Working together to keep our communities safer

Community safety was on the agenda this week at our Staffordshire Hundred event and as always it was good to get together with our partners to see how we can better work together.

Working together to deliver the best outcomes for the county is not a nicety – it’s a necessity. The need to work together has never been more important and I mean working with all our partners, public, voluntary, community and businesses.

This time round we looked at the issue of safety and how offenders and their rehabilitation and management affects our wider partnerships. We were lucky enough to have Matthew Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner, and Dennis Phillips from Timpsons as our guest speakers. Timpsons do tremendous work in recruiting and supporting ex-offenders providing them with a means of turning their lives around and it was interesting to hear how they do it and why.

Thankfully, Staffordshire broadly is a low crime area but the fear of crime and the impact of crime can be tremendous.

With the national changes to the probation service, legal aid and the Care Act making explicit reference to the care needs of prisoners and probationers. It is clear that national challenges are filtering down to what we are doing locally. Also, with an election on the horizon, there are issues around the muddying of waters over what is going to happen across all of our policy areas.

Overall I still believe that there is an increasing role for our partnerships in eroding the artificial barriers between services and approaches. We no longer look at health and social care as separate – and everyone accepts that education and skills are intrinsically linked. When it comes to community safety we need to do the same as we do in other areas of work and work together for the people of Staffordshire.

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