Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need
In this section you can see all of the involvement opportunities available to members of the community.
Street Watch is a community-led initiative based upon regulated, civilian street patrols. Members are citizens with no police powers.
Groups are managed by a volunteer co-ordinator who keeps a volunteer list and provides advice, guidance and support in consultation with the local police.
Volunteers must patrol in pairs and register each patrol on a specific website. The neighbourhood policing team can look at the website before the patrols take place. If volunteers spot suspicious activity they should report it to the police but not get involved.
The force provide a short training session, followed by six weekly meetings with a neighbourhood sergeant. Members of the neighbourhood policing team or a senior volunteer go out on the first patrol with new volunteers.
Volunteers should carry a mobile phone at all times.
The Street Watch scheme has protocols in place and insurance is given to volunteers over 18 years old.
West Midlands Police currently have schemes in Birmingham East and Solihull. More details can be found by contacting your local neighbourhood team.
Street Pastor schemes are an inter-denominational church response to neighbourhood problems. They allow church volunteers to receive training and talk to people on the streets and in night-time venues. Their purpose is to care, listen, and help in practical ways.
The scheme now has more than 2,500 trained volunteers and operates in over 100 locations across the UK.
Usually, churches in an area come together and express an interest in Street Pastors. A management group is set up and a co-ordinator identified. At least four churches need to be part of each scheme.
Volunteers are recruited from local churches. References are given by their church and volunteers are provided with 12 days of training in two or three blocks. After the first block of training, volunteers can go out on the streets. Each volunteer receives a uniform (to help distinguish them) and commits to going out on the streets at least once a month.
More details on Street Pastors, can be found at www.streetpastors.org.uk.
Several watch schemes currently run across the West Midlands, including Pub Watch, Horse Watch and Business Watch. Details of the most common watch scheme, Neighbourhood Watch, can be found at www.ourwatch.org.uk.
Neighbourhood Watch is one of the UK’s largest community crime prevention initiatives. Neighbourhood Watch is not run by the police, but has dedicated members of staff working with it.
Every Neighbourhood Watch group is different because each is owned and run by the people of its community. Members of the public and their neighbours come together to make their area a safe and pleasant place to live. They decide what measures to take because they know what their community needs best. Local groups also draw on support from police, local authorities, fire and rescue services, the voluntary sector and other volunteers.
What is an IAG?
An IAG is a self-governing group made up of between 15 and 21 people from our local communities who provide independent advice to the police with the aim of improving the quality of policing services to all our communities.
Could you be an IAG member?
We are seeking people who reflect the make-up of our communities and are able to demonstrate an interest in the growth of their area. Members will be expected to have a connection with a particular community or communities and an understanding of the issues relevant to this community/communities. Membership of the group is on a voluntary basis. Members will be required to abide by a code of conduct and terms of reference for the group.
How often will the IAG meet?
Once the IAG group is established it will meet as a minimum four times a year. Outside of these scheduled meetings it may be necessary to call emergency meetings or seek advice on specific issues from selected members of the group.
What is the reach of the IAG?
The IAG covers the geographical area of a Local Policing Unit and only policing matters within the policing area will be discussed.
How do I get involved?
To find out more about an IAG in your area, please call the non-emergency number 101, when prompted and ask to speak to the Consultation and Engagement Officer for your area, e.g. Wolverhampton, Coventry.
What happens next?
Once submissions of interest have been received a confirmation will be sent to interested people. The submissions of interest will then be looked at by a selection panel and successful candidates will be informed.
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