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Warwickshire Police community initiative reaches the finals of the 2018 Tilley Awards

Operation Redgate, a Warwickshire Police community initiative, has been selected for the finals for a national problem solving award.

Following a rigorous judging process, the finalists of the most prestigious awards in the crime prevention arena - The Tilley Awards, have been now been announced. 

The Tilley Awards celebrate multi-agency projects that have achieved success in resolving issues faced by the community, police and partners. The awards are open to any UK police or partner organisations that are working together to tackle problems in communities to tackle crime and community safety. 

Operation Redgate, a Warwickshire Police community initiative, was chosen as the final winner in the 'Neighbourhoods' category, for its innovative approach to protecting the vulnerable and enhancing community safety, by working with a range of external partners.

Operation Redgate was set up by Leamington Town Safer Neighbourhood Team in 2013 to address community concerns over the number of people begging in Leamington Spa. Previous enforcement action alone was a short-term solution and did not address the underlying issues. The team recognised that we would not be able to tackle this alone, so they identified various partner agencies (both statutory and non-statutory) to work together and take a holistic approach to identify and address the root causes of the issue. In order to have a long-term impact, the project has developed over five years and the agencies involved continue to work in partnership.

Allison Wiggin, Sergeant, Leamington SNT, said "The project was set up to address the concerns of the community who live, work and use the shops and restaurants in Leamington town centre. The approach to those who beg is stepped, initially trying to get an understanding of their needs and work with our partners to address these, before any prosecutions start, and as a result we've managed to help some very vulnerable people.

"I am delighted that hard work by the team and our external partners has made it to the finals and that approach has been recognised by problem solving experts in the UK."

Alex Franklin-Smith, Deputy Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police said "This is a significant achievement for Warwickshire Police. Not only have we been recognised nationally for best practice in problem solving, the genuine partnership approach the team have taken to tackle this ongoing community issue is a great example of protecting the vulnerable and preventing and reducing crime"

It also demonstrates how far we've coming on our journey to becoming a problem solving organisation who put problem solving at the heart of everything we do."

Warwick District Council's Head of Health and Community Protection, Marianne Rolfe commented:  "Operation Redgate shows the benefit of both statutory and non-statutory bodies working together to solve a problem that impacts on the whole community.

"Redgate does not rely on enforcement alone but encompasses support and assistance for those who need it resulting in more effective use of resources and a positive outcome for all concerned."

Henry Webster, Service Co-ordinator from P3, said: "P3 offer housing-related support but realise that the issues of homelessness, rough sleeping and begging are far more complex than just finding people accommodation.

"Our partnership with Warwickshire Police and other local agencies has ensured that, as a community, we are approaching vulnerable people as individuals, allowing each person to address their needs and receive the right support to get their lives back on track."

Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director of BID Leamington said "We fully support the approach that Warwickshire Police, in partnership with a range of other local charities, has developed here in Leamington's town centre. It relies on close collaboration between all stakeholders and is genuinely focused on supporting the specific needs of individual people who are begging, so they can work towards a life off the street. 

"As recognised by this award, this level of care and focus has produced positive outcomes for individuals and importantly, also avoids pushing the issue to another place. While we appreciate this is an ongoing project and there is much to do, we wish to express our thanks to Warwickshire Police for the leadership and support they have provided to date."

Yvonne Mckinnon, Project Manager at the Salvation Army, said: "Here at the Salvation Army WAP homeless project, we see many of the beggars in our town on a daily basis.

"Four years ago it was recognised there was a problem in Leamington and something needed to be done. The homeless sectors along with the police, council and local drugs services started a monthly meeting to work together to try and find a solution.

"We worked together to decide who was the best person to take the lead on each individual, an action plan would then be put together and the lead would try and get the individual to engage with them and access whatever services was needed for them. It can take a while for an individual to make that decision but we work with them to build up trust, self esteem, and self worth with the hope of them believing that they too can live a normal fulfilling life and become drug/alcohol free."

The winners of each category (Neighbourhoods, Police Now, Investigations, Partners, Business Support and Volunteers) will present their project at the National Problem Solving Conference, where the final judging panel, with input from attendees, will choose an overall winner.

The winner will be announced at the Tilley Awards ceremony and Gala Dinner on the evening of Thursday 28 March 2019.

Operation Redgate would not have been possible without the strong working relationship between the police, and the following public sector bodies and third sector charities to deal with this complex issue:

  • Warwickshire District Council leads for anti-social behaviour and homelessness
  • The Salvation Army Way Ahead Project
  • P3 (People Potential Possibilities)
  • Helping Hands
  • Leamington Night Shelter
  • BID

Issued: 1pm, Wednesday 13 March, Corporate Communications

Published 13/03/19