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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Neighbourhood policing

Every neighbourhood is different - and so are the problems faced by residents. Neighbourhood policing teams work closely with the community to identify and deal with the issues that can make you feel unsafe.

Making your neighbourhood safer

Neighbourhood policing teams are made up of police officers and community support officers (PCSOs), often working alongside special constables, local authority staff and volunteers. They're all focused on making you feel safe, and they do this by making sure that you actually are safe. They ensure that local problems are dealt with quickly.

This can be as simple as having graffiti cleaned off local buildings, or as detailed as arranging activities to keep young people busy and off the streets. They meet with residents to hear their concerns, and to find solutions to problems as they arise.

These teams are working on specific projects in your neighbourhood, so they are not the people to call in an emergency. In an emergency you should still dial 999.

Get involved

Across the country, local groups work in communities, encouraging residents to get involved in making their towns better and safer. If you want to get involved, contact your local neighbourhood policing team to find out what's going on in your part of town.

You could get involved with your local Partnerships and Communities team, for example, or you could join your local neighbourhood policing team panels. They set local priorities for police, and have a say in payback schemes, which ensure that convicted criminals give something back to the community.

Meet your local community safety manager

The police, local authorities and other services (such as health trusts) all work together to prevent crime. Crime and disorder reduction partnerships and community safety partnerships come up with plans to prevent crime and disorder, including anti-social behaviour and illegal drug use.

You have the right to know about their work in your area. Your local community safety manager can tell you more about the crime reduction plan in your own community. They can also explain how you can get involved with local crime reduction schemes, and crime prevention meetings.

Neighbourhood Watch

One of the simplest and most effective moves you can make is to join your local Neighbourhood Watch group, or, if there isn't one in your area already, to start your own.

Your local police station can put you in touch with a group near you, and the Neighbourhood Watch website has lots of information to help you get started.

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