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Celebrating a decade of crime fighting in Ashfield

Posted onPosted on 12th Aug

Community Protection Officers (CPOs) are continuing their work to keep residents safe, support vulnerable victims and patrol Ashfield’s parks, estates and town centres.

They were first introduced to the area by the leader of Ashfield District Council, Coun Jason Zadrozny, in late July 2009.

He said: “I’m proud that since I introduced the service a decade ago, the team has dealt with at least 25,000 community safety issues per officer in that time.

“The service has adapted to new challenges in crime over the last 10 years. Our officers do vital work across the district and help some of the most vulnerable in our community.”

The team began in police stations across the district but, in 2016, co-located with the police at the Community Safety HUB in Kirkby. The move enabled efficient information sharing and greater resilience in responding to residents’ needs and issues.

As well as safeguarding vulnerable residents, CPOs have confiscated thousands of cans and bottles of alcohol from young people throughout the district.

The council said it helped to keep them safe and prevented alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

Coun Zadrozny added: “The team patrols and engage with residents, using all of its powers and tools alongside police colleagues to ensure our residents are not just safe, but also feel safe.

“We are committed to fighting anti-social behaviour and environmental crime across the district to make Ashfield a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Chris Parkes, who has worked as the community protection team leader for 10 years, said: “We have an excellent mixed team of males and females, younger and older officers who work hard to understand issues and resolve problems in the community.

“Engagement is extremely important to us so it’s vital that we listen to residents about their problems.

“Every day in this role is different and you never really know what is around the corner. We work closely with the police to ensure we are efficient and effective when it comes to responding to incidents.

“I’m proud of how far the team has come in the last decade and the positive impact we have had on the lives of individuals within the community.”

In a recent case, Ashfield’s Community Protection Team made a big difference on Welbeck Street, Sutton.

After problems of anti-social behaviour by certain residents were highlighted, the team increased its presence and police took action on drug dealing.

Andrea and George Reeves said: “The CPOs constantly patrolled the area, providing support to the residents where needed. The increased patrols and presence, combined with neighbourhood intelligence, made a huge (positive) impact on our lives.”