Agenda item

Keeping Rural Communities Safe


The Head of Community and Safety Services introduced the report which contained various recommendations for progressing a small number of initiatives that would contribute to rural community safety and confidence. This report followed on from a report presented to the Commission in January 2015.


The Commission were asked to scrutinise the content of the report and agree the recommendations for progressing the individual projects which were contained throughout the report.


Observations and Questions were raised around the following areas:


·         Members were concerned that some of the proposed schemes would need to be resourced and queried where these resources would come from. The Head of community and safety services responded that on 1 December 2014 the Police and Crime Commissioner stated that he wanted 300 Special Constables in Peterborough that number had now risen to 350. The police and Crime Commissioner was happy to support Special Constables. 

·         Members commented that it was a very good idea to engage with local businesses for the Employers Special Scheme.

·         Members queried whether the proposed recommendations were already contained within the policing plan or was it something that the Commission needed to encourage. Members were advised that the policing plan did not go in to this type of detail therefore, it was not necessary to encourage it to go in to the Policing Plan.

·         Members expressed their support for each of the proposed initiatives.

·         Members commented that they were very happy to have received a letter in response to their past recommendation to advise them that from April 2015 Special Constables were entitled to a Council Tax rebate.

·         Members commented that Neighbourhood Watch was a very good scheme although, they expressed concern that the coordinators were not known within communities and suggested that all coordinators of the schemes were known by Councillors and Parishes. Members were advised that the Scheme coordinators were volunteers who all worked differently and membership was optional.

·         Members commented that the use of volunteers was not necessarily beneficial as people could be afraid of being seen doing the jobs. Members were advised that this depended on the person. They would be different to Community Wardens as they would possess powers.

·         Members commented that rural communities previously lost Police Community Support Offices due to lack of resources and expressed concern that this would happen with the proposed schemes if they were to be implemented in rural areas. Members were advised that the advantage of these schemes was that they were led by volunteers who could choose the areas in which they wish to work. The Employers Special Scheme was an informal contract with companies therefore, Officers should be allowed to work in rural communities.




The Commission noted the report and agreed for the Head of Community and Safety Services to provide details on the cost of each of the proposed projects.


The Commission requested that the Head of Community and Safety Services:


·         Approached the Head of Cambridgeshire Specials Constabulary to on their behalf to emphasise the Commission’s support for the Employers Special Scheme.


·          Asked the Safer Peterborough Partnership to encourage other agencies to increase staff awareness of the Rural Watch Patrols Scheme through scheduled training days and the electronic interactive training package.




The Commission recommended that the Safer Peterborough Partnership considered holding its Board meetings in public.


The commission recommended that the following projects were implemented within rural areas:


·         Employers Special Scheme (ESP)

·         Rural Watch Patrols

·         Neighbourhood Watch


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