Coun Liz Vose speaks on the importance of the Boroughbridge Area Safer Neighbourhood Group.
I make no apologies for concentrating this week on the importance of the Boroughbridge Area Safer Neighbourhood Group.
The main aim of this group, which is supported by the police, fire and rescue service, Neighbourhood Watch and all the local councils, is to work together to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour, nuisance and other problems affecting the safety and wellbeing of our local communities throughout the Lower Ure Valley.
The group discusses issues of concern, which to a large extent have been raised by both members of the group and the public. Meetings take place three or four times a year and rarely last for more than 90 minutes.
While representation from all the local councils is essential, meetings are open to anyone. It was never intended for the meetings to be solely for parish and town councillors and we would encourage members of the public to come along to participate in the discussions and air their views.
Over the past few years attendance has generally been good and there have been up to 30 people attending the meetings. The last meeting in May was, however, poorly attended – perhaps a reflection of the level of concern about crime in our community as certainly when there is an issue of particular concern attendance tends to rise but interest in SNG meetings tends to fall when crime rates are low, as they are at present
However, while we all hope crime rates will remain low this may not be the case. The current, satisfactory state of affairs is a testament to the effective policing by our local team of first class police officers and PCSOs and as a community we are grateful for the work they do on our behalf. In the current economic climate, however, police budgets are being cut and the service is being stretched even further and in addition people’s incomes and lifestyles are coming under increasing pressure. This is a combination of circumstances that might lead to an increase in criminal behaviour so we do need to maintain an effective Safer Neighbourhood Group.
Even if there are no pressing issues concerning crime it is important to remember the SNG meeting is also a valuable forum for discussing a range of other local safety issues and community concerns.
I would ask you therefore to please consider attending the next meeting of the Group which will take place in Coronation Hall, Boroughbridge, on Tuesday, September 18, at 7.30 pm –and remember this is most definitely a public meeting open to all!
If you would like to find out more about the work of Safer Neighbourhood Groups, please get in touch with John Helliwell – telephone 01423 320731 or email firstname.lastname@example.org