Under the "community safety" umbrella our two Wardens, Trevor Clark and Frances Haley, provide a highly visible, semi official presence in our residential and public areas and our town centres with the aim of helping to reduce crime and the fear of crime, deterring anti social behaviour, and fostering community cohesion. Trevor and Frances provide a vital link between residents and local service providers, including landlords, the police, district and town councils.
Wychavon is a safe place to live and residents' perception of feeling safe in the area has increased over the past few years. In a 2003/4 survey, 88.3% of residents' felt fairly safe or very safe during the day whilst outside in the local authority area. In a 2010/11 survey that figure had risen to 99%. In the same 2003/4 survey, 50.9% of residents felt fairly safe or very safe after dark whilst outside in the local authority area. In the 2010/11 survey that figure had risen to 83%. Wychavon residents still believe that crime and community safety is the most important thing in making a place safe to live (Worcestershire Viewpoint Survey 2011).
Community Wardens Scheme
The 2002 Wychavon Community Safety Strategy identified that community neighbourhood wardens could be a valuable asset working with the local communities in reducing crime, drugs and anti social activities. In June 2003, two wardens were introduced, one at Evesham Centre and one at Westlands Estate, Droitwich, and the initiative proved very successful. For example over the first 12 month period, crime in Evesham decreased by nearly 10% and on the Westlands Estate it decreased by some 30%. Clearly this was not only due to the wardens' presence but it undoubtedly assisted the situation.
The wardens have been trained and equipped to undertake a number of general duties;
- Basic crime prevention and security installation including mobile CCTV
- Evidence gathering
- Neighbour dispute mediation
- Environmental issues such as fly tipping, including assisting in the interviewing of offenders
- Removal of fly-posting
- Minor excavations (e.g garden work for vulnerable residents)
Towns & Villages - The wardens first patrolled only in the towns on foot or on pedal cycles. However the scheme proved so successful that it was felt all residents, rural as well as urban, should receive the benefits the scheme offered. In 2006, through external funding the wardens were given vehicles and since that time they have patrolled over 25,000 miles in rural areas alone, something that couldn't be done before.
Between November 2006 and December 2012 the wardens have visited and assisted over 3,000 vulnerable residents and visited and assisted over 2,000 crime victims or potential crime victims and handed out over 8,000 security items as part of the scheme. They have mediated in neighbour disputes 170 times.
Trevor and Frances have received many documented comments. Here are just a few of the more recent ones;
From Mr D who lives near Evesham
"Dear Frances I would like to thank you for the help and advice you gave me following the burglary that took place at my home. Following your visit I felt much safer and really appreciated the alarms you fitted to my door and windows. This is an excellent service provided by Wychavon District Council and provides victims of burglaries with some much needed help and support in times of need."
From Mr and Mrs M who live in Droitwich
"Thank you for sending Trevor to see us following the recent burglary to our home. He was most polite and helpful and explained various security systems and left us several items which we have put into operation. This is a most useful service and we certainly feel more secure again".
From Mrs J near Tewksbury
"A very approachable, trustworthy and delightfully friendly chap called Trevor Clark called on us and went through extensive appraisals of our security. He fixed all non working windows and placed alarms around these. He is a diamond and this is the type of service we all need".
From Mr P of Pershore
"Delighted with the quick response after Frances Haley visited a neighbour re security concerns. Good deterrent, very grateful for help and free locks. Wonderful service. Hope it continues for many years".
How can residents help the wardens?
Trevor and Frances are there to support our front line Councillors as neighbourhood representatives to help address problems and listen to residents' suggestions. Crime prevention is an integral part of the wardens' role, and there is much that residents can do to help reduce crime and anti social behaviour. Examples include;
- Keep an eye out for your vulnerable neighbours to identify those affected by crime or the fear of crime
- Identify your neighbours affected by nuisance or anti social behaviour
- While out and about keep an eye out for people acting suspiciously and note registration numbers of any suspicious vehicles
- Note any inappropriate use of facilities. For example children's play areas by teenagers
- Note any damage caused by vandalism and graffiti and of the build up of litter and rubbish
- Take details of any abandoned vehicles you come across
- Note any evidence of drug abuse (e.g. discarded needles or syringes)
- Note any areas which experience problems with speeding vehicles
- Homelessness Handbook
- IOM (Integrated Offender Management) Newsletter January 2014 Edition
- IOM (Integrated Offender Management) Newsletter Summer 2013 Edition
- IOM (Integrated Offender Management) Newsletter 2012 Edition
- Download 'No Cold Callers' notice
For more information about our Community Wardens contact:
Community Safety Manager
Telephone: 01386 565301, between 9am-5pm, Monday - Friday