Community invited to discuss crime concerns at college event

People living in the Bishop Auckland area are being invited to a drop-in event where they can meet police and other agencies involved in crime prevention.

Crime Prevention Evening two

The Community Crime Prevention Evening, being held at Bishop Auckland College, will enable members of the public to both report criminal activity anonymously and sign up for organisations including Neighbourhood Watch.

A range of agencies concerned in crime prevention including Durham Constabulary, the Office of the Durham Police & Crime Commissioner and Durham County Council are attending the event, organised by the college’s Criminology and Public Services department.

Katy Dixon, course co-ordinator for Criminology and Public Services, said: “The crime prevention evening is a joint approach at police community liaison with the college.

“The idea is that members of the public feel they can attend a neutral venue and discuss issues which affect them and where they live - and learn about ways they can keep themselves and their families safe.”

The 20 agencies taking part include:

• Durham Constabulary o Bishop Auckland Neighbourhood Policing Team
o Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Department
o Crime Prevention Team

• Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
o Community Peer Mentors
o Safer Streets Partnership
o Victim Care and Advice Service

• Durham County Council
o Drug & Alcohol Service
o Anti-Social Behaviour Team
o Neighbourhood Wardens

• County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
o Wellbeing for Life Project

• Neighbourhood Watch Scheme – County Durham

• Bishop Auckland & Shildon Area Action Partnership (AAP)

• Barclays Digital Eagles.

Joy Allen

Durham Police & Crime Commissioner Joy Allen (pictured), who will be attending, said: “I’m really looking forward to meeting local people at this event and understanding the issues that are impacting their quality of life in Bishop Auckland. This information helps the force target police resources to the problems and areas where need is greatest.

“Empowering people to volunteer and take an active role in the safety of their communities is really important to me. I promised to increase opportunities for people to volunteer or undertake training in the criminal justice sector as part of my Police and Crime Plan and this event is one of the many ways I am delivering on my pledge.

“I’m determined to make the communities of County Durham and Darlington safer, stronger and more resilient to crime and anti-social behaviour and I really value the support I receive from the public including our network of Neighbourhood Watch volunteers in making this happen.”

The college’s Criminology and Public Services department works closely with the police and other uniformed services as part of the curriculum and a number of students will be attending the Community Crime Prevention Evening.

Recent initiatives have included an overnight training exercise at Durham Constabulary's Training Centre in Meadowfield, Durham where a series of real-life incidents they would face working in the emergency services were simulated for 30 students. On May 4 Joy Allen is giving a guest lecture to BA (Hons) Sociology & Criminology undergraduates.

Acting Inspector Victoria Ord, who leads Bishop Auckland Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “This is a fantastic event and an opportunity for members of the local community to meet with police and partner agencies. It’s the first of its kind and hopefully something we will develop and arrange further events in the future.”

• The event is being held in the Meeting Place in the college’s main Woodhouse Lane campus, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday May 3 and all are welcome.