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Prevention & Enforcement Service

Source: PSE Dec/Jan 17

Chief Inspector Rob Hill of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, and head of service for the Prevention and Enforcement Service (PES), explains how the new service is helping to deliver a joined-up approach to tackle crime and quality of life issues in the area.

Partnership working is a well-worn phrase, but for Peterborough’s Community Safety Partnership (the Safer Peterborough Partnership) this means making the most of the limited resources across the partnership to improve efficiency and deliver enhanced community safety and quality of life outcomes for our residents. 

Peterborough faces a number of challenges in tackling crime (particularly victim-based crime) and quality of life issues from socio-economic conditions within the city, rapid population growth and an increasingly diverse community. These factors, combined with the ongoing reductions in funding across the public sector, provide significant challenges in continuing to keep all of our community safe and reducing crime. Transforming the way the public sector delivers services is, therefore, critical to keeping Peterborough safe and providing a more cost-effective provision not only for the council, but for the wider public sector. 

The creation of the PES is an innovative and replicable partnership model that has combined frontline staff from Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service and HMP Peterborough into a single service that looks past the uniform of individual officers and focuses on a combined, multi-agency response to tackle crime and quality of life issues. 

The PES builds upon the successful work of the Safer Peterborough Partnership in delivering a multi-agency response that prioritises: 

  • Tackling victim-based crime, particularly reoffending
  • Reducing anti-social behaviour
  • Building stronger and more supportive communities
  • Supporting high-risk and vulnerable victims 

Whilst working in partnership between agencies is nothing new, the model that has been developed in Peterborough goes significantly beyond this. The PES is hosted by the city council and comprises over 130 staff from partner organisations and is aligned into one service, operating from a single location. This alignment of services has led to a genuine culture shift both for individuals and organisations. By working in a combined team, trust and communication increases, which breaks down organisational silo-thinking and leads to a one-service approach. 

The PES combines a range of community safety services from within the council (such as parking enforcement, housing enforcement, anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood environment enforcement) with frontline police officers, supported by staff from the fire and rescue service and the local prison. This has led to the creation of multidisciplined teams with a blend of skills and experience from across the organisations. Teams are led by a mixture of supervisors in the the partnership and are accountable to the partnership management board. 

One of the main benefits of the PES is that officers will have access to a greater range of powers under the new service. The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme provides PES staff with additional powers through the chief constable’s authority, equivalent to the same powers as police community support officers. These new powers, not previously available to local authority and other non-police staff, provide the ability to tackle a wide range of community safety, environmental crime and quality of life issues. Since the scheme launched in October 2016, it has tackled issues from anti-social behaviour, fly tipping, arson, rough sleeping, housing and civil enforcement to more serious crimes of modern slavery and drug issues. 

Another significant benefit is the ability to jointly brief and direct mixed-service staff on a daily basis. One manager/supervisor sits over all services to ensure information is shared and that there is a truly joined-up approach to tackling identified issues. Direction is evidenced-based, supported by the analytical use of data to ensure that the team are focused on the things that really matter. 

Whilst it is still early days for the PES, the first few weeks of operations have shown that this is a service that is making a real difference to Peterborough and is successful at tackling the issues that matter to our residents.

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