myths about mobile safety cameras:


December 2023

25 November – 10 December – 16 Days of Action – Violence Against Women and Girls #ChangeTheStory

To mark the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) 16 Days of Action this year, my office began by celebrating White Ribbon Day.

I am so very proud that my office continues to be a White Ribbon Supporter Organisation, making a promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against Women and Girls. It is always a great way to kick off our 16 Days of Action work.

This year as well saw North Yorkshire Police awarded White Ribbon Accreditation which I was really pleased to see and symbolises their commitment to ending violence against women.

Being a White Ribbon Supporter naturally aligns with the work we are already doing locally, which focuses on listening and engaging with women and those with lived experience strengthening our multi-agency approach to address VAWG, enhancing support services for victims, and facilitating behaviour change for perpetrators.

I also attended several engagements over this period and had the pleasure of visiting one of our commissioner services +Choices at their main office in York. This is a voluntary service for perpetrators of domestic abuse, providing an opportunity to recognise, acknowledge and change abusive behaviour.

I enjoyed finding out more about the service, and humbled to talk with one of their clients about how the perpetrators course helped them turn their life around for the better, and how they were now going to stay on and work as a peer mentor. Thank you to Laura and the team for having us for the morning.

Next, I had a morning visit to IDAS York Office. I was introduced to their new Family Courts Liaison Officer who is looking into improving the experience and safety for those going through the courts. I also spoke with other team members who work with young people that show abuse to their parents, and found out more around the work they do which was very interesting. Thanks to everyone at IDAS for having my team and I drop in.

Finally, members of my office also visited the St Giles Trust, Liberty Links Van in Ryedale who secured £20,000 funding from my Community Fund to go towards the purchase of the mobile provision. The converted van is used to provide a safe, gender specific, multi-agency service to women who are: victims/at risk of harm and hidden harms (including sexual exploitation); with multiple unmet needs; with substance misuse issues; at risk of entering, or currently involved with, the Criminal Justice System.

‘Libby’ the van will go on to work across York and North Yorkshire and initially target women who face barriers to accessing services such as those in rural, isolated areas.

Find out more about the 16 Days of Action here:  https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/womenandgirls/16-days-of-action/

4 December Launch of Precept Consultation 2024-2025

One of my roles is to set the precepts for North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, something every Commissioner must do each year.

It is never easy to ask residents for more money, and I know that many individuals and families are facing financial pressures once again this coming year, but our emergency services are also dealing with rising costs as they continue their vital work to keep us all safe.

The survey closed on midnight Monday 21 January 2024, and I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. I will ensure your views are reflected when decisions are made at the Police, Fire and Crime Panel in February.

16 December York IAM Group Coffee Morning, Copmanthorpe

Left: Commissioner Zoë with members of the York IAM members. Right: Commissioner Zoë with Richard Gladman (right) Chief Examiner with IAM Road Smart, and Ian Goring Chief Observer & Training Manager at York IAM Group (Centre).

I had a lovely morning with the York IAM Group meeting members who recently completed their advanced driver’s course. The course was joint funded by the Keep Kids Safe Scheme which applied for funding from my offices AJ1Project Road Safety Fund and was awarded £8,940.00.

I also had the pleasure of presenting their Chief Training Manager, Ian Goring, with the national award for runner-up in the IAM Volunteer of the Year Category. Ian was nominated for his can-do attitude and giving his time to constantly support and encourage others.

Congratulations to Ian and thank you to Richard and everyone at the York IAM Group for having me.

Engagement opportunities over the coming months:

  • Supermarket Drop in Mornings:
    • 10 January 2024 – Selby Morrisons
    • 20 March 2024 – Whitby Co-op
  • Awareness Weeks
    • 5-8 February 2024 – Sexual Violence Awareness Week
    • 8 March 2024 – International Women’s Day
    • 18 March 2024- National Child Exploitation Day
    • 8-12 April 2024 National Stalking Awareness Week
  • Community Fund Project Visits
  • Community Working Group Meetings

Very Important Reminders:  

  • I will be continuing with my monthly Virtual Advice Surgeries with my final one being in March 2024. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to discuss any matters you think should be brought to my attention relating to policing or the fire service in your community. To request an appointment or for any information on advice surgeries this can be found here: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/commissioner/
  • The Online Public Meetings will continue to take place every third Thursday of the month, but each month will focus on either North Yorkshire Police or North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service individually. The meetings will be even more informative for the public, providing value and insight into how North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are performing against the objectives set in my police and crime, and fire and rescue plan, with discussions on specific topics, updates on statutory inspections and dedicated Q&A time. As your commissioner it is my responsibility to amplify your questions and concerns to police and fire Chiefs and to seek the answers you need to be safe and feel safe at home, in your community, and across York and North Yorkshire. Dates and the topics of upcoming meetings can be found on my website: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/police-oversight/governance/governance- process/corporate-scrutiny-board/

It was a fantastic end of 2023 engaging with such a wide variety of individuals across the county. I am excited for all the upcoming community engagement opportunities taking place over my final few months as your commissioner where my team and I will be able to continue listening and connecting with the residents across North Yorkshire and York and being there to hear and take on board any concerns raised about our police or fire services.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to providing you with my final blog updating you further on my offices engagement activities in April 2024.

Commissioner Zoë.