Stevenage volunteers sign up for safety initiative in national first

IN A first for the country, two volunteer resident inspectors for Stevenage Homes have been given special powers by Hertfordshire Constabulary to help further improve community safety in the town.It forms part of the national Community Safety Accreditati

IN A first for the country, two volunteer resident inspectors for Stevenage Homes have been given special powers by Hertfordshire Constabulary to help further improve community safety in the town.

It forms part of the national Community Safety Accreditation Scheme which was established in Hertfordshire in 2006 to promote partnership working between local police and organisations involved in community safety and crime reduction.

Stevenage Homes is the 14th organisation to be accredited by Hertfordshire Constabulary and its residential inspectors are the first such "volunteers" in the country to be accredited.

Bill Whelan and Michael Hearn patrol the residential estates in Stevenage to ensure the services of Stevenage Homes are being implemented.


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They perform walkabouts, inspections of void spaces, caretaking duties and grounds maintenance. They also deal with abandoned vehicles, graffiti and litter problems.

They work closely with Stevenage Borough Council, FoSTA - the Federation of Stevenage Tenants & Associations - to improve conditions for town residents and work closely with the Stevenage Police Community Safety Partnership.

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The volunteer resident inspectors have been given the power to demand the name and address of anyone they suspect is engaged in anti-social behaviour. They can also carry out checks with the Police National Computer (PNC) through Hertfordshire Police HQ.

Chief Insp Richard Liversidge said: "People have a right to feel safe and should feel safe in Stevenage. We are continuously working with our partners, such as Stevenage Homes, to further reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

"Working with communities is key to building good relationships and making Stevenage an even better place to live and I am sure Bill and Michael will play a vital role in the work being undertaken by policing teams and other organisations on a daily basis. We are grateful for all the support Stevenage Homes offer us."

Speaking on behalf of Stevenage Homes and FoSTA, Debbie Rab�t, director of housing and customer services, said: "These accreditations will help to deliver our commitment to working with the community safety partnership in Stevenage and ensuring that the estates in which our customers stay safe.

"I am very pleased that Bill and Michael are willing to take on this role in addition to their work as resident inspectors, which demonstrates how seriously FoSTA take the safety of the communities in which they work.

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