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Community Safety Blog

Tick Box Community Engagement – Time to Reconnect?

Community Engagement
The past year has been an interesting and some might say an unfortunate one for Neighbourhood Policing. Frontline officers have been saying for some years how this bedrock of our police service is being slowly eroded due to increasing cuts to funding and police numbers. Now we are starting to hear more Chief Constables espouse the same concerns with the likes of Ian Hopkins (GMP) and Andy Cook...
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A Community Where People Care Enough To Act

So there we were, police, council and housing officers together with resident street champions and councillors, all gathered outside of the Oaktree Sports Centre in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on a freezing cold December’s evening. In less than an hour it would go dark which left us with about 45 minutes to be briefed and to venture into the Oaktree Estate - would we discover a community where...
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Communities where no one wants to get involved?

On my travels and during my workshops I often hear individuals in ‘agency world’ discussing how no-one in the communities they work in (you know, the ‘deprived ones’) wants to get involved in volunteering activities that will make their area safer. Do any of these common complaints sound familiar? ‘No-one wants to get involved in the activities we arrange’ ‘It’s the same small number of ...
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Doing a lot without doing a lot

Asset Based Community Development
  In my last three blogs (here, here and here) I explored some of the issues and challenges around Bishop Desmond Tutu’s famous quote about pulling people out of the river, finding out why they are falling into the water in the first place, and then taking action to stop them. But what if we could stop people getting to the water’s edge in the first place? Or once there we created, in ...
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Silent Working

Silent Working
'There comes a point where we need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in.' Bishop Desmond Tutu But first, we need to discover the 'silent working' in our organisations. Getting upstream and stopping people falling in – sounds like an easy journey doesn’t it? But if it were that easy public services would be in this position al...
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Time to get off the ‘pontoons’ of Early Intervention?

Early Intervention
'There comes a point where we need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in.' Is Bishop Desmond Tutu describing Early Intervention here? Or is there another path we can take? In my last blog on getting upstream of the river to stop people falling in, I explored some of the challenges that prevent police officers and others with a re...
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Time to Stop Pulling People Out Of The River?

'There comes a point where we need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in.' Bishop Desmond Tutu I recently spoke at Salford University’s Future of Policing conference in London on the subject of asset based approaches to problem solving in community safety and the paradigm shift from the concept of ‘Public Servant,’ to ‘Citizen En...
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Changing community conversations through Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry community conversations
During a recent visit to Mansfield, as part of the field research phase prior to the start of their Problem Solving in Community Safety course, I joined a small group of Council and Fire Service employees in the Ravensdale Estate. The aim of these walkabouts is to enable me to get a real feel for what is going well and to ascertain what the issues are from a resident and ‘boots on the ground’ ...
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Bus Stop Community Building

Appreciative Inquiry
I had an interesting discussion the other day with a group of police officers that were interested in how asset based approaches to community building and in particular, the use of Appreciative Inquiry, can be used to help support building strong communities.   I believe all public servants have a part to play in community building. Some will have this as a significant part of their...
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‘Tough Love’ PSPO – An Effective Enforcement Solution?

PSPO Homelessness Rough Sleeping
  A ‘Tough love’ PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) is what is needed to tackle Exeter’s homeless and rough sleeping problem claimed the city’s MP Ben Bradshaw in the press recently. He described a, ‘perfect storm of homelessness’ after a visit to the streets that are now home to dozens of rough sleepers with all their associated problems. Ben believes a PSPO will help in solving som...
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