A week of action geared at tackling disorder and empowering residents has culminated in a community engagement day in Wallsend.
Last week, Northumbria Police supported Operation Sceptre – a national initiative designed to tackle knife crime and serious violence through education, enforcement, and engagement.
And on Friday (May 19), as part of the activity, members of the local community were given the opportunity to share concerns with officers in the Force engagement van, meet with support workers and councillors and feedback on changes they would like to see.
Neighbourhood officers were joined by North Tyneside Council to carry out an area clean-up – assisted by pupils from a local school, and the licencing team also conducted off-licence visits.
Colleagues from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service also attended to engage with the local community – educating locals around the importance of fire safety and offering preventative advice to the public.
High-visibility police patrols also took place throughout the entire week, offering reassurance to residents, allowing them to see the familiar faces of their local neighbourhood teams.
Neighbourhood Inspector for Wallsend, David Simpson, of Northumbria Police, praised the ongoing partnership work.
He said: “These initiatives are very important to ensure that we are fully immersed in our local neighbourhoods – meaning we can better serve our communities.
“It’s important not to undervalue to work of neighbourhood policing. We take ownership, have pride and belief, and understand the complexities of the work we are doing.
“We develop and maintain positive relationships with agencies and partners and it’s that bond which helps drive change.
“But we know a large part of that work is all about preventing crime from happening in the first place which is why it’s imperative we work with residents so they have the confidence to keep coming forward and reporting crime and any concerns to us.
“We will continue to work alongside our colleagues at the council and fire services to better understand the concerns residents in this area may have. By working together, we can continue to ensure this region remains a safe place to live and work.
“While this work was carried out during #OpSceptre, which ultimately aims to highlight the danger of knife crime and violence, it is an extension of the type of work we are doing year-round, to engage with our communities and act on the information they share with us.”
Karen Soady, TWFRS Prevention and Strategy Manager, said: “It was an invaluable opportunity for the Fire Service to join forces with our blue light colleagues from Northumbria Police and community partners at North Tyneside Council to provide fire safety advice that could go a long way to helping to save somebody’s life or the life of a loved one.
“Operation Respect allowed our officers to talk with the people of Wallsend about prevention and education across a number of important social and community avenues with the intention of supporting the national initiative to enable residents to take away with them new pieces of knowledge that will be both useful and informative.”
Richard Mitchell, Community and Public Space Protection Manager at North Tyneside Council, said: “On Friday we carried out a joint operation visiting homes with links to antisocial behaviour in the Wallsend area, and handed out legal notices and eviction warnings. We also teamed up with our Police and Fire Service colleagues to visit the town centre and engage positively with residents, shoppers, and local schools, offering our support on a range of issues and giving advice on crime prevention.
“Our council colleagues took the opportunity to blitz back lanes and remove fly-tipping and rubbish. It was a very positive day of action and engagement that lets the people of Wallsend know that we are listening and responding to their concerns, and doing everything within our power to ensure the town remains a safe place to live.”