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Community Safety Officers

Central Bedfordshire Council have recruited 23 new community safety roles to crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour.

Fifteen of the new officers have undertaken a community safety accreditation scheme, which gives them a range of additional powers usually only available to police, such as the authority to request the name and address of a person acting in an anti-social manner and to be able to seize alcohol from a person under 18 in a public place. The officers will be able to issue fixed penalty notices, up to the value of £400 where required for certain offences. These powers will also help officers tackle local issues and low-level crime, which in turn helps to serve communities better and keep them safer.

The new officers will also be tackling issues around anti-social behaviour like graffiti, shoplifting, street drinking and also environmental crimes such as fly-tipping, dog fouling, littering and noise issues. They are part of a wider community safety team that help improve local communities across central Bedfordshire.

The team will be undertaking regular patrols to talk to residents and businesses about any issues that are affecting them and what could be done to make their lives better. The team are able to respond to issues faster and are able to share local intelligence with the police.

During the current pandemic, officers will also be undertaking regular checks to ensure businesses and the public are adhering to government COVID-19 guidelines and offering advice and support where needed.

The team have received lots of positive feedback from residents who have come into contact with them and have already been involved in helping with a number of issues in the community. These have included safeguarding homeless and vulnerable adults, providing assistance to an elderly person who had collapsed in the street, alerting emergency authorities to a gas leak in a town centre, and finding concealed knives in a wooded area.

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