Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson visits Calderdale

At Halifax Skills Centre (from the left), Karl Scorgie, Mark Burns-Williamson, Mark Gilmore and Luke Marsh.
At Halifax Skills Centre (from the left), Karl Scorgie, Mark Burns-Williamson, Mark Gilmore and Luke Marsh.

Work to combat criminal offending in Calderdale was seen by a delegation headed by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

He recently launched the regional Police and Crime Plan 2013-18 and following that priorities for action in Calderdale were identified.

They include reducing anti-social behaviour and offending and supporting neighbourhood based teams and a committment from the commissioner’s office to engage with the community.

He was accompanied by the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Mark Gilmore on the fact-finding tour.

It started in Elland where they learned about a multi-agency approach to anti-social behaviour, family support services and risk assessments for victims’ vulnerability.

Next stop was the North Halifax Skills Centre, Ovenden, which works with the West Yorkshire Youth Offending Team, and provides vocational courses.

At the Himmat Project, Halifax, they were told about an anti-social behaviour project which Himmat are working on alongside Pennine Housing.

Representatives from the Roma community told the delegation at the Queen’s Road Neighbouring Centre, Halifax, about issues facing that new and emerging community, and other ethnic minority groups spoke about their experiences of hate crime.

A victim of domestic violence also spoke about her personal experiences at the Halifax Women’s Centre and the Calderdale Community Saferty Partnership team discussed the local crime plan.

Mr Burns-Williamson said some services were now commissioned through his office rather than the local authority.

“I want to see which projects deliver the best value,” he said.

Mr Burns-Williamson said it was important to get out and about and listen to what people had to say in what is a multi-agency approach to tackling offending.

And, the former stonemason even lent a helping hand to young people learning construction skills at the North Halifax Skills Centre.

Learning such skills were helping steer young people away from a route into crime, said Mr Burns-Williamson.

Chief Constable Gilmore said it was valuable for him to see the work that is ongoing to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and hear about the family backgrounds of some young people and the difficulties which follow.