Civic Awards 2009 Community Service Medals

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Crime and safety, Loughton, Ongar, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

You can watch the awards presentation in full. Click the back button at the bottom of the page and click the link to watch the webcast.

Community Service medals are awarded to members of the Emergency Services who have made a special contribution or shown care and dedication well above and beyond the call of duty.

Police Community Support Officer Hayley Toye

Chairman John Knapman with PCSO Hayley ToyeEpping Forest District Council supports its local PCSOs, and works in partnership with them and Essex Police, and provides funding. As a result there has been real benefits from the introduction of PCSOs. No-one illustrates that better than the winner of the Epping Forest Police Community Service Medal for 2009.

Hayley Toye is a dedicated Officer serving the neighbourhood of Debden. Well known by local Councillors, residents and young people, she has made a particularly strong impact on anti-social behaviour. Her strength lies in talking with people and listening to them.

Building relationships and trust, Hayley has tackled problems as diverse as graffiti, racial abuse, shoplifting and inconsiderate parking. She uses her initiative to find new ways of communicating with local young people, one particular notable example being her Halloween disco.

Essex Ambulance Service Paramedic Brian Clark

Chairman John Knapman with Louise SamouelleBased at Ongar Ambulance Station, Brian Clark has been saving lives since 1980.

He is described as a `lovely, caring gentleman ` and he can be unaware of his impact on the people around him. Attending a minor emergency, Brian was surprised when the patient recognised him as the man who had saved his life years earlier. He has a reputation for remaining calm and level headed in pressurised and extreme situations.

Brian plays a big part in the social calendar of his station and the same friendly approach has endeared him to many of the new recruits he has mentored and trained over the years.

Brian is unable to receive his Community Service Medal in person but representing him at the awards presentation is Brian’s manager from the Essex Ambulance Service, Louise Samouelle.

Civic Awards 2009 Young Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Crime and safety, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your home

You can watch the awards presentation in full. Click the back button at the bottom of the page and click the link to watch the webcast.

The Young Citizen of the Year Award

The Epping Forest District Young Citizen of the Year for 2009 is Darnell Margurite.

Young Citizen of the Year Darnell Margurite and Chairman John Knapman

The Young Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to a young man who has made a tremendous difference to his local community.

In the past Limes Farm has had a bedevilled reputation for social issues and crime but more recently the Estate has enjoyed a much better atmosphere, lower levels of crime and less anti-social behaviour. The Young Citizen of the Year for 2009 has played a key role in the transformation.

He has given young people on the Estate something to do. Only 19 years old himself, he has worked with a close friend, Ben Wooley, to set up a football project for 8 to 13 year olds. It has not been easy. He has faced and overcome some very challenging behaviour, honing his own skills as a football coach and winning the respect of the Estate.

His efforts have not gone unrecognised elsewhere. Watching his voluntary work on Limes Farm, he came to the notice of Tottenham Hotspur, which has offered him a coaching role within their Football Foundation. His enthusiasm, dedication and hard work have marked him out as a true role model.

Crime Reduction at Limes Farm

Written on . Posted in Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Residents at Limes Farm in Chigwell have been invited to express their views on the dramatic reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour on the estate over the past year.

Organised by the Safer Communities Partnership a Special Action Group has been working with local residents at Limes Farm for the past 16 months and has seen a 31% reduction in crime and a 39% reduction in anti-social behaviour.

From 16 to 20 February 2009 questionnaires were distributed. Residents were invited to the community police office on the estate for a cup of tea to have a chat and fill in a questionnaire about their experiences of actions taken so far.

Some of their comments included:

I am pleased to see more Officers patrolling

There has been less crime

People feel safer on the estate and there is a good community atmosphere

Loughton Inspector Simon Werrett from Essex Police said: “All the hard work has paid off, not only by The Safer Communities Partnership and Police but by local residents working together to really make a difference in improving the quality of life on the estate. They truly believed in making the change and they have succeeded.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou Epping Forest District Council Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: I think these results speak for themselves. There has been a lot of hard work put into this group by many different organisations and individuals. This has shown the value of a co-ordinated problem solving response. Lessons have been learned and the Special Action Group process will become `best practice` for other areas requiring attention in Epping Forest district.

Safer Communities Team Provide Halloween Treat

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team joined forces with the Police for Hallowe`en to tackle complaints of nuisance. Safer Communities Officers Paul Gardener, Katie Sparks and Paul Southgate together with Tony Ellis the Police Crime Reduction Officer for the district responded to calls from the public to provide help, advice and re-assurance.

Safer Communities Officer Paul Southgate (top right) with Trick or Treaters and their parentsYoungsters with their blinky lights

The evening started with Officers speaking to groups of young people Trick or Treating to remind them not to call at addresses displaying `No Trick or Treat` posters and to encourage them to act responsibly. As an added road safety measure, officers handed out red flashing lights to make them more visible in the dark. During the course of the evening a number of addresses were attended across the whole district and Officers were able to give advice and re-assurance to residents who had reported youth nuisance.

Tony Ellis Epping Forest District Police Crime Reduction Officer said: Traditionally, Hallowe`en produces a high demand for the increased number of Police Officers on patrol. However, many of the calls we receive relate to instances of nuisance rather than an actual crime. The reason I and Safer Communities staff from Epping Forest District Council patrolled together was to relieve the pressure on Police units by attending minor incidents leaving them to deal with the more serious ones.”

Paul Gardener said: We provided support to the Police allowing Officers to deal with the more urgent calls. The co-ordination between organisations worked very well and this is a service we hope to provide each Hallowe`en.

Epping Town Link

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Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities team, in partnership with the local Police and stores in Epping have joined together to provide a Town Link / Shop Watch Service.

A total of ten shops along Epping High Street will be provided with a hand-held two-way radio to communicate with and alert each other to incidences of crime such as shoplifting.

The radios enable shopkeepers to warn others of any suspicious activity or people quickly and easily. The Council has funded the initial ten radios for the first year at a cost of £3,000, after which the shops will pay for the service. The local Police and Safer Communities Team at the Council will also have radios so that they can react to any incident very quickly and provide assistance if necessary.

Group shot of members of the Epping Forest Safer Communities Partnership

Pictured above are members of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership. On the top row from left to right are Ryan Scott (Manager of Scott Sports), Colin Freeman (Essex Watch Co-ordinator), Paul Southgate (Epping Forest District Council ASB Investigator), Jonathan Baldwin (Essex Police Chief Inspector) and Craig Carrington (Essex Police Inspector). On the bottom row from left to right are Councillor Syd Stavrou (Epping Forest District Council), Norma Harrison (PCSO – Police Community Support Officer, Caroline Wiggins (Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Manager) and Gary Harrington (NSO – Neighbourhood Specialist Officer).

Councillor Syd Stavrou Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: The introduction of the Epping Town Link will allow shop workers to communicate more frequently about problems they are currently experiencing and hopefully prevent would-be shoplifters from succeeding. This will provide a safer and better environment for local shoppers.

Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin Epping Forest District Commander said: This is an excellent Partnership initiative which provides support to local town businesses. The use of the radios will assist my Officers in preventing and detecting crime directed at the retail trade.”

New Safer Communities Team

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Your council, Your home

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team has grown. The role of this team is to work in partnership with other agencies such as Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue Service to reduce crime and disorder.

A total of six officers make up the team. Caroline Wiggins Safer Communities Manager said: Epping Forest District Council has acknowledged the need for closer multi-agency working and we are now in a position where we can lead on key crime and disorder initiatives.

The original team consisted of Caroline Wiggins, Paul Gardener, who co-ordinates operations to tackle crime and disorder and Daniel Bond, who deals with the district`s graffiti removal. It has now expanded to include three new members of staff. Adrian Petty, the CCTV Operations Officer, will manage the District`s existing CCTV as well as oversee all new installations. He said: This is an exciting time to join the Council and I hope to provide a common sense and proportionate CCTV response for the District.

Two anti-social behaviour investigators, Paul Southgate and Katie Sparks, have also been recruited, who both have Local Authority and Police backgrounds. They will work closely with Essex Police, Harlow Youth Offending Service and the Council`s Neighbourhood Officers.

Councillor Syd Stavrou Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: We recognised this team plays a key role in co-ordinating and delivering partnership activities aimed at tackling crime and disorder. We wanted to ensure the Safer Communities Team had the necessary staff to do this and support the Council`s Safer, Cleaner, Greener agenda.

Safer Communities Partnership 3 Year Plan

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Our performance, Performance, Residents, Working with the council, Your community, Your council, Your home

 

The Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership is a statutory collaboration of organisations and groups working together to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the District.

It is made up of Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Essex County Council, West Essex Primary Care Trust, and Essex Fire & Rescue Service (Responsible Authorities), but includes many other local bodies such as Probation, Victim Support, the Youth Offending Team, Registered Social Landlords, Neighbourhood Watch and residents groups.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires the responsible authorities within each District in England and Wales to form a Safer Communities Partnership (SCP), also referred to as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) or Community safety Partnership (CSP).

Each SCP is required to conduct an annual strategic assessment of crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and issues which affect the quality of life of residents. The assessment identifies the key problems the district has by examining a wide range of data sets held by many organisations. Analysis of the data provides a comprehensive picture of issues affecting the District. Priorities for action are agreed, directed by the results of the strategic assessment. Those priorities are formulated into a 3 year partnership plan which sets targets to reduce crime, disorder and improve community safety.

National Fraud Initiative

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Older people, Supporting business, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Audit Commission appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The Audit Commission currently requires us to participate in data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. This is part of what is known as the ‘National Fraud Initiative’. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s handbooks.

The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998. For further information and contact details on the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the Audit Commission’s website.

Audit Commission national fraud initiative website
(opens in a new window)

Data matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice.

Audit Commission code of data matching practice website
(opens in a new window)
    If you would like to contact Epping Forest District Council directly with any enquiries about the data sharing and matching exercises, here are our contact details:

  • Joe Akerman, Chief Internal Auditor, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ
  • By telephone on 01992 564446
  • By email to nfi@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Free Electric Blanket and Smoke Alarm Testing

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your home

An electric blanket being tested by a Council officer

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities Team and Essex County Council Trading Standards have teamed up once again to carry out free electric blanket testing throughout the District.

This service is available to all Epping Forest District residents who are urged to come along to have their blankets tested whilst they wait. A faulty electric blanket can be the cause of house fires and this is a quick easy way to keep safe. This year, Essex County Fire & Rescue will also attend to promote their Home Safety Fire Scheme.

The Home Safety Fire Scheme also includes fire-fighters from your local Fire Station visiting your home in the Epping Forest District to give advice on fire safety and where necessary fit ten year smoke alarms.

This service is completely free and all you have to do is call 01279 420841 or turn up on the day to book your visit.

    Testing takes place between 10am and 1pm at:

  • Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton on 13 October 2008
  • Community Hall, Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping on 14 October 2008

For further information please contact the Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team by telephone on 01992 564272.

The Essex Experience

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Safer Communities Partnership - Epping Forest District

An exciting opportunity exists for young (or young at heart) adult volunteers aged 18 years or over to take part in the Essex Experience, a project by Essex Scouts to allow young people aged between 12 and 15 years old at risk of social exclusion the opportunity to try exciting and challenging activities.

The project receives part-funding for young people from the Epping Forest District though the Safer Communities Partnership.

Do you have young adults in your organisation, aged 18 years or more, or do you know of any young adults, who could benefit from being a volunteer at the Essex Experience?

    It is free to participate and the commitment would be as follows:

  • Monday 15 to Friday 19 September 2008
    Residential volunteer training course including teambuilding, leadership & communications skills, working with young people, first aid.
  • Evening Friday 19 to afternoon Sunday 21 September 2008
    Activity and camping weekend for 150 young people aged 12 to 15 years old. Activities include abseiling, climbing, go-karting, canoeing, rafting, archery, air rifle shooting, arts & crafts.
Briefing Meeting

Potential volunteers are required to attend a briefing meeting (further details will be sent with the application pack).

The Role of the Volunteer

The Role of the Volunteers is to act as mentors to the young people during the activity weekend, camping with them, leading them through the activities and encouraging them to take part. Support, in the form of training, first aid, catering, logistics, site services and activities, is provided by a large team of Scout leaders and volunteers.

Volunteer Requirements

Enthusiasm; enjoy a challenge; can lead by example and deal with problems; a sense of fun; willingness to deal with challenging behaviour from young people; can cope with camping for three nights; willingness to make friends and work as part of a team.

Benefits to the Volunteers

These include gaining a greater understanding of young people, develop leadership & teamwork skills, improve interpersonal and organisational skills, gain outdoor practical skills, experience new activities, take responsibility, increase self confidence, gain first aid skills.

Further Information and Application Pack
    Please contact Claire Fielder, Community Development Officer for Essex Scouts by:

  • Telephone on 01702 216768
  • Email at commdevoff@essexscouts.org.uk