Town Mayor and Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner join latest ‘Stratford Town Centre Walkabout’
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Last Friday (14 January) saw the 6th in a series of ‘Stratford Town Centre Walkabouts’ organised by Warwickshire Police Inspector Ben Hembry and active community member, Cyril Bennis, formed with the objective of improving engagement and problem solving in the community.
These regular 6 weekly events have proved a popular and effective way for the Warwickshire Police Stratford upon Avon Safer Neighbourhood Team, partners and community stakeholders to work collectively to understand issues and form preventative strategies that can be deployed in the town.
Walkabouts are attended by a mix of stakeholders and community members who have expressed interest in helping to address issues and often include a member of the local press. Participants change for each event as do the themes, which have included crime prevention, anti-social behaviour and daytime retail issues.
Last Friday’s Walkabout theme was night time economy and it was attended by Councillor Kevin Taylor, the Mayor of Stratford upon Avon, Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Diane Mansell, Stratford BID Manager, Karin Stanley from the Stratford District Community Safety Partnership and other invited guests from RSC, Bell Court and The Garrick Public House. The group walked around the town and called into other venues to discuss issues faced and what could be done to solve them.
Inspector Ben Hembry, Warwickshire Police Safer Neighbourhoods, Stratford upon Avon said, “There is huge value in gathering key stakeholders and consulting first-hand with local people about their issues and concerns. Face to face discussions develop a much greater depth of understanding of the associated impacts to lives and businesses. Finding preventative solutions requires joined up thinking and a multi-agency and multi-faceted response; the Walkabouts provide an ideal platform for this.
“The events also provide reassurance to our communities that their concerns are heard, and that action is taken. It is essential that local people and businesses feel involved and able to make their own contributions towards ensuring that Stratford remains a safe and pleasant place to live, visit and work.”