THE first public meeting of the newly created Police and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) was held in Mossley Mill this week and it certainly offered something a bit different to its predecessor.
In times gone by, the body the PCSP replaced, the District policing Partnership, would have featured the local police chief delivering his quarterly report followed by a short message on crime prevention and then a question and answer session and meetings were poorly attended.
The new PCSP retained many of those elements, but added a touch of fun.
Speaking to the Times ahead of the meeting area commander Chief Inspector, Stephen Reid said he hoped the new format would encourage more people to get involved with the organisation and take on board the important messages on crime prevention.
The meeting started with a quick address from the chief which included some of the latest crime statistics. Across the borough there were 221 burglaries in the past six months, down 41 per cent on the same period last year, but still an astonishing number - one in four - occurring through an unlocked window or door.
Then the chief handed over to vice chair of the PCSP, Audrey Murray, who organised a quick quiz on recent statistics and crime prevention, all handled in a very jovial manner.
Following the quiz, Community Safety Inspector Colin Audley delivered a presentation on knowing the signs of crime introduced by showing a clip from BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses.
Then he showed an interesting observational video designed to test the skills of the audience on recognising the writing on the wall and the gorilla in the room.
He also introducing the character Willie Nicket (yes he will) to encourage people to secure their valuables and keep presents out of sight over Christmas. Audio broadcasts will be played in the Abbeycentre on the hour every hour throughout Christmas to try and embed the message into people’s subconscious.
Following questions taken from the audience the meeting was wrapped up with many saying how interesting and worthwhile the evening had been.
The new PCSP is made up of 10 councillors and nine independent members, who were selected for their contribution in their communities and represent a wide range of different and varied backgrounds.
Chairman Robert Hill said he was pleased with how the first meeting went.
He told the Times: “Overall it went very well, There was a great crowd which was good to see and it was very lively which makes a bit of a change to how the DPP used to be.
“Of course there were serious matters to deal with, but this is the place for them to be raised and get responses from the police.
“Our next meeting will be in January on the subject of youths and crime and I am looking forward to that and hoping it will follow on from the good start we have made here.”