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Launch of community champions scheme in East Cambridgeshire

13 Sep 2018

We're looking for people to be the eyes and ears of their community in East Cambridgeshire with the launch of a new project.

The community champions project launches tomorrow (13 September) and is a partnership between Cambridgeshire Constabulary and East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The aim of the scheme is not just about reporting crime but also focuses on vulnerability and harm - and when it is recognised by someone in the community - knowing what to do or who to tell.

Sergeant Phil Priestley said: “This new project is about protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and knowing how to do that effectively.

“For example, if an elderly man or woman keeps a supermarket delivery driver talking for ages - this might be the only contact they have had with anyone in days. Can we flag that up and bring an agency in to provide support and assistance?

“We want to work with a number of key employers that have people going in and out of addresses – encouraging them to flag any community concerns they have as part of their job role.

“The supermarket delivery driver is not there simply to drop off shopping, but is instead part of a collective community presence and, thanks to this project launch, may now feel empowered to do something when they recognise things that need to be addressed.

“The launch is intended to get groups, agencies and companies on board and signed up to a longer term commitment that goes beyond a one off appeal.”

The new eyes and ears project is a way that people can look out for each other in their East Cambridgeshire neighbourhoods without having to sign up to any agreement or schedule.

Sgt Priestley added: “We want people to understand that the police and other public services are only as strong as the support we receive from the community.

“It is frustrating for police officers and other agencies who identify problems to be told the problems have has been going on for years, but somehow the situation has never been brought to light.

“During this course of time, evidence is lost and harm is suffered. It is particularly distressing when a vulnerable person is suffering from neglect, or is being victimised repeatedly, and nothing is said or done.”

Any  groups, agencies and companies wishing to get involved in the community champions scheme should contact sergeant Mark Rabel on 101.

The public can report any community concerns they have by calling 101, or alternatively via the police website at www.cambs.police.uk/report.

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