East Devon gears up for national Not in My Neighbourhood Week

PUBLISHED: 15:52 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:46 10 June 2010

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10 - EAST Devon is gearing up for the national Not In My Neighbourhood Week, which runs from the 13–18 October 2008.

EAST Devon is gearing up for the national Not In My Neighbour Week, which runs from the 13-18 October 2008.

The event is a government initiative where agencies across the country showcase all the work that is being done to make our communities safer.

Across East Devon, work is carried out all throughout the year with just that aim in mind.

For the last 18 months, East Devon District Council has been carrying out neighbourhood assessments. They have targeted all the main towns and are now visiting the villages.

In specific areas of those communities staff have knocked on doors and completed questionnaires with the householders.

The questionnaires ask if the individuals enjoy living in the area, whether they are satisfied with the council services they receive, what issues they have regarding various types of anti social behaviour and crime.

Any concerns or issues are passed to the agency that is best able to deal with them.

The neighbourhood assessments are very similar to the public consultation under the banner of PACT (Partners and Communities Together) - an ongoing process carried out by the police.

Both the assessment and PACT are intended to get feedback from members of the public in East Devon about any concerns and issues they currently have.

The police believe the scheme is an 'excellent' way of engaging with the public and for the agencies to direct their resources accordingly.

Free services such as the police home security check and a fire brigade home fire safety check are offered.

In addition to this form of engagement, which also provides a great deal of reassurance for the public, East Devon has four geographically based local action groups which are multi-agency attended and look into the issues of crime, disorder, anti social behaviour and general community safety.

Within the last 12 months the district council has formed REACT - the Response, Enforce and Clean Team.

This team is attached to the Street Scene department and responds quickly to reports of things such as litter, graffiti, and fly tipping as well as ensuring that the streets and verges across the district are kept clean and tidy.

Community action days, organised by the community safety officer, also regularly take place across East Devon.

A variety of agencies attend the days which target specific areas to let people know the services available to them.

The police said the events have been successful and are an 'excellent' way of measuring public opinion and meeting people.

East Devon also has a good neighbourhood watch set up with many members being part of the police community messaging scheme.

Items of interest about crime or community safety can be telephoned or emailed to thousands of people across the district.

The partnership's autumnal safety strategy comes into play this season.

This is about keeping people safe on Halloween and November 5 and the lead up to those two days.

The police visit retailers who sell flower and eggs and also those who sell fireworks, to remind them of their responsibilities.

Letters are sent by the partnership to the parents of teenage children across the district via the schools and the police and fire brigade carry out inputs in the schools regarding the fire safety and anti-social behaviour issues.

Community Safety Officer Gerry Moore said: "You will note that much activity takes place throughout the year and is not just condensed into a single week in October.

"In the main, people do feel safe in East Devon and things such as crime and disorder are not highlighted by them as being major issues.

"Relatively low-level types of anti social behaviour, speeding vehicles and irresponsible parking are flagged up as causing most concern in the neighbourhoods.

"A lot more public consultation is now taking place and the East and Mid-Devon Community Safety Partnership wishes to remind people that East Devon is and will continue to be, one of the safest places in the country in which to live, work and visit.

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