The Government today called on communities to step forward to lead the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour.
Ministers are looking for ten trailblazing areas to pioneer Neighbourhood Agreements on community safety and justice between police, councils and residents.
The Pathfinders will require police, councils and other agencies to agree service standards with local residents - and enable the residents to hold them to account.
Communities which win the right to sign the first Neighbourhood Agreements will be able to help target the crime and anti-social behaviour that matter most in their local areas.
The agreements will allow residents to have a say in how those issues are tackled, build better relationships with local service providers, understand better what services they are entitled to and how they can be improved.
Joint applications from local councils and police forces will be considered by a cross-departmental selection panel, which will pick the ten pathfinder areas. They will then be independently evaluated before the scheme is introduced in other areas across England and Wales in Spring 2011.
Policing and Crime Minister David Hanson MP said:
"We want the public, wherever they live, to be confident their local police and council are tackling the crime and antisocial behaviour issues that matter in their area. That is why the only target we now set for police is to improve public confidence.
"Neighbourhood Agreements will be a key part of how the police and other local agencies can work with communities to meet this aim.
"This pathfinder scheme is a great opportunity for people to make their neighbourhoods better places to live and to play a key role in shaping policing in England and Wales."
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Building on the experience of the Department for Communities and Local Government in developing community contracts across a wide range of services in England (for example on local environmental issues - such as litter, graffiti, fly-tipping and street lighting - and promoting healthy living) and core national standards such as the Policing Pledge, these pathfinders will specifically provide a way for communities and local partnerships in England and Wales to negotiate and agree local standards of service and priorities for action across the community safety and justice agendas, including anti-social behaviour.
2. Local Government areas, estates, neighbourhood policing team areas, crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRPs) and community safety partnerships (CSPs) can apply to become Neighbourhood Agreement Pathfinders.
3 . Applications close on January 29 2010 and the ten pathfinder areas will be confirmed in February 2010. More information on applying and becoming a pathfinder can be obtained from the Home Office.
3. Selected pathfinders will be supported by an experienced Delivery Manager and assisted with local communications and publication. A launch workshop event will take place in March and will provide full briefing on developing and maintaining a Neighbourhood Agreement and opportunities to learn from those with experience of this.
4. The Policing White Paper, 'Protecting the Public, Supporting the Police to Succeed' was published on 9 December 2009 and can be viewed at http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police-reform/protecting-the-public.html
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