Justice Secretary launches partnership to make Glasgow’s communities safer
Published by Glasgow Housing Association on Mon 20 Aug 12 @ 15:07
A ground-breaking partnership between Scotland's largest social landlord, Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has been officially launched by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
Glasgow Housing Association and the police and fire services have joined forces to tackle anti-social behaviour in GHA communities and also keep tenants safe in their homes.
The initiative, known as the Community Improvement Partnership, sees 15 police officers - 12 constables, two sergeants and an inspector - seconded to GHA for three years to work side-by-side with housing staff. Together they are tackling issues blighting the lives of tenants such as late-night parties, disorder and drug dealing.
A station commander from the fire service has also been seconded to work with housing staff to identify and help vulnerable tenants who are at risk of fire.
The scheme, which began as a pilot 18 months ago before being rolled out across the city recently, has seen police:
- carry out 6,671 stop and searches
- seize almost 3,435g of drugs worth an estimated £17,000
- seize 716 litres of alcohol
- execute 127 warrants
- issue 438 anti-social behaviour penalty notices
- carry out 795 joint visits with GHA staff.
More than 450 home fire safety visits to vulnerable tenants have also been carried out since July 2011, helping residents prevent fires in their home.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "We want everyone in Scotland to feel safe in their communities. Across the country, there are various local initiatives in place that seek to do this and here in Glasgow, this partnership between Glasgow Housing Association, Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue is an excellent model.
"The results speak for themselves and should provide comfort and reassurance to tenants that anti-social behaviour problems that cause concern are being tackled. I also welcome the increased focus partnership working has placed on fire safety and prevention.
"Glasgow Housing Association, Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue continue to have my full support in developing strategies that keep local people safe."
All staff involved in the initiative are located in a new high-tech base in the Royston area of the city.
The scheme was piloted in the East End and Milton. It is now being rolled out across the city and has already made an impact in Drumchapel, Knightswood and Scotstounhill. It will cover the whole of Glasgow by the end of the year.
The seconded police officers are in addition to the police officers deployed in the individual communities.
The CIP agreement was formally signed in May this year by Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House and GHA Chair Gordon Sloan.
GHA Chair Gordon Sloan said: "The partnership has already made an impact in communities across the city, making our neighbourhoods safer and better places to live for tenants and factored homeowners.
"By sharing our skills, experience and knowledge - and by working closely together in partnership - we can respond quicker and more effectively to issues ranging from low level anti-social behaviour and noisy parties to serious crime, like drug dealing and violence, as well as fire prevention and identifying and helping vulnerable tenants."
Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House said: "By working together with other agencies, we build a stronger relationship between ourselves and local people.
"We know that crime and anti-social behaviour impacts on people's lives and we are working hard to address that. The ongoing partnership between the Force, GHA and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has proven to be extremely worthwhile, allowing us to share information and deal with these key issues at an early stage.
"As a result, the impact on the community has been extremely positive, making a real difference in people's lives, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. We will continue to work together and keep people safe."
Lewis Ramsay, Assistant Chief Officer and Director of Community Safety, said:
"Domestic fires remain a core challenge for the Fire and Rescue Service, so I'm delighted that we are joining forces with GHA to spread the fire safety message to thousands of their tenants.
"SFR's link-up with GHA is a great example of partnership working, ensuring that householders get the information and support they need to ensure they and their families are as safe as possible in the home."