As a Sergeant based within a Safer Neighbourhood Team with responsibility for local policing for the Abbeydale, Nether Edge, Sharrow and Highfields areas of Sheffield, my team and I are very conscious of the issues that matter most to the communities we serve.
While the subjects we are asked to deal with are diverse in nature depending on individual and community experiences, one of the topics that often comes to the fore is how we tackle anti-social behaviour.
The term itself encapsulates many forms, but there is a particular emphasis on addressing youth disorder, anti-social use of motor vehicles and individuals taking or dealing drugs.
How do we go about addressing these concerns in light of ever reducing budgets? One solution, which is now deeply embedded within working practices, is the use of partnership working within the community we serve.
This includes supporting youth provision provided by statutory and voluntary organisations within the area, as well as engagement with all religious faiths, links with schools, and encouraging local incentives such as the work that is taking place at the Sharrow Community Forum.
The establishment of new neighbourhood watch groups and use of volunteers as Special Constables has also been crucial in providing increased visibility and reassurance.
Alongside these established methods, we have also in the last 12 months attempted to take partnership working to a new level within our community.
For example, we have developed a key partnership with Pizza Hut to ensure their delivery drivers are equipped with headcams to reduce the level of anti-social behaviour they are subject to from local youths in the area.
In partnership with Sheffield City Council, we are using new legislation to propose the creation of Sheffield’s first Public Space Protection Order, which aims to address anti-social behaviour and disorder in a specific part of the community.
In consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, we have constructed one of the first Criminal Behaviour Orders in the country to address individual offending.
We are supporting the use of mediators within the community to have a better understanding of their needs and requirements, particularly young people.
We are using Community Safety Volunteers (CSVs) who are supporting and assisting police officers and Community Support Officers in giving advice around crime prevention and community safety initiatives.
South Yorkshire Police have 25 CSVs, with two exclusively attached to our team.
In September, we will progress to a new model of neighbourhood policing within Sheffield.
However, whichever model we operate to, you can be assured that one aspect is absolutely clear – partnerships will remain at the very core of the service we deliver to the community.
* Sgt John Mallows, South West Safer Neighbourhood Team