The Safe Team

Residents succeeded in ending street corner prostitution by ‘picketing’ their own street corners and shooing the kerb crawlers away. Once the ‘demand’ had gone, the ‘supply’ just faded away. But the picketing had to be kept up night after night for three years. The problem did not move elsewhere, it was not displaced, it was dispersed.

The Forum applied for and got 5 neighbourhood warden posts which were funded for three years from the Home Office. They are now paid for by the Forum’s partners. They liaise between the police and residents and behave a little like Dixon of Dock Green. They reassure residents, mend their locks and solve low level crime.

There are 15 powerful CCTV cameras which interlink and are monitored by resident volunteers from within the local police station. Volunteer residents also staff the front desk of the police station, and answer residents’ enquiries. Without their cheery presence, the door would be locked and the public dismayed.

Together, the Wardens, CCTV monitors and front desk receptionists form part of an extended police team which helps and reassures residents and also persuades them to play their part by making their complaints or suspicions known in the certain knowledge that they will be dealt with promptly.

A further part of our safety work is to employ a detached youth worker and to link with other youth projects. The local police liaise with the community and visa versa via a liaison committee which is chaired by a resident. It has a safety strategy for the neighbourhood. It is developing the principles and practices of neighbourhood policing.