TIM DREW: Chief Inspector speaks at AGM

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A MOVE away from a performance-driven culture and a strong identification with the West Sussex County Council’s ‘Think Family’ initiative were the highlights of Chief Inspector Jo Banks’ address at the annual general meeting of the Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Association last Wednesday evening.

CI Banks, who joined the police 18 years ago and is ten months into her current role, said performance-driven practices had undermined the ability of the police to communicate, reflect and use discretion. Integrity, fairness and respect were essential in setting the tone of policing and establishing values.

The ‘Think Family’ initiative is aimed at assisting vulnerable and troubled families, some of whom cause problems in their communities and incur heavy costs to the taxpayer. Parents in this category sometimes lack skills to the extent that they do not know how to peel a potato. The project is therefore aimed at educating those parents, getting children back into school, reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour, and putting adults on a path back to work.

CI Banks also referred to the ‘Playing Out’ intiative, the main purpose of which is to increase safe access by children to informal play in residential streets. This is resident-led, but ‘Playing Out’ provides full support by co-ordinating a network of ‘street organisers’ and running workshops for parents and residents, thereby proving valuable in fostering community engagement.

The police database containing the list of NHW Schemes for Worthing still contains some outdated information so, in the event of any change, please keep Mark Rendall informed.

PCSO Ben Cruise’s surgery takes place on Thursday, October 31, from 11am to noon at West Worthing Baptist Church in South Street, Tarring, followed by PCSO Shauna Bowen’s the next day and at the same time at Findon Valley Library, Lime Tree Avenue. Special congratulations go to Shauna, who has been voted for a Neighbourhood Watch award by members in her Ward in Offington.