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Engagement Quarterly Blog – October 2023

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 July to September 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 and about meeting North Yorkshire and City of York communities.

North Yorkshire & York Supermarket Drop in Engagement Mornings July – September 2023.

Selection of images from the stores visited across North Yorkshire from July - September 2023

I have continued with my Supermarket Engagement Mornings over the summer months, and it carries on to be a fantastic way to meet and speak to so many members of the public across the entire county hearing about the issues, concerns and what’s going well with our police and fire services. Thank you to everyone who popped along and chatted in Northallerton, Selby, Harrogate, Skipton, Settle, and Malton.

I’m looking forward to my upcoming supermarket mornings visiting Ripon, Stokesley, York and Boroughbridge before the end of this year.

Once again, I would like to extend a massive thanks to the kind staff of Tesco’s, Morrisons and Booths, for allowing us to continue visiting and using their stores for our drop in mornings.

Information on my Supermarket visits for 2023 can be found on my website:  https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/commissioner/

July 2023

5 July – Op Community Event, Ryedale Community Safety Hub, Hovingham

Commissioner Zoe with members of the Ryedale Community Safety Hub and local Councillor Jabbour in the village of Hovingham.

As part of Anti-Social Behaviour Week, I was invited by Ryedale Community Safety Hub to join them on one of their Op Community Visits.

Op Community is a community engagement activity undertaken by the local Community Safety Hub which comprises of North Yorkshire Council, Ryedale Safer Neighbourhood Police Team, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, and other key partners to find out how safe residents feel in the local area.  Cllr George Jabbour dropped in to have a chat too!

The visit was to the village of Hovingham where residents could approach and discuss any community concerns or issues they currently have with the team.  I joined other Op Community Team members and we went round and did a door knock to find out if homeowners had witnessed or experienced any anti-social behaviour in the local community; have any welfare concerns; or suggestions for the Community Safety Hub to make the village safer.

I would like to thank Bridget and the whole team for inviting my community engagement team and I to experience the operation firsthand.

9 July – Skipton Pride Event

Selection of Images from Skipton Pride Event July 2023

One of my team members attended Skipton Pride on behalf of my office along with local Police and Fire colleagues for this weekend event.

They had many meaningful and valuable conversations with members of the LGBTQ+ Community on explaining to them what exactly a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner does, as well as sharing more information on the commissioned services we offer to everyone to keep people in North Yorkshire safe. I look forward to continuing to support this community and engaging with them across the rest of my time as Commissioner.

10-14 July – Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate

Commissioner Zoe with a North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force Officer at the Great Yorkshire Show.

It was another fun and engaging four days for members of my office and I attending the Great Yorkshire Show this year along with our police and fire colleagues.

This year we spoke to more than 2,500 people, with hundreds of children getting involved with our stand’s water safety activities, which are always a crowd favourite, and great at educating about the dangers of water.

Thanks to everyone who came and said hello to us at the show.

17 July – Tadcaster Key Stakeholder Meeting

I was contacted by North Yorkshire Council Cllr Poskitt raising her concerns she had received from residents in Tadcaster regarding an increase in anti-social behaviour.  Cllr Poskitt very kindly invited me to join her at a residents meeting to discuss their concerns with me.

The outcome from attending the meeting was to help assist in organizing a local stakeholder working group to discuss the current rise in anti-social behaviour and how partners can all work together going forward to tackle the issues.

It was fantastic getting representatives from the local police; fire; town council; North Yorkshire Council; housing; social services and community safety hub around a table identifying what each agency is currently doing and how they plan to help support residents going forward to tackle the current problems. I look forward to hearing how the problem solving is working for the community.

 31 July – VAWG Conference & Networking event, Northallerton

Images of the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and what we've achieved 12 months on.

To mark one full year since the launch of the partnership Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy my office hosted an in-person event at Police and Fire Headquarters in Northallerton.

The Chief Constable and I opened the event with Fire colleagues which showcased what the partnership has achieved so far and highlighted the importance and successes of working together over the last 12 months.

It was fantastic to then hear updates from services who provided spotlight presentations on key projects as well as some of our commissioned service providers providing information displays and materials offering the opportunity for attendees to engage directly with them during the networking time at the conference.

We also launched our one-year delivery plan progress report detailing the work that’s taken place in North Yorkshire and York over the last 12 months to keep women and girls safe and feeling safe which you access via the below link: www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/womenandgirls/

I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a partnership to tackle violence against women and girls, we have already improved outcomes and increased the accessibility of specialist support services for women and girls more the year before we launched the strategy, demonstrating how putting a spotlight on violence against women and girls is making a real difference across our community.

Protecting and supporting women and girls will always be incredibly important to me and I am passionate about making a difference in during my time as Commissioner. I will continue to work alongside other Police, fire, and Crime Commissioners from up and down the country working alongside the government and influencing policy and decisions around how we tackle Violence Against Women and girls on a national scale.

August 2023 

1 August – Revival North Yorkshire, Danby Fire Station

Commissioner Zoe and local residents at Danby Fire Station Community Room.

I was invited to visit Revival which is a charity based in Sleights, Whitby to hear about their great community work to support the elderly and vulnerable across the area, in conjunction with North Yorkshire Council and other partners.

I joined an afternoon activity which was held in the Danby Fire Station Community Room and I got to engage with local residents and hear from them directly what their key police and fire concerns are for the area.

Thanks so much to Revival for allowing me to join.

3 August – Operation Beat Visit, Scarborough

Commissioner Zoe with the Community Impact Team in Scarborough.

I spent the day in Scarborough with the Community Impact Team who showcased their joint solving plan called Operation Beat. This plan focuses on early intervention and prevention approaches around youth anti-social behaviour and low-level crime.

The team is made up of the local neighbourhood police team, community safety hub and youth justice members who I met to discuss how Operation Beat has been progressing since it was established in January 2022 and heard some great case studies.

I was also able to go out and about in the community the experience one of their multi agency patrols which was extremely interesting.  I am keen to see how this partnership approach continues to evolve. Thank you to the Community Impact Team for having me.

16 August – Humankind, Crossroads Scheme Visit, York

Commissioner Zoe with the team at Humankind in York.

Along with members of my team, I visited Humankind in York to hear more about their Crossroads Adult Diversion Scheme.  The scheme is a prevention and early intervention scheme open to those who are on the brink of offending or are only committing very low-level offences.

We were provided with a thorough service overview, met the whole team, and heard some amazing client case studies, especially they help create and tailor support packages for individuals which are responsive to their specific needs.

It was great to hear firsthand how one of my commissioned services is excelling, how they handle difficult situations, and the excellent relationships they are maintaining with North Yorkshire Police and other local key partner agencies.

Thanks to Jenna, Alice and the whole team at Humankind for inviting us down for the morning.

If you would like to find out more about this commissioned service please:

29 August – Synagogue Visit, Harrogate

Left to Right - Bernard and Roma, Co-Presidents, Harrogate Hebrew Congregation, Leo, Yorkshire Manager, Jewish Leadership Council and Commissioner Zoe

It was a privilege to be invited to visit Harrogate Synagogue by the Harrogate Hebrew Congregation. On my visit I was given a tour of the Synagogue and discussed local concerns and issues which their community face. A special thanks to Bernard, Roma and Leo for having me.

September 2023

12 September Scarborough Coventry University Campus Student Event

Stand at Scarborough Campus Student Event.

Members of my team went along and attended the CU Scarborough Campus Student Welcome Week Fair which was an opportunity to engage with Students who may be interested in pursuing a future career in either the Police or Fire services. It was a great opportunity to meet so many young individuals who were keen to find out more about the work of the office and our commissioned services. A massive thanks to CU Scarborough Campus Students Union for inviting us to come along.

13 September Rainbow Centre Visit, Scarborough

Commissioner Zoe outside The Rainbow Centre, Scarborough.

I spent a couple of hours visiting The Rainbow Centre who are a small team of staff and volunteers in Scarborough who provide emergency assistance to the homeless/those at risk of becoming homeless and the vulnerable in their community.

The charity told me about their 23 year journey and how they’ve managed to raise over £170,000.00 to date, which is a fantastic achievement, and shows how great a community asset the centre is for the local area.

Thank you to the staff for allowing me to see the services and facilities they provide.

 18 September – Red Rose Recovery Visit, Harrogate

Commissioner Zoe and local resident attending the Red Rose Recovery Network Event.

My Community Engagement Officer, Amanda and I were invited to North Yorkshire Connected Spaces Networking Event in Harrogate to find out more about the group and their vision for North Yorkshire.

It was a really great event where key partners and stakeholders could come together to chat with individuals with lived experiences and find out what they feel needs to be done to help going forward. Thank you so much for inviting us.

 18th-24th September – National Rural Crime Action Week

 

For this Awareness Week, as Vice Chair of the National Rural Crime Network, I recorded a video which highlighted some of the work being done to tackle domestic abuse in our rural communities which you can watch above.

 25 & 28 September – Public Choice Award & VAWG Award Shortlisting Panels

North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Logos.

It was another a great opportunity this year to invite a selection of dedicated volunteers who take part in our scrutiny panels, as well as members of our Youth Commission to come together as a panel to select candidates for the upcoming Public Choice Awards. It was very hard to choose!

Our volunteers and I helped narrow down the nominees who were to be considered for the Police and Fire Service Public Champions Awards. The panel decisions have now been released for all residents of North Yorkshire and York to vote for the winners ahead of the ceremony in November.

The links to see who the public could vote for are below (please note voting has now closed):

Police:

https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/news/north-yorkshire/news/news/2023/10-october/public-choice-vote-opens-in-our-annual-awards/

Fire:

https://www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/vote-now-in-the-public-choice-awards/

Additionally for the first time this year there was a specific panel to help narrow down the choices for my Commissioners Violence Against Women and Girls Award where I will look over the finalists chosen and pick the winner myself to announce at the awards evening.

A massive thank you once again to everyone who participated in the panels.

27 September – Whitby Community Safety Follow Up Meeting

Scenic Image of Whitby provided for free by Pexels.com
Scenic Image of Whitby provided for free by Pexels.com

It was great to be back around a table for this follow up meeting with Whitby Town Council and local partners to check in on how their safety concerns over the summer period had gone and how they have and will continue to work together around safety concerns.

I was pleased to hear of the progress that has been made since the initial meeting in May, and very happy to be informed they are launching their own fortnightly Community MAPS meetings this October. This will be a great partnership problem-solving forum used to discuss and raise any local safety concerns for Whitby and the local surrounding parishes.

Engagement opportunities over the coming months:

Supermarket Drop in Mornings:

  • Ripon Booths – 25 October
  • Stokesley Co-op – 8 November
  • York Foss Islands Morrisons – 15 November
  • Boroughbridge Morrisons – 22 November
  • Just A Kiss Campaign Launch
  • Hate Crime Awareness Week
  • International Control Room Week
  • National Road Safety Week
  • Restorative Justice Week
  • VAWG 16 Days of Action
  • Community Fund Project Visits
  • Community Working Group Meetings

Very Important Reminders:

  • I will be continuing with my monthly Virtual Advice Surgeries. This is a great 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/
  • My Online Public Meetings will 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’s 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. More information can be found on my website: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/police-oversight/governance/governance- process/corporate-scrutiny-board/

*Please note there will be no meeting in December 2023.

It has been a fantastic summer engaging with such a wide variety of individuals across the county. I am excited for all the upcoming community engagement opportunities taking place over the final few months of 2023 where 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 updating you further on my engagement activities in the new year.

Commissioner Zoë.