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Stoke North Local Policing Team are in the midst of delivering yet another action-packed community week promoting crime prevention, health and well-being, public safety and environmental awareness to the people of Norton. We caught up with Commander for Stoke North LTP, Chief Inspector John Owen, and other leading figures involved in the project to tell us more.

"This week of action came about mainly because of community concerns around anti-social behaviour, drugs and other issues blighting the community," says John. "We'd held similar successful initiatives in Cobridge and Tunstall earlier in the year and we wanted to replicate this for Norton.

"It's a major operation that requires a multi-agency approach so we've once again partnered with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and other third sector agencies to deliver the project.

"We wanted a big part of the week to focus on the general upkeep of the area so the Environmental Crime Unit has been enforcing and educating on issues such as litter, dog fouling and fly-tipping and carrying out scheduled litter picks and fly-tipping removal with the help of the Community Payback scheme," he adds. "Council maintenance and street cleansing teams are also out and about removing graffiti, road cleaning, hedge cutting and treating damp and mould.

Norton AW1"Specialist teams are on hand advising about drugs, employment and training opportunities, and local charity Savana are offering support to victims of racial, domestic or sexual abuse. We also wanted to interact with the younger members of the community so we've organised street games and activities and are visiting the local schools."

"It's great to see different agencies coming together to work in a neighbourhood, providing services in a more joined up way and making sure residents know more about what's on offer," enthuses Councillor Dave Evans from Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

"I've seen agencies working to make sure that elderly people are able to claim the benefits they are entitled to, seen agencies supporting vulnerable people but at the same time seeing the local police working with residents to resolve the long standing issues on the estate."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of the key players in the Norton Week of Action. The team has been in the area giving advice on how to stay safe from fire, focussing on winter fire safety as the weather changes and other well-being topics. The fire service spoke to families at Norton Primary School and have been taking part in the pop-up shops around Norton.

Norton AW2 Norton AW4Rio Case, a Community Safety Officer for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, says, "It has been a really fantastic week and a great example of working with our partners, Staffordshire Police, the British Legion, Job Centre, City Council, housing officers and so many others whilst carrying out Safe and Well visits and referring residents to the necessary organisations. This means we can help even more people.

"In the first two days we completed more than 20 safe and well visits to some of the most vulnerable people in the area. The week has been a huge success and the community have reacted positively. We've also had the opportunity to work closely with young individuals who have deliberately set fires in the past to educate them on the dangers. All in all it has been a fantastic week which was really well received by the community," adds Rio.

Police officers located at the Police Post on Knypersley Road and the mobile police station at Pound Gardens have been offering advice on crime prevention and encouraging residents to sign up to Smart Alerts. Anti-social behaviour patrols and dispersal enforcement have been prevalent and there have been a number of drugs warrants executed, traffic operations with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, parking enforcement and vehicles seized for insurance and tax issues.

Norton AW5Chief Inspector John Owen talks optimistically about the future prospects for Norton, "The community response to our action week has been excellent. The residents are clearly passionate about the area, and want it to be a fantastic place to live. They have informed us of lots of the on-going issues, and we are working with them and partners to resolve them," he says.

"We recognise that this is just the start, but are hoping that relationships will have been made which will allow us to work together long term to resolve these issues."

01 Dec 2017 10:08:41 GMT
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