Merseyside Police Commissioner joins LCR Combined Authority

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has joined the region’s Combined Authority to provide expertise on criminal justice.

Jane Kennedy has joined Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s team as a co-opted member to provide strategic support over the next three years.

A raft of Mayoral advisers will also join the authority, which consists of  the Metro Mayor, the six Local Authority leaders, the Chair of the City Region LEP and the Chair of Merseytravel.

Metro Mayor Rotheram has appointed an initial group of advisers to support his administration on areas including; Higher Education, Voluntary and Community sector, Natural Environment, Social Housing Growth, Homelessness, Mental Health and the Visitor Economy.

The appointment of Mayoral advisers is about utilising independent strategic advice from talent across the Liverpool City Region who will support the bold programme and vision of the Metro Mayor.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I am delighted that the Combined Authority has unanimously agreed to co-opt Jane Kennedy. The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner will provide a strong voice for the criminal justice system within the current structure – a logical extension of her current responsibilities which includes serving as Chair of the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board and the Merseyside Community Safety Partnership.

“I am also thrilled that such a talented group of individuals have agreed to work with me to help broaden the scope of the devolution deal and implement the convening powers of office. The role of the advisers is about utilising experts from right across Merseyside and Halton who are doing pioneering work in their fields to improve business opportunities and the lives of ordinary people.”

Commenting on her appointment to the Combined Authority, Jane Kennedy said: “I welcomed the invitation from Steve Rotheram for me to join the Combined Authority as a co-opted member. It demonstrates his intention to broaden the membership and expertise of the Board.

“I will do my best to assist the on-going development of the regional structure, whilst working closely with my colleague David Keane, Cheshire PCC, to ensure the interests of all the people of the city region are represented with regard to policing, victim support and criminal justice matters.

“I look forward to working with Steve and his colleagues on the cabinet to drive public service reforms for the benefit of people across the region.”

Speaking about supporting the Metro Mayor as an adviser, Luciana Berger MP said: “I look forward to championing mental health across the Liverpool City Region as one of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s new advisers. It is a huge task and one that I am delighted to have been asked to push forward.”

Mayoral Advisers

Janet Beer – Higher Education

Professor Janet Beer took up post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool in 2015 after 7 years as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University. Professor Beer is Chair of the Board of the Equality Challenge Unit. She is also a Board member of UCAS and a Trustee of the British Council.

Kate Farrell – Homelessness

Kate Farrell is Director of Crisis Skylight Merseyside – a homeless organisation that supports thousands of people each year.

Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon – Voluntary and Community Sector

Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon is Canon Chancellor at the Liverpool Cathedral. Dr Louden was appointed the Director of Social Justice for the Diocese of Liverpool and is currently the Area Dean and Vicar at St Luke’s Walton.

Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE – Natural Environment

Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE is Chair of the Innovation Agency, having previously served as Chair of the Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust and Chair of NHS Merseyside. He is also Chair of Nature Connected, the Liverpool City Region Local Nature Partnership.

Barbara Spicer – Social Housing Growth

Barbara Spicer CBE is Chief Executive of the Plus Dane Group. Ms Spicer is a Commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and was formerly Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency.

Luciana Berger – Mental Health

Luciana Berger has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree since 2010. She has also served as a Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

Sarah Wilde McKeown – Visitor Economy

Sarah Wilde McKeown is the chair of the Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy Board and a trustee of the Royal Court Theatre Trust. She is also the Managing Director of Liverpool Public Relations agency Influential.

Voluntary Sector Grants from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)

Where other departments have unwisely chosen to scrap grant programmes, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) have continued theirs and recently announced four new funds. They opened the funds on 11th May and the closing date for applications is 8th June. All applications must be submitted through Bravo Solutions, which is an online ‘sourcing portal’ that allows you to submit your bids to deliver the work.

All four grants are designed to encourage voluntary organisations ‘to pilot, develop and test to provide a proof of concept’ in different areas. In this round the funds are looking at violence amongst young black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in prison as well as resettlement for BAME people back into the community, services for people with learning disabilities and autism, and better understanding the needs of people with Acquired Brain Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury.

More information on each fund can be found below.

  • £153,000 to develop a whole prison approach to working with young, violent offenders, particularly those from a BAME background – link to Contracts Finder
  • £70,000 to improve services for offenders with learning disabilities and autism, and to provide access to expert advice to support sentence planning to improve outcomes – link to Contracts Finder
  • £203,000 – understanding and meeting the needs of individuals with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in English and Welsh male prisons and Welsh approved premises – link to Contracts Finder
  • £99,000 – reintegration support package for integration into the community for BAME offenders leaving custody after a long term prison sentence – link to Contracts Finder

Clinks will advertise these opportunities to our members and beyond because we believe that voluntary organisations have the creativity to respond to the challenges we face in our prisons and in our community services. We will also continue to advocate that HMPPS continue to grant fund the voluntary sector, and will advise on future grant funding rounds.

Clinks remains a supporter of the Grants for Good campaign hosted by the Directory for Social Change, a coalition of charities which believe in the huge value of government grant-making to the voluntary sector and which aims to protect it.

If you have any questions about the grant funding please email MoJCommercialReset@justice.gsi.gov.uk

More victims to get answers as PCC confirms restorative justice service will run for second year

A service that helps victims of crime to get answers from offenders will be run for a second year, Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has confirmed today.

In 2015, Jane Kennedy announced that she would be working with Merseyside’s Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) and not-for-profit community interest company Restorative Solutions to raise awareness of restorative justice and increase its use in the region, giving victims in Merseyside the chance to come face-to-face with offenders and make them realise the consequences of their crimes.

Following confirmation of Ministry of Justice funding, the Commissioner is now enabling the service to continue to run for a second year, through 2016 and into 2017. Following a rigorous tendering exercise, Jane has announced today that the CRC and Restorative Solutions will once again deliver a victim-led restorative justice scheme across the whole of Merseyside.

Jane said: “Restorative justice gives victims the chance to be heard, to get answers and to get a sense of closure. Giving victims who want to the chance to come face-to-face with those who have committed crimes against them and can help them to find a really positive way forward and even give them back some control over their anxieties.

“While restorative justice may not be for everyone, the aim is to ensure any victim of crime who feels this approach could benefit them is able to find out more, discuss their options with an experienced and accredited practitioner and decide if it really is for them. That’s exactly what the CRC and Restorative Solutions are providing on Merseyside.

“Not only that, but they are raising awareness to make sure more and more victims of crime know that this is a path they can take if they feel it could help them.

“I am pleased that the CRC and Restorative Solutions will continue to deliver this service for people across Merseyside, no matter where they live.”

Merseyside CRC and Restorative Solutions will continue to work closely with Merseyside Police and all the Commissioner’s criminal justice partners to deliver this service over the next 12 months, with the four key aims of increasing access; working with criminal justice partners to increase the number of restorative justice referrals; improving awareness and understanding of restorative justice and its benefits and delivering a high quality service focussed on the needs of victim and delivered by a trained facilitator.

Through this service, restorative justice is available at all stages of the criminal justice process, including pre-conviction and even in cases where a victim has not reported an offence to the police.

Restorative justice should always be voluntary and only takes place after both the victim and offender agree and a trained facilitator has assessed the case as suitable. This means a lot of careful preparatory work is required before a victim and offender meet. Victims also have the opportunity to withdraw at any point.

In February, the CRC hosted a major conference at the Anglican Cathedral which aimed to give the public a wider understanding of restorative justice and the impact it can have, both on the victim and the offender. Those who attended heard of the “tremendous benefit” a restorative justice conference had for a woman who chose to meet her partner’s killer, helping her to come to terms with what had happened.

Merseyside CRC’s Head of Operations and Development John Quick said: “We are so pleased to have been re-commissioned to deliver victim led Restorative Justice  in Merseyside for the next 12 months.”

The CRC and Restorative Solutions have previously delivered specialist restorative justice training to specific teams within Merseyside Police. This training aimed to equip PCSOs with greater knowledge and understanding of restorative justice to enable them to identify the cases where a victim would benefit from participating to help them cope and recover.

You can contact the Restorative Justice  team on 08452660761 or Email rjenquiries@merseyside.probation.gsi.gov.uk

 

Grassroots organisations to benefit from Merseyside PCC’s fund to cut crime

Twelve grassroots organisations which work to cut crime and protect communities on Merseyside have been awarded a share of more than £132,000 by the Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy received dozens of bids from community groups, charities and third sector organisations after opening up applications for grants from her Crime Prevention Fund for the third year running. A total of 116 bids were submitted for grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 with the total combined value being requested amounting to more than £1.7m.

The aim of the fund is to help local groups protect their communities, by stopping problems before they occur, reducing the opportunities for crime and by preventing people from becoming involved with anti-social and illegal behaviour.

Today, Jane has announced the 12 successful organisations which will each be given a share of this round of funding to make a difference in their neighbourhoods. Many of the organisations focus on preventing young people getting involved with crime and raising their awareness of key issues.

Among the successful organisations were the Royal Court Liverpool Trust who were awarded £20,000 to continue to run their hard-hitting drama Terriers. Terriers has received rave reviews from schools for helping to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of getting involved with gun and gang crime.

The Commissioner also awarded £15,000 to the Ariel Trust to help run their ‘It’s not OK!’ project aimed at providing resources to support teachers to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic, homophobic and online abuse.

The funding will also go to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council (BNEC) to help them deliver their Making Waves project which delivers both outreach and centre-based services for young people living in areas of high deprivation. £18,000 was allocated to BNEC to help run a free gym and fitness sessions, as well as gun and knife crime awareness workshops.

A scheme to improve the skills, lives and well-being of unemployed young people in some of Liverpool’s most deprived areas will also benefit from the grants. Employability Solutions received £9,000 to help run their ‘This is my Story’ project which focuses on tackling gun and gang related problems in the Speke and Garston area

Other successful projects will look to increase awareness of forced marriage in schools which have been identified as having high-risk students, a scheme to prevent repeat incidents of domestic abuse, increase knowledge and awareness of abusing legal highs and substance in schools, colleges, workplaces and youth clubs across Merseyside and a scheme which supports serious substance misusers to recover from addiction.

The funding will also be used to support Liverpool Pride by providing funding for its ‘COME OUT of the shadows’ campaign which will see popular landmarks across the city lit up to help build awareness of LGBT issues. The project will initially see the Three Graces, the Radio City Tower and the Wheel of Liverpool illuminated.

Jane said: “Once again I received a staggering response to my invitation for bids for my Crime Prevention Fund.  The number and quality of the bids I received demonstrates the wealth of fantastic initiatives taking place across Merseyside to prevent and tackle crime and keep our communities safe.

“I am delighted to announce that 12 organisations will this year benefit from a cash boost from the Fund. Each of these organisations are taking an innovative approach to addressing the issues they have identified in the communities they serve. They each showed genuine passion and a real drive to make a difference.

“Providing these small grants to prevent crime before it occurs can have a huge impact in the long term by helping to deter people, especially young people, from entering the criminal justice system, reducing the number of victims and making our communities better places to live.

“I look forward to seeing all these projects being delivered over the next year.”

Organisations who applied for the funding needed to show how their project would work to tackle the objectives set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. These include tackling serious and organised crime, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, providing a visible and accessible neighbourhood policing style, supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety.

Applications needed to demonstrate how the initiative would deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They were also assessed to see how well they would protect vulnerable communities. The fund was administered by Liverpool CVS and Sefton CVS.

Successful projects

 Scheme  Funding (£)
 Ariel Trust (It’s Not OK)  15,000
 Breckfield & North Everton Neighbourhood Council (Making Waves)  18,000
 Community Safe  12,000
 Employability Solutions  9,000
 Evolve Tackling Legal Highs & Volatile Substance Abuse  6,000
 Genie in the Gutter  6,000
 Liverpool Pride Lighting Strategy  4,460
 Merseyside Youth Challenge  5,000
 Moving On With Life & Learning Ltd  4,000
 Royal Court Liverpool Trust Ltd (Terriers)  20,000
 Savera Liverpool  14,300
 WEB Merseyside  18,260
 TOTAL  132,020

PCC visits custody suites to see first-hand the work of volunteers

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner joined the chair of her Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) scheme as he carried out a night-time visit to two police stations to check on the welfare of detainees this weekend.

Jane Kennedy accompanied volunteer ICV Advisor Reverend Peter Beaman as he carried out unannounced visits to the custody suites at St Anne Street and Birkenhead police stations on Friday night.

This was the second time the Commissioner has joined the ICVs to witness their work and meet the staff in the custody suites.

The Commissioner is responsible for the ICV scheme, which see volunteers make random visits to custody suites across Merseyside every week to check on the conditions and make sure those who are being kept in the cells are being treated with dignity and respect.

There are currently 33 dedicated volunteers on Merseyside’s ICV scheme and last year they carried out a total of 290 visits speaking to more than 1,850 detainees. Rev. Beaman has been involved in the scheme since 1985 and he invited the Commissioner to join him as he carried out the Friday night visit.

Jane said: “Our Independent Custody Visitors give up their free time to visit police stations at all times of the night and day so they can go and check on the welfare on those who are being kept in the cells.

“They carry out an important public duty which provides reassurance to those detainees, who are potentially vulnerable, as well as to the public, the police and to me.

“I was delighted to accompany Rev. Beaman, who has given more than 30 years dedicated service to this scheme, as he carried out one of his regular visits to both St Anne Street and Birkenhead custody suites during what is a peak time for the police.

“It was really interesting to see for myself the essential work our volunteers do and the interaction they have with both the custody sergeants and officers and those who are being kept in the cells.

“Knowing that Rev. Beaman and the other dedicated volunteers are carrying out these visits on a weekly basis gives me peace of mind and helps the public to know that those who are being detained are kept in safe and appropriate conditions and receiving care of the highest standard.”

The ICV scheme was established following the recommendations of Lord Scarman in 1981 after his investigation into the Brixton riots and first began to operate in Merseyside in April 1984, with 20 members of the public being trained as visitors.

Find out more about the scheme here.

‘Tackling Inequality in the Criminal Justice System’ – a new report from Clinks

Many equality and minority groups are overrepresented in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and a large proportion of the people in the CJS face some form of discrimination or disadvantage because of being from
an equality and/or minority group.
‘Tackling Inequality in the Criminal Justice System’ summarises presentations given at a Clinks seminar by organisations working to tackle inequality in the CJS and highlights learning points for voluntary and statutory organisations.