Building safer communities begins and ends with local people, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner told Oldham residents this week.
Tony Lloyd was speaking at the latest #TalkToTony event, joined by Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and divisional commander Chief Superintendent Catherine Hankinson.
Dozens of local people, including councillors and Home Watch co-ordinators came along to the meeting, which was also covered live on Twitter and can be replayed here.
“We face huge challenges because of the reckless Government cuts to policing and other public services,” said Tony. “We need to transform how we work together and build closer links with Home Watch, residents’ associations, community groups. Making communities safer begins and ends with local people – we need your support if we are to build the safest communities in Britain. It’s a big challenge but we face it together – let’s get on with it.”
Sir Peter Fahy echoed Tony’s comments about the challenges faced by Greater Manchester Police and the demand on police resources.
“A lot of our work is repeat demand,” said Sir Peter. “Often it’s the same families, causing the same problems time and time again and this is an issue we need to work better with partners to solve.”
Chief Superintendent Hankinson added how proud she is to serve the people of Oldham. She also spoke about an operation to tackle domestic violence, involving visiting offenders’ homes and offering support to victims, which has so far empowered two women to leave their abusive partners and helped both offenders and victims access drug, alcohol and mental health services.
A number of issues were raised during the lively event, with some residents concerned about persistent anti-social behaviour in their area.
“I understand your frustration and I totally agree that you need to give you the confidence that we will listen and help,” said Chief Superintendent Hankinson. “Often it’s particular families causing the problems and we are working with the council, housing associations and other agencies to tackle it – unfortunately it’s not a quick fix.”
Other issues were raised about mental health, changes to neighbourhood policing teams and the non-emergency 101 number.
The next meeting takes place on 30 September from 6.30pm at Dukinfield Town Hall.
Meetings will be held monthly in each local authority area of Greater Manchester throughout 2013 so that every resident has the chance to meet Tony and Sir Peter and have a say in policing and crime issues.