TIM DREW: Task force commended for help during fire

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

The West Downs Neighbourhood Task Force won acclaim from the emergency services on Saturday afternoon after offering its services immediately following the outbreak of the fire in Rowlands Road.

A Facebook advertisement quickly mobilised a team of six which was soon helping the police and fire brigade by assisting with road closures.

All the experience and teamwork that had been built up over the past 18 months or so was put to good use as the team played its part in keeping people safe – in what was its first emergency involvement – over a period of three hours, before it was stood down.

Our community has everything to gain by augmenting the resources of our hard-pressed emergency services with a team of experienced volunteers which is, moreover, protected by its own public liability insurance.

The task force will be also be helping with road closures at the Worthing 10k event on Sunday, June 4, and then the Children’s Parade on Saturday, June 17.

Meanwhile, the Police and Crime Commissioner has covered a range of issues in her latest meeting with the Chief Constable, including rogue trading and business crime.

The Chief Constable described a close working relationship and information sharing protocols with Trading Standards, and the judgement that needs to be made on which of the participating agencies should lead, with all such agencies now able to access a national digital noticeboard of rogue traders.

Asked whether the lower levels of business crime in Sussex compared to national figures suggested that businesses were under-reporting the crime, the Chief Constable described the introduction of business/community wardens following an 18-month pilot.

They provide a dedicated service by taking the task of reporting crime away from businesses, securing physical and digital evidence and preparing statements. Thus far, the feedback from business communities about their value and impact has been excellent.

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