North Yorkshire’s most vulnerable people will be better protected from October when new facilities announced this week open.
Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, and North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dave Jones have announced a £228,000 investment in a new hub to co-ordinate protective services for North Yorkshire’s most vulnerable people.
The Commissioner, North Yorkshire Police, City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council have all been working in close co-operation to agree and establish a new ‘Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub’ (or MASH) and Central Referral Unit (CRU) to be based at the City of York Council’s new offices in York.
Chief Constable Dave Jones said:
I am delighted to be able to announce this new unit, which will be dedicated to a highly sensitive area of policing.
This is the latest step in the strategy led by the Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, and our safeguarding partners in York and North Yorkshire.
The Central Referral Unit and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub will make a substantial difference in the way our Protecting Vulnerable Persons Units operate. They will facilitate a much more dynamic multi-agency response to safeguarding our communities.
This will be particularly so due to the co-location in the City of York as it will be far easier to co-locate agencies whose responsibility it is to work together to best safeguard communities.
We are also looking at similar opportunities in other parts of North Yorkshire, as we are keen to ensure we adopt national best practice throughout our area.
The unit will be home to joint teams of Police Officers, analysts and specialist staff from North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council. The unit will be dedicated to preventing and dealing with serious crimes and abuse such as child sexual exploitation and serious domestic violence in York, Scarborough, Northallerton and Harrogate.
Similar facilities in other parts of the country have helped improve the service and protection offered to vulnerable people, such as in cases involving:
- Child abuse and child death investigations
- Crime or abuse within a ‘care’ setting
- Serious incidents of domestic violence and domestic violence management
- Child sexual exploitation
- Persistent missing from home children and vulnerable adults
- Honour based violence and forced marriage
The new hub is expected to be fully operational by October 2013.
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
This investment is the latest in our plans to enhance the protection and support of our most vulnerable people and victims.
It is a vital move to ensure North Yorkshire Police and our local authority partners provide the very best service to help safeguard vulnerable people who find themselves in often desperate and traumatic circumstances.
The new unit is a great example of local partners working closely together for the benefit of all. Not only will service to the public improve, it is also absolutely essential to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible at a time when every penny counts.
Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council, said:
We have been working closely with all partners to help facilitate this move and welcome this investment which will be an invaluable service for vulnerable people who require specialist help and support.