West Midlands Police and Himaya Haven project in Sparkhill
Describe your best practice
A community group with good links was approached to put on an event in order to talk to the local community about Neighbourhood Watch and answer any questions or concerns people might have about crime and ASB. This allowed our contact with the community to feel more authentic because its being led by the community. Allowing local councillors to get involved added further value as it allowed local issues to be escalated so they could be rectified like cutting back shrubs etc to make an area safer
What did you do and why?
The event was simple, a gazebo was erected and some banners created along with flyers and social media. A couple of other partners were invited such as public health and also an activities company to entertain young kids with basic outdoor games. The event took advantage of pedestrian foot traffic and was done in an area with a higher than usual crime rate with lower than usual trust and confidence rate. It was also in an area which had drug use in the park and people were afraid to walk through it at some times of the day. The area is also one where there are no known or active neighbourhood watch groups
Duration of the project
What worked well?
Due to the area being predominately Pakistani and Somali it was good to have people within the team that could converse in the local languages, this ensured fairness and promoted diversity and inclusion. Out of it we identified a group who signed up straight away to be a street watch group to offer regular patrols. Numerous people approached the team to say that the usual people that hang around causing intimidation hadn’t come to the area which gave residents more of a reason to join NW. Using local people with contacts ensured good attendance where even the High Sheriff of West Midlands attended later to congratulate the team and the work they were doing. Numerous contact details were obtained for influential people in the community to help with further events.
How did you overcome any challenges?
The biggest challenge was securing people to help run the event as it was a weekend where people want to spend time with family. It was anticipated from the beginning that 50% would not be able to make it so this was factored in. Other challenges were having the ability to sign people up to WMNOW there and then due to capacity.
How did you cover any costs?
Costs were covered through acceleration funding provided via Neighbourhood Watch Network.
Which main category does this fall into?
Force/ Borough area