Council staff, Housing Association representatives, Police and Police Community Support Officers recently attended a series of one-day courses designed to raise awareness and improve co-ordination between different agencies working to reduce crime.
Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction Co-ordinator Paul Gardener of Epping Forest District Council organised the training days with Tony Ellis and PC Andy Mitson of Essex Police.
Paul Gardener said: The traditional view of crime as a problem for the Police alone no longer holds true. We are now working in a much more organised and co-ordinated way. Housing professionals and PCSOs have a particularly important role in helping to identify and remove the causes of crime and anti-social behaviour. The most important thing is to make sure each partner understands what the others can do to help. For example, that might mean sharing information, providing community support such as activities for young people, or designing out crime by improving street lighting, removing walls or planting shrubs. It can really be as simple as that.
Delegates on the course were taken through a run down of the National Intelligence Model which guides the work of organisations in combating crime. Discussions took place on the use and benefits of Anti-social Behaviour Orders and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, a less well known but often more effective method of encouraging people back into a law abiding way of life.
Paul Gardener explained the role of `Tasking` where problems are identified and a specific set of measures or steps are implemented to reduce or remove crime. PCSOs in particular were offered an insight into Home Security Surveys that will allow them to advise elderly and vulnerable people how to improve personal security in their own homes. Delegates also discussed the way in which organisations such as the Council and Police are currently working together including Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership initiatives.
Councillor Ms Syd Stavrou, Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: These courses are a major step towards developing links and helping each organisation understand how its actions impact upon the work of others. Real examples of the work between Epping Forest District Council and Essex Police were used to illustrate how we can achieve more. There is no doubt that working together we can reduce crime and make tangible improvements to people`s daily lives.
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