The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Safer Essex and the Essex Community Voluntary Services network held their fourth joint conference at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday 26th January 2016. The event brought together representatives from Essex Police, voluntary and community groups and public sector organisations from across the county to explore the topic of ‘Tackling Hidden Harms Together’.

Building on the success of previous conferences, the event hosted 250 people and placed a spotlight on themes such as domestic abuse, human trafficking and hate crime. Speakers and facilitators who are experts in their areas included Baroness Newlove, Victims Commissioner and Andrea Williams, Young People’s Sexual Violence Counsellor and Training Coordinator, South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre.

Tracy Rudling, Chief Executive Officer of Colchester Community Voluntary Services, said, ‘We have seen this regular event grow from strength to strength over the past 3 years and are overwhelmed by the response from so many different organisations who want to come together to make a difference by tackling the important themes of the conference.’

The day was brought to a close with the announcement of the winners of the annual Police and Crime Commissioners awards for people who have made a difference in their communities by addressing issues of community safety. The nominees included volunteers who go out of their way to support and protect vulnerable people and frontline public servants who go above and beyond to deliver an outstanding service to their community. The winner of this award was Sandeep Singh Saini, a volunteer with Thurrock Police Independent Advisory Group and a strong advocate on behalf of many vulnerable people. The runners up were Brian Pettitt, a volunteer driver for Mencap and Essex Search and Rescue team.

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex said, ‘There was a tremendous atmosphere and strength of partnership on show today. Success is being shown in the numbers attending and the connections building in the room. Long may it continue.’

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