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Commissioner visits St Ann's to launch Walkabout Wednesday events


Community organisations in St Ann’s spoke with Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry during the launch of her monthly Walkabout Wednesdays today.

Commissioner Henry listened to updates on projects she is funding to support people affected by crime, reduce reoffending and improve safety in the area. She also spoke to residents while she was in the area.

Walkabout Wednesdays are set to be held in communities across Nottinghamshire, allowing residents to have an input into how policing and crime prevention can be improved in their neighbourhoods.

Commissioner Henry was joined by Neighbourhood Inspector Karl Thomas, PC Brian Dacunha and Lylse-Anne Renwick a Senior Resident Development Officer from Nottingham City Council. They spoke about e-scooters, graffiti and positive community collaboration.

The walkabout, which started at St Ann’s Police Station, covered hotspots for crime in the area and included visits to; St Ann’s Advice Centre, the Chayah Development Project, Switch Up and the Pakistan Community Centre.

St Ann’s Advice Centre offers wide level of support to the community, from welfare advice and back to work programmes to an IT suite and community café. Rachel Graham, Centre Manager, said: “After the last few years it’s important to have spaces for the community to get out of their house and come together.”

During the visit to the Chayah Project, they were cooking and preparing meals to support people across Nottingham. The Chayah Development Project runs multiple initiatives which help energise and empower people to break down barriers and stigmas associated with communities.

Hya Francis-Watson, Manager of Chayah Development Project, said: “Due to the rising cost of living we’re supporting more people and are in desperate need of more donations to support the community, from homewares to food, any donation is appreciated.”

Commissioner Henry’s last visit was to Switch Up, a charity based in Nottingham which exists to empower Nottingham’s young people, children and young adults to break the cycle of offending and reoffending. Switch Up uses tried and tested mentoring techniques along with physical training to engage Nottingham’s young people in positive activity and to steer them away from the circle of crime and gang-criminality.

Liam Draper, Children and Young People Service Manager at Switch Up, said: “We’re excited to start our new ‘Reconnected’ project, funded through the triangle trust, we aim to get young people with criminal convictions into sustainable employment.”

Inspector Karl Thomas, Neighbourhood Inspector for Nottingham South, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Commissioner Henry to St Ann’s and an excellent opportunity to talk through the policing priorities for the community.

“The officers in the neighbourhood team were delighted that she chose Nottingham South to launch this new initiative.

“As police officers we are politically neutral and from my conversations this event was also supported by all our local councillors, regardless of their political colours.

“I was also pleased members of the public took the opportunity to engage with us about the issues affecting them and I look forward to welcoming the commissioner on future visits.”

Commissioner Henry said: “It is really important that local residents have their chance to influence how we tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in their neighbourhoods and how Nottinghamshire Police can improve to serve people in the best possible way.

“My role as Police and Crime Commissioner is to represent the people of Nottinghamshire in delivering the best police and crime service possible – including holding the force to account and funding projects that can make a real difference to people’s lives and benefit community safety. So events like this give me a chance to hear first-hand what issues people are experiencing and how we can do things better.

“Walkabout Wednesdays are all about engaging with the community and taking their views on board as we continually strive to work as a team with local residents to make their neighbourhoods safe. They also give me a chance to visit some of the projects that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner provides funding for, such as the Chayah Development Project and Switch Up, who are doing some excellent work here.

“I will be visiting lots of communities across Nottinghamshire with similar events so I would encourage people to look out for them in their neighbourhoods and please come and speak to me or my office about how we can help.

“I am grateful to Insp Thomas, PC Dacunha and Lylse-Anne for joining me on my walkabout and talking about the type of issues affecting community life in St Ann’s as well as the work that is ongoing to target the perpetrators of these incidents.”

Posted on Wednesday 7th September 2022
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