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Shiregreen event places community safety as a top priority

21 May 2015
Dr Alan Billings with the 'Putting Safety First' document.

A housing provider in Sheffield has raised awareness of the importance of community safety at a partnership and residents’ event with the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.

The May forum, held at Shiregreen Community Centre, saw Sanctuary Housing join forces with Dr Alan Billings to report on how community safety is being developed in the area with the support of local residents.

Dr Billings introduced the local policing plan for South Yorkshire, ‘Putting Safety First’, and the changes included in it. Vulnerable people, tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and enabling fair treatment are the three priorities the community has chosen for the police to adopt.

South Yorkshire Police and representatives from Sanctuary spoke about dealing with these issues on a local level, as well as neighbourhood work with local charity SOAR. The charity, which is funded through Sanctuary’s community investment fund, encourages buddying and befriending services, providing interaction for Shiregreen residents and reducing the risk of social isolation.

Age UK Sheffield rounded off the event by discussing its city-wide initiatives to support older people.

Sanctuary’s local neighbourhood partnerships manager, Sophie Lejeune-Peggie, said: “The event was a real success. A great mix of people came along, from residents, community group leaders and partners to local councillors, who all had the chance to ask questions and discuss ideas around community safety and develop a plan going forward for Shiregreen.

“We encourage anyone with a vested interest in the Shiregreen area to attend our community forums throughout the year, all aimed at sharing information, consulting on local area action and encouraging groups to share resources.”

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings added: “The new Local Policing Teams will be bigger than existing neighbourhood teams because they will be formed by combining response and neighbourhood teams into a single team with a community focus.

“Each Local Policing Team will be expected to manage all but the most serious crimes in their area, from start to finish, and keep in touch with victims. They will operate a 24 hour, seven day shift pattern. Police community support officers will remain as they are.

“The Local Policing Teams will be more visible within communities because they will be equipped with laptops that enable them to write up their reports while still in the community instead of having to travel back to a police station.”

Also attending the event were representatives from Sheffield City Council.