Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) held a community cohesion workshop last Thursday (02/03).
The workshop was held in Bradford and was for partners from across West Yorkshire to come together to see how community cohesion can be strengthened across the region.
Community cohesion is a new priority in the recently released Police and Crime Plan for West Yorkshire. 40% of the 5500 people that responded to the consultation to set the priorities in the Plan said a greater sense of community would make them feel safer.
Key note speakers at the workshop included Mark, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams and Robin Tuddenham of the Community Cohesion Board.
The main body of the event was a partnership feedback session where attendees, which included representatives from the police, local authorities, third sector and charities looked at where key improvement could be made to strengthen community cohesion.
Specific areas being looked at were current risks and barriers, best practice and what resources are needed to better support community cohesion across the County.
Mark said: “This was a very valuable event which had a real focus on understanding and working with our communities.
“The ideas generated at the event will direct my work and the work of West Yorkshire Police and our partners.
“The richness of the different people and places in West Yorkshire is one of our greatest strengths and it’s crucial that people get on well together, respect differences and work together to achieve shared goals.
“West Yorkshire’s community spirit has been tested in the past and the response to the Boxing Day floods is just one example of how our communities come together in times of need. This event was about what more we can do together to strengthen community cohesion.”
Temporary ACC Angela Williams said: “We can only be really effective in policing our communities if we have their support.
“We are totally committed to our neighbourhood style of policing and as part of that, it’s crucially important to us and our partners that communities work with us and with each other.
“West Yorkshire is historically a very diverse county, but our communities and their needs are constantly evolving. It’s important to me that we continue to be visible and accessible to everyone that we serve, in order that we can intervene early, tackle crime and provide reassurance.”
Robin Tuddenham said: “The Board and all five councils in West Yorkshire welcome the commitment of the PCC to strengthening community cohesion. We will continue to work together to help create strong relationships and understanding across our communities, celebrate diversity and ensure opportunities for all.”