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Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s public safety team has been working closely with East Hull Communities Policing Team to look at ways in which their services can work together to make our neighbourhoods a safer place to live and work.

Teams gathered for a briefing at Bransholme Police Station on Wednesday 16 November, before setting up a control point in Soffham Close to co-ordinate the day's activities under the capable direction of PC Steve Hepworth (pictured furthest left with Firefighters Keith Moore and Dave Holmes and GM Allen Cunningham). Teams of firefighters, advocates or PCSOs were assigned to various addresses across Bransholme to fit smoke alarms, give fire safety advice or discuss crime reduction with concerned residents. Collectively they have designed an approach that could become a key part of the toolbox to tackle spikes in arson, anti-social behaviour and crime across the city of Hull.

The pilot scheme targeted approximately 600 addresses in the Bransholme area. The scheme involved the Fire and Rescue Service, Humberside Police, Hull City Council and other partners coming together for a dynamic day of action.

The pilot took place in the areas of Langtree Close, Davidstow Close, Stockleigh Close, Cadleigh Close, Westleigh Close, Soffham Close and Cheriton Close.

Residents from the area had already received information about the event. The joint effort involved residents being visited by teams of community safety partners who provided:

  • Fire safety advice to ensure the safety of the occupants and their property
  • Crime prevention advice to reduce the likelihood of an residents homes or vehicles being targeted by criminals
  • Identifying residents who have been victims of repeated arson or crime
  • Installing target hardening measures, such as smoke alarms
  • Marking property with a UV pen to allow identification if stolen
  • Assisting residents in setting up a account so they can register valuables on-line which will assist police in identifying if stolen so it can be returned and bring offenders to justice

The overriding theme for the project was to empower residents with fire safety and crime prevention knowledge, which in turn will hopefully inspire residents to take more responsibility for safety within their homes and become more vigilant, protecting themselves and their communities.

The initiative was aiming to improve the safety of those living in communities targeted. If the initiative proves successful, it will be rolled out into other problem neighbourhoods across the Humberside Service area.

A previous initiative focusing on home security in Bransholme last year resulted in an 80% reduction in burglaries and an overall reduction in crime of 70% after just six months.

Allen Cunningham, Public Safety North Bank Manager, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, believes that the project can have a real impact:

“We have concerns about the recent spate of antisocial behaviour involving fire across Bransholme. This is an exciting initiative, working in a co-ordinated approach alongside our colleagues at Humberside Police. If successful, the project can be replicated across other problem areas of Humberside, to make our communities safer.”

PC Steve Hepworth from East Hull Communities Policing Team was equally positive about the joint agency working:

“I have seen first-hand how these initiatives can increase neighbourhood awareness in community safety and empower residents to keep themselves and their property safe. I am delighted that we have managed to extend the remit of the multi-agency event model so it focuses on fire safety, as well as crime prevention.

“By bringing together the expertise of the police, fire service, local authority and other partners we can assist with all manner of neighbourhood concerns quickly and effectively, leaving a lasting legacy in the area and a much safer community.”