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Cleveland & Durham Police & Crime Commissioner talk Female Genital Mutilation

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Two of the North East’s Police and Crime Commissioners have spoken about their support for raising awareness of International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, and Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, have pledgedtheir support and have made a commitment in the long term to raise further awareness and understanding of female
genital mutilation (FGM).

The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a United Nations Campaign held on 6 February each
year to stop genital mutilation to women and girls.

FGM refers to a range of procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is sometimes referred to as female circumcision or cutting.

Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland said: “FGM is such a horrendous crime and by raising awareness to key agencies, professionals and the community we can ensure that women and girls are protected from harm.

“FGM features in the regional Violence against Women and Girls Strategy and I am working closely with my counterparts in Durham and Northumbria to tackle and understand this issue.

“Training has already been delivered to key individuals within the health sector and I am keen to build on this and support further events in the future, to ensure that victims feel empowered to come forward and report.”

Ron Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, said: “It isvitally important that victims of FGM, or their concerned family members, have the confidence to come forward and report these appalling crimes.

Along with my counterparts in the North East, we will ensure the police investigate any reports of FGM, and where possible, bring offenders to justice.”

As a part of the day the Police and Crime Commissioner’s for Cleveland and Durham, alongside the Halo Project, a local charity supporting victims of honour based violence, forced marriage and FGM have launched a poster campaign encouraging victims of FGM to come forward and break the silence.

Yasmin Khan, Director of the Halo Project, said: “The Halo Project is working in partnership across Cleveland and Durham to supportvictims of FGM and raise awareness of the risks and signs of this abhorrent crime.”

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Teesside

Hartlepool Parents urged to be vigilant after attempted child snatch

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Parents warned to be on their guard after a number of attempted child abductions reported to police in Hartlepool.

One girl was aged just 9 when she was followed on her way to school.

Parents are being urged to be vigilant after police received reports of an attempted child abduction in Hartlepool.

The latest incident happened on Davison Drive near West View Primary School.

As the girl aged 9 walked the short distance to school she noticed a van in the corner of her eye slowly crawling behind her.

Upon seeing the van she instantly panicked and began running to school, the van then speed up to catch her.

She suddenly stopped to fasten her lace and the van stopped next to her. The girl turned back in the direction she came from and headed back to Warren Road.

The van sung round and followed her all the way back to the Traffic lights were the van made off in an unknown direction.

The description of the male is not know as the girl only focused on the van and feared for her life as she ran home in tears.

West View Primary School in Hartlepool messages all parents and sent a letter home warning children to either be picked up by parents or walk in groups of two.

There have also been a number of reported similar incidents in the West View area.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

If you spot anyone acting suspicious please alert the police immediately by calling 999

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Awww Cleveland Police have just recruited these four legged friends

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Put your paws up for our two new recruits, Maggie and Skye who are the newest and youngest additions to the Force. At just 12 weeks old, the two English Springer Spaniels will soon begin their training to become Specialist Search Dogs.

Dog Trainer Constable Darren Gobie and Police Constable Chris Lambert are the lucky handlers of the pups. PC Lambert teamed up with a year 4 class at Myton Park School in Ingleby Barwick and allowed them to choose Skye’s name.

Chris and Skye will regularly visit the school over the next 18 months to allow them to follow her training process.

Speaking of the collaboration with the school, PC Lambert said: “I thought it would be a great idea to tie in with a school in the local community.

Recruiting new dogs is a huge deal and it’s an exciting and educational opportunity for the pupils to meet a police dog, choose her name collectively as a team and to better understand the training process for police dogs, and police roles in general.

The children were delighted to participate in this and I am sure they will all build a lovely bond with Skye over the coming months.”

PC Lambert, along with partner agencies will also be using the visits to the school to deliver lessons on internet safety and safety around animals.

The officers and the dogs will need to work very closely as team throughout the training process to build a special bond together.

Training is both mentally and physically challenging for both the dogs and handlers, as every programme must be passed to qualify.

Specialist dogs are used to detect a range of things with their highly developed sense of smell such as money, explosives, drugs and firearms.

They are also trained to work in public places including licenses premises to search for people in possession of narcotics.

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Teesside

Disgusting: Graham Leggatt-Chidgey thousands of hospice money to live luxury lifestyle

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Shameful Former hospice Chief Executive Graham Leggatt-Chidgey spent thousands of pounds on himself instead of using that money to treat terminally ill people.

He ran up credit card bills which are not related to the hospice to keep himself in a luxury lifestyle spending thousands that people had kindly donated to keep the hospice going.

he spent More than £30,000 on hotels and restaurant More than £20,000 worth of train and travel expenses, £24,000 worth of computer and software equipment, £18,000 on clothing, jewellery and watches and £4,197 spent in Montblanc on pens, leather goods, watches and accessories.

The court heard how Graham Leggatt-Chidgey was found to have used monies from the Butterwick Hospice to fund a luxury lifestyle for himself. In summary this included circa:

  • £30k on hotels.

This spend was for nights in exclusive hotels including one two night stay in Scotland where he spent more than £1,000 including more than £100 on wine (Photo of receipt available).

  • £20k on travel.

This included spending £410 on First Class rail travel to London.

  • £18k in designer clothes and jewellery

(Photo available of receipt from Charles Tyrwhitt for more than £1,900 which includes a Harris Tweed Coat for £229 and a beige country jacket for £225.)

  • £3k on pens

The court heard how he had bought a number of Mont Blanc pens and accessories, including ink and pen holders (picture available).

  • £4k on technology.

These included purchasing a number of laptops.

Having pleaded guilty Graham Leggatt-Chidgey will soon be sentenced after admitting credit card fraud, he spend thousands of pounds on himself instead of the charity he was leading.

He was due to go on trial at Teeside Crown Court in May, but he has now changed his plea to guilty.

The 62-year-old, of Rokeby, near Barnard Castle, was arrested last May, following an investigation.

He admitted abusing his position by using a hospice credit card for personal expenditure between June 2009 and March 2017.

The hospice is one of Teesside’s best known charities and has offered palliative care for thousands of patients.

A £1.2m purpose-built facility opened in 1997 next to the University Hospital of North Tees.

Detective Constable Chris Pringle, Cleveland Police’s Fraud Investigation Team has today released a statement saying “This was an extremely complex inquiry where a long-serving senior employee in a position of trust had systematically defrauded his employer; a well-established and respected local charity.

“Mr Leggatt-Chidgey’s actions are in direct contrast to the spirit of the hospice’s founder Mary Butterwick, who sold her own home to set up this wonderful facility which has done so much good for the community for more than 30 years.

“Over a lengthy period of time Mr Leggatt-Chidgey helped himself to money – often provided by supporters’ fundraising activities – and I believe the hard working staff and volunteers who have given money, goods or their time to the hospice, will share my utter disgust at what he has done.

“On that note, I’d like to thank all the staff and trustees from Butterwick Hospice who have assisted with the police investigation while continuing to provide patients, their families and friends a service and level of care which is second to none.  Their support has been absolutely invaluable and I wish them well for the future.

“I welcome the sentence handed to Mr Leggatt-Chidgey today and I hope, with the continued support of the community, the Butterwick Hospice can draw a line under this difficult period and continue to go from strength to strength.”

Top tips for businesses and chairties to prevent insider fraid.

  • Vet Employees, CVs and references thoroughly
  • Put Whistleblowing Policy in place
  • Control access to buildings and systems using identification and passwords
  • Restrict and closely monitor access to sensitive information
  • Impose clear segregation duties
  • Consider job rotation
  • Promote a culture of  fraud awareness among staff
  • Adopt a rigorous implement a zero tolerance policy towards employee fraud
  • Have a clear response plan in place in case fraud is discovered.

 

 

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