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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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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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Rough Sleeping – You won’t SARA your way out of this problem

rough sleeping
  The complex challenges of homelessness and rough sleeping have so far been met by many cities through a mixture of services (including the police) 'engaging' with the victims of this social problem to provide support. For those who fail to 'engage' with this support a contentious model of enforcement based on Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) is being considered. The use of a...
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