|A still from a video shot by a PFNW member of two scramble motorbikes |
illegally on the Greenwheel footpath,
Volunteers will need to communicate............and wear high viz vests, this is what we said at the time....
"A few years after PFNW tried out the idea of street patrols, on Park Farm and following on from our innovative Holiday Property Watch last Summer, the general concept of community engagement has finally found favour with a number of Police forces under the not too original banner of Street Watch, a trial is to be held in some of the rougher parts of the City where Anti Social Behaviour is a growing problem. Unlike Park Farm where ASB rates are going down. [Well done everyone!] This is how it works:
Public volunteers are to be recruited by police in a trial to help patrol Peterborough streets as a new cheaper way of tackling anti social behavior. Wearing high visibility jackets, the volunteers initially in pairs will be used to walk the streets near their homes to keep a look out for problems that may be brewing. The objective is to make contact with local youths or other people where appropriate and when safe to do so.
Chief inspector Kevin Vanterpool said: “Police cannot be everywhere and with budget cuts [to come] we have to look at innovative ways of doing things.
“By taking the volunteers out with the PCSO at first and engaging with youths it has already proven to reduce the fear of anti-social behaviour.” The start-up cost for five test projects for the Street Watch scheme in Peterborough, which will cover a small number of streets and enlist 15 volunteers per group, is £2,700.
It will be tested in the northern sector of Peterborough, which covers Werrington, Walton, Bretton as well as villages such as Glinton and Eye.
Chief Inspector Vanterpool said: “To be clear, the volunteers will not be policing, they will be patrolling their areas, and engaging with local youths or people where appropriate and when it is safe to do so.
“They will have phones and will book in with police and it will be an intelligence sharing operation." he added.
Julian Bray, Park Farm Neighbourhood Watch commented: " As this is only a trial, and we have assurances it will not replace Police patrols, it will be interesting to gauge the reaction, so I have an open mind. We've had street patrols on Park Farm before and also introduced Property Holiday Watch, but really the Police need funding and these deep,deep, cuts by the coalition government are not at all helpful. Police constables cannot however be made redundant as they are Crown appointments. So the police civilian back office staff has been decimated and good people are losing their jobs........the logic frankly escapes me."
Well roll on a few months, the dreaded budget cuts in police budgets have been skillfully managed, we lobbied hard against them, and police front line services spared and indeed police will be recruiting from November and again next year, but does Street Watch indeed have a future ? Perhaps in the next trial or a full roll out, we could add into the kit small motion sensitive cameras, so we can pick up more of these motorbikes and minimotos?
We are putting together a series of broadcast features and we'd like your views. Would you welcome a short spell pounding the beat, engaging with our younger population? Perhaps this is an idea that will work at sometime in the future? All suggestions, ideas and comments welcome.
.. (C) Stanground & Park Farm News 2011 (C) Park Farm Neighbourhood Watch 2011, Peterborough,UK E&OE Tel: 01733 345581 ALL ENQUIRIES LOCAL NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICE: 0345 4564564 OR Dial 999. If you have any information about crime contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to Court. >> Broadcast Quality ISDN 01733 555319 ISDN Codecs G722 & ATX >> Media Enquiries: JULIAN BRAY 01733 345581 http://tinyurl.com/STANGROUNDPFNW