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North Yorks 'horse whisperers' help Japanese students

The riding centre at Ellershaw House

Students from Japan are among those travelling to a training centre in rural North Yorkshire to help better their communication skills.

The residential centre specialises in using horses as therapy to help young people with autism.

The visit a joint venture between a mother and daughter, who're experts in reading the body language of the animals and their riders to help students achieve their full potential.

The riding centre at Ellershaw House

During their visit, families will learn to work together to tack up a horse and use leadership skills to guide the animal.

Over the years, Sandra and Sarah have helped many families. They believe the animals can help break down barriers.

The riding centre at Ellershaw House

Ambulance strikes in North Yorkshire

Nearly 400 ambulance staff in Yorkshire are striking today (Friday, 29th August) in an on going dispute over patient and staff safety issues.

Unite, the British and Irish Trade Union, say that workers are over-stretched, putting patients at risk.

The Ambulance Service say they are continuing to focus on safeguarding patient care and to minimise disruption.

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21-month-old toddler kicked by stranger in York

A 21-month-old toddler has been kicked in the stomach by a stranger in York.

It happened at around 9.55am on Wednesday, 27th August, at a pelican crossing at Lendal Bridge.

A woman who was with the man said he had a behavioural condition. The child suffered a minor injury.

Police are now appealing for the man and woman to come forward and to anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them.

The man is described as aged between 20 and 35, of heavy build, approximately 5ft 6in tall and with thin hair.

The woman who accompanied him is described as around 5ft 6in tall, aged in her early twenties, of slim build with dark hair.

The baby was walking with her childminder and an assistant when she began to cry. On hearing her cry, a man who was stood in front of them, unexpectedly turned around, walked a couple of paces and kicked the baby in her stomach. She suffered a minor external injury as a result of the incident.

A woman who was with the man, immediately apologised for the incident explaining that the man had a behavioural condition.

– North Yorkshire Police

Armed forces rehearse crash drills 'just in case'

Hundreds of military personnel and the emergency services have been taking part in a major exercise to practice dealing with an air crash.

Flying was suspended for a day at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire so teams could face the aftermath of a supposed mid-air collision to ensure they're prepared for a real emergency.

Claire Montgomery reports:

North Yorkshire PCC says 'there is clearly work to do'

Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire has responded to the HMIC Crime Data Integrity Report which has told North Yorkshire Police to review the way in which they record crime data.

Within the report, 13 recommendations for the force were made, including making sure that people who report a crime get access to the help they need.

There is clearly work to do to improve the processes around which North Yorkshire Police records crime, and I know that they have already begun to do this. I will be monitoring progress closely.

However, it is reassuring to see that HMIC has specifically said that North Yorkshire Police has a clear understanding of the expected standards of behaviour and conduct to achieve crime recording integrity, so the public can trust the figures produced by the force.

We must also not forget that this is actually about people. I want to see a victim-centred police service, and there is still much more we can do to make sure that people who report a crime get access to the help they need, as well as justice for any crime that has been committed.

Taking proper care around how we record crimes is extremely important, and we must get that right. But policing is about more than the numbers. It is how we deal with people that matters, and this is where I am looking to make a difference.

– Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

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Police say 'expectations in recording crime have changed'

Following a recent report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police have been told to review the way they record crime data.

Both forces were inspected and concerns were raised surrounding the accuracy of 'no-crime' records.

To read the comments from the HMIC inspections: Click here.

Police have commented on the results of their inspections. Cleveland Police have said they have taken "immediate action" to improve crime recording standards within the force.

We’ve taken immediate action to review all the decisions made on no-crimes, and also improve our decision-making process, with a higher level of scrutiny applied to ensure that decisions are accurate and compliant.

We have developed a scrutiny panel to review rape no-crime decisions, which is made up of representatives from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, the Local Criminal Justice Board and third sector agencies working in sexual violence.

This work also includes a review of all no-crimes for indictable offences, which includes rape and sexual offences to ensure we get it right. The results are presented back to a monthly performance group chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable. In addition, I am reviewing current procedures and identifying ways in which to improve standards.

– Simon Nickless, Assistant Chief Constable of Cleveland Police

North Yorkshire Police have also said that they have taken immediate action, focusing on developing the support they provide to victims when an incident is reported, an area that was raised as a concern by the HMIC report.

The force has said that expectations around the recording of crime "have changed" and they are willing to change with it.

It is clear that the expectations around the recording of crime have changed – and we welcome that clarity, because we want our system to be as transparent as possible, so the public can have complete confidence in the way we record incidents at North Yorkshire Police.

This report looked at the processes for recording crimes, not the way in which we deal with victims, but the two are connected. As a result, we are looking again at the support we provide to victims when they report an incident, which is an area where our Police and Crime Commissioner is keen to see more development.

– Tim Madgwick, Deputy Chief Constable at North Yorkshire Police

Police to review how they record crime in North East

Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police have been told to review the way they record crime data following criticism in a recent Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) report.

The inspection was carried out on crimes recorded between November 2012 and October 2013.

It raised concerns over the recording of serious crimes, including rapes, by both forces.

The main concerns raised about Cleveland Police surrounded accuracy of crime recording.

The HMIC inspection of Cleveland Police said the "high error rate" within the force is "a matter of serious concern" and that the force in the North East needs to put more detail into explaining the reasons for their decisions.

Immediately the force should ensure the prompt recording of crimes in compliance with the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR).

Particular attention must be paid to the correct recording of sexual offences and the work of the protecting vulnerable people unit.

No-crime refers to an incident that was initially recorded as a crime but has subsequently been found not to be a crime on the basis of additional verifiable information. We reviewed 84 no-crime records and found 46 records to be compliant with HOCR and NCRS. As the no-crime records we reviewed were for offences for rape, robbery and violence this high error rate is a matter of serious concern.

– HMIC inspection of Cleveland Police

North Yorkshire Police has also been reviewed by the inspection programme, which is approved by the Home Secretary under section 54 of the Police Act 1996.

All 43 police forces in England and Wales are coming under scrutiny but Cleveland and North Yorkshire are the only North East forces examined in the latest batch of results.

The first batch took place in May 2014 and there will be a further batch of force-specific reports in Autumn 2014.

The main concerns raised about North Yorkshire Police by the inspection also surrounded accuracy of crime recording, particularly rape 'no-crime' records.

In a summary of their inspection into the North Yorkshire Police, the HMIC have said the force should review the way in which they record crime data "immediately" and that the force's rape 'no-crime' records are "particularly concerning".

Immediately, the force should carry out a comprehensive assessment of crime recording standards.

We examined 72 incident records and found that 68 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 68 crimes that should have been recorded, 57 were. Of the 57, five were wrongly classified and 13 were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the HOCR. There is a need for improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of crime recording decisions.

No crime refers to an incident that was initially recorded as a crime but has subsequently been found not to be a crime on the basis of additional verifiable information. Of the 105 no-crimes we reviewed, 71 complied with the NCRS and HOCR.

It is particularly concerning that of the 35 rape no-crime records we reviewed, 21 of them were incorrectly no-crimed.

– HMIC inspection of North Yorkshire Police

Air crash drill crucial in case 'the worst was to happen'

Hundreds of soldiers and airmen joined the emergency services in a major exercise to practise dealing with an air crash.

Squadron Leader Jim Errington, who led the exercise, says those kind of practices are essential "just in case the worst was the happen".

Flying was suspended for a day at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire so teams could deal with the aftermath of a supposed mid-air collision: a scenario the Military Aviation Authority requires to be rehearsed.

Mark Davies, Emergency Planner for North Yorkshire Police, says it is important to ensure people know "what their role is" in that scenario.

Military host practice air crash in North Yorkshire

Military personnel practice dealing with an air crash

Hundreds of military personnel and the emergency services have been taking part in a major exercise to practice dealing with an air crash.

Flying was suspended for a day at RAF Leeming, in North Yorkshire, so teams could deal with the aftermath of a supposed mid-air collision, involving two military aircraft and a number of casualties.

It is a scenario the Military Aviation Authority requires the Air Force to rehearse and this particular exercise has taken months to plan.

Military personnel practice dealing with an air crash

Squadron Leader Jim Errington, who led the exercise, said the majority of the 1600 strong personnel at the base have been involved in some way, along with rescue crews from Scotland.

While flying is as safe as we can possibly make it, there is always a risk and we have to practice this sort of thing, just in case the worst was to happen.

– Jim Errington
Military personnel practice dealing with an air crash

Military fire crews and police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, North Yorkshire Police and the ambulance services joined the simulated rescue and recovery operation, to practice working together.

It is one of the largest exercises of its kind planned for this year.

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