Policing column with Inspector Dave Browning: Checking up on community health

Working together to improve our communities: Officers in Todmorden supporting a tree planting initiative by providing compost from a cannabis farm to Centre Vale Park.
Working together to improve our communities: Officers in Todmorden supporting a tree planting initiative by providing compost from a cannabis farm to Centre Vale Park.

Last month in this article I celebrated the successes of our police/council partnership. In this article I’m going to look at the electronic Health Needs Assessment project and take another look at visible police patrols.

Two weeks ago I went to the eHNA (electronic Health Needs Assessment) seminar in Halifax, run by Dr Jill Farrington from Calderdale Council.

Three thousand secondary school pupils had filled out an anonymous online survey that covered a wide range of ideas. For example, how safe they felt in their communities, whether they were getting enough exercise or eating enough fruit and veg.

Jan Healey, from Calder High School, gave a great presentation about how we had all worked together from last year’s survey to make a difference to making the Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge areas safer and feeling safer.

She spoke about the way shopkeepers, café owners, the youth service, neighbourhood wardens, school nurses, parents, Hebden Bridge police and others had used last year’s data to influence how we all work.

Overall the numbers of local people who feel unsafe in their communities has dropped year on year since 2010, which is brilliant.

Other key findings include reductions in those using tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.

I have written about visible patrols before in this column, but it is timely to revisit it.

Survey results tell me that local people don’t see enough uniformed police patrols in their neighbourhoods and it regularly comes up at public meetings.

All well and good, but if you live beyond Heptonstall and work in Halifax, our police community support officers, council neighbourhood wardens and police constables can spend all day outside your home and you can be blissfully unaware that they have been.

During 2013 we set it as a local priority to spend more time patrolling rural areas and we have done.

I encourage my team to get a quick picture of themselves when they are in remote or quiet areas and to put it on the internet for all to see.

That way even if you have been away from home you will still know that we have been.

If you see someone in police or neighbourhood warden uniform out on patrol, why not stop and have a chat for a minute or two?

They will be pleased to listen to how things are going in your neighbourhood and can reassure you that we’re dealing with issues that matter.

Finally for this month, did you know that recorded crime is down again over the last 12 months in this area? So you are even safer than you were this time last year.

You can talk to us in person or in writing.

Ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Email calderdale.npt@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Ring 101 for non-emergencies.

Ring 999 for a crime in progress or other emergency.

Come and see us at the police station or at surgeries. Details are on our website but we hold regular surgeries in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Luddenden Foot.

Visit us online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/calderdale.

And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter (just search for Upper Valley NPT).