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ASB Awareness Week – Rochford Community Safety Partnership

Almost 2,500 young people have been given the tools to stay safe online, thanks to a community safety partnership.

A total of 1,600 primary school pupils and 850 secondary school students across the Rochford district have completed online safety training.

The work with Year 5, 6 and 7 children has been organised by the Community Safety Partnership.

Funded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC), Community Safety Partnerships bring together councillors, police officers, fire officers, the probation service and other organisations – including Crimestoppers and Neighbourhood Watch – to work on tackling local crime and disorder and reducing reoffending.

In Rochford, this year’s allocation of £12,337 from the PFCC’s Community Safety Fund 2022/23 is being used to raise awareness among young people and their parents of online dangers.

Andy Parkman, community safety officer, said: “We know that online safety is a massive issue as it can lead to exploitation of young people online.

“We recognise this as a priority and the value of delivering our projects to children to help them to keep safe online. We can never say how many young people we have saved with this work, but we can be confident that as a result of our work we have raised awareness of the risks of young people being exploited.

“It is a really important part of our work.”

The partnership has also given 850 Year 6 pupils access to the Crucial Crew, an immersive theatre experience which explores issues affecting young people.

In the latest course, children looked at child exploitation linked to county lines drug dealing.

The work is due to be carried out with another cohort of young people in November.

The partnership also works to tackle domestic abuse and antisocial behaviour, working with Sanctuary Housing Association and Christian charity Bar’n’Bus.

Andy said: “Our priorities are set as a result of liaison with our partners and the police. We also issue community safety surveys to give residents an opportunity to influence the work we do.

“What we try to do with our funds is to maximise the reach and target audience of the most vulnerable people in our community. That is why we focus on schools as we know, with our school partners, we can reach as many children as possible.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said: “The early intervention work that Rochford Community Safety Partnership have been doing with young people will benefit future generations of communities. If we can educate young people about county lines, online safety and exploitation, we can prevent these crimes from happening in the future.

As well as this, the work around anti-social behaviour has had a positive impact, with an overall drop in ASB in Essex by 23% since January 2021. We know that Community Safety Partnerships are effective and together they do a great job in implementing initiatives to reduce crime and keep our communities safe.”

  • Residents are urged to complete the next community safety survey, to be released via social media in September.
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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
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